8 Ways to Prepare Your Rental Home for the Holidays
When you’re a landlord, home holiday prep can be double (or triple, or quadruple…) the work, depending on how many properties you own. Not only will you need to get your own home ready for the season, but you’ll need your rental properties to be holiday-ready as well. In order to prepare your rental properties for the holidays, keep these eight tasks in mind.
1. Offer a Maintenance Visit
Your tenants are just like you when it comes to hosting over the holidays—they want the process to go as smoothly as possible. One way you can help them avoid holiday disasters is by offering them a maintenance visit. You or your property manager can then schedule to have a contractor go to their home and check all the items that are vital to hosting guests for the holidays. Think about things such as the fridge, cabinet doors, stove, and toilet. It’s better to ensure all is in working order now instead of having to pay for an emergency repair on a holiday.
2. Replace Non-working Light Bulbs in Outdoor and Common Areas
Both you and your tenants want your property to look warm and inviting to guests. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure all of the lights are shining brightly. Take time now to go over all outdoor and common areas, and look for burned out bulbs. Replace all of them, then check to make sure they’re working properly. If not, there could be an electrical issue to address. Keep in mind that this is also a great time to switch to longer-lasting and energy-efficient bulbs, which can save you money in the long run.
3. Secure Walkways, Stairs, and Hallways
Tucson homes benefit from warm weather since snow and ice aren’t a concern. This doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to secure walkways, stairs, and hallways, however. It is possible for sidewalks and driveways to shift, crack, and break as the weather changes, all of which can lead to trip hazards and liabilities for you as a landlord. Wires, loose rugs, and bunched carpets on stairs and hallways can also be very dangerous, especially for guests who are unfamiliar with the building. Before your tenants start hosting for the holidays, get these problems resolved for the safety of all involved.
4. Discuss Overnight Guest Policies
Hosting for the holidays often means having family and friends stay overnight or for several nights. In your rental contract with your tenants, you should already have some rules regarding guests. Usually there’s a clause regarding the maximum number of people allowed to sleep over in the house on any given night, as well as a limit on how long they can stay before they’re considered an extra tenant. Rather than assuming your tenants will remember these rules, take the time now to remind them so there’s no confusion or conflict over the holidays.
5. Decorate the Common Areas
More likely than not, your rental agreement restricts tenants’ ability to decorate the outside of buildings and common areas. This is a good policy to have—you don’t want renters climbing the building and getting hurt, nor do you want them to put up decorations of a questionable nature. You can decorate the property as much as you wish, even with a few simple lights to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Your tenants will appreciate it. Keep in mind that if you’ve got vacant properties during the holidays, a fun holiday display could also help you land some new tenants during the winter months.
6. Organize a Giving Tree
Does your property have a lobby or other common area that all tenants tend to pass through? Consider using the space to encourage charity as you prepare for the holidays. To do this, work with a local charity that can help identify families in need. Next, place cards on a tree with information from the families in need—like the ages of children and what they need and want this Christmas. Tenants can then pick cards and purchase the gifts, which the charity will then collect and give to the families. What a lovely way to bring tenants together and spread some holiday cheer!
7. Host an Event
If you’ve been looking for ways to build a sense of community among your tenants, hosting an event can be a great way to foster such a connection. While you’ll want to host this event a few days before or after a specific holiday, it’s easy to easy to come up with ideas to celebrate the season. Some possible events include:
- 12 Days of Christmas: If there are a lot of children living at your property, you could do 12 small events leading up to Christmas Eve. Think of hot cocoa gatherings and scavenger hunts.
- Caroling: Get residents together to walk through the complex or the larger neighborhood while singing carols.
- Winter Wonderland: If all of your properties are close together, select one to host a winter wonderland and invite all your tenants—rent a snow machine, giant snow globes, and create a special winter event for everyone to enjoy.
- Holiday Game Night: Even if the games aren’t holiday-themed, you’ll be getting the residents together and having fun.
8. Offer Party Spaces for Rent
Do you have a conference room or banquet hall on your property? Take time to remind your tenants that they’re able to rent it for their holiday events. Even spacious homes and apartments often don’t have enough room for a large party, but these types of common areas do. If your rental agreement doesn’t state that residents have free access with a reservation, charge them a fee for the rental space, which will help boost your seasonal holiday profits. If you need assistance with this or other holiday plans for tenants, be sure to speak with your property manager about how to establish rules for these events.
Should you need some help getting your Tucson rental home holiday-ready, consider a property management company such as Bancroft and Associates. We are ready to help you get the most out of your investment.