Renting an apartment is a reliable way to increase your income by making money from real estate. Where to find tenants, how to prepare the apartment and observe the legal formalities in order to rent out the apartment quickly and profitably?

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What tenants expect


The first thing they look at: cleanliness (especially in the bathroom and toilet); quality of appliances and the absence of unnecessary things, odors and insects; wall color – they should be monochrome, basic shades.

If necessary, it is advisable to make cosmetic repairs: whitewash the ceilings, paint the walls or wallpaper, fix the wiring and plumbing, and replace burned out bulbs. Before potential tenants visit, do a general cleaning. You may do it yourself, or use the services of a cleaning service.

The condition of the apartment to be transferred directly affects the rent and reduces the time it takes to find a tenant.

Wooden but neat windows; inexpensive modern furniture (IKEA will do); some of the old furniture in good condition – with taste and feeling; not very smooth walls, floor and ceiling, old parquet.

Tenants are tolerant of such things, and many even like vintage apartments – and look for them on purpose.

Rent an apartment with or without furniture?


Both options are possible, but in practice renting an apartment without furniture will be more difficult and take longer. Few people move furniture from apartment to apartment, especially if we are talking about visitors from other cities or people who live exclusively in rental housing. So, it is advisable to buy a minimal set of furniture and appliances: a bed or folding sofa in the bedroom or living room, a washing machine, a table, chairs or stools, a full kitchen set and a refrigerator in the kitchen.

How to come up with a “design” for an apartment for rent

So, you need a clean apartment with monochrome light walls, a minimum of things and furniture, with calm minimalist textiles.

Don’t forget: renting an apartment is a business. The simpler, more modern and neutral the design, the easier it is to find good tenants. Those who are very “helpful and solvent” always have a choice. And, as a rule, they are not apartments in vintage style or even apartments with ultra-modern renovation.

Where to look for inspiration? You will be very helped by photos of interiors on the request “Scandinavian style” (it is the easiest to make), “custom furniture making”, “vintage furniture in a modern interior”. Look for inexpensive solutions in free services, such as the IKEA website.

What you need to get rid of and what you can keep

  1. Remove all things from the apartment – and from the balcony, too. Everything means everything. If the tenants need kitchen utensils or anything else, you can arrange to buy a minimal set.

You can keep: 1-2 minimalist vases, 10-20 volumes of good classics to create texture on the shelves.

  1. get rid of old textiles and upholstered furniture – curtains, bedspreads, mattresses, sagging sofas, rugs. They collect dust, give the apartment a specific smell and an outdated look.

You can keep: chairs on thin legs – cover them with new fabric (now it is fashionable); one carpet – after dry-cleaning put it on the floor in the room.

You can keep (in good condition, of course): a table (round will be a plus) and chairs, a solid wood cabinet.

Of course, everything is individual, someone prefers to move into an empty apartment with their own furniture, and someone wants to move in and live in a finished version. In any case, it is important not to forget that the apartment you rent is not a warehouse for unnecessary things. The more unique you make it, the greater the demand for it will be.

How do I determine my monthly rent?


Study real estate rental websites, such as Rentler. Pay attention to how much an average apartment of the same size costs in your area, what repairs and what set of furniture and appliances it has.

Location and transport accessibility (the closer to the subway or downtown, the more expensive) are the main factors affecting the rental rate. Another important factor is the area, quality of repair, type of building (apartments in old panel buildings are the cheapest), infrastructure of the area, and view from the window. If the apartment windows overlook a park, pond, or other pleasing to the eye objects – feel free to add 10-15% to the cost of rent. And for a view of the parking lot or construction site, the price should be slightly reduced. The price of the rent may include utilities and other payments – this should be determined in advance and specified in the contract separately.

Remember that the price is often a determining factor in the speed of renting the apartment. If you need to find tenants as quickly as possible, try to lower the price.

Do I have to make an inventory before I rent my apartment?

Drawing up an inventory will help protect your belongings from damage or get compensation for damages. This document should be attached to the lease, preferably with pictures. List all major pieces of furniture and appliances, and describe their defects and shortcomings (down to scratches and non-functioning buttons). Add penalties for new defects, if any are discovered later, or determine how they will be repaired.

How do I determine the amount of the deposit?


When renting an apartment, it is advisable to charge the tenant a deposit equal to one month’s rent. The tenant pays the deposit when signing the contract. During the tenancy the deposit is kept by the landlord and can be used to pay off debts or as compensation for damage to the property.

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If the deposit is set off against rent, utilities or property damage, the tenant must replenish the deposit within the time frame specified in the contract (the recommended time frame is 3-5 business days).

At the end of the tenancy, if the tenant has paid all rent and utilities and the landlord’s property is in satisfactory condition, the deposit must be returned to the tenant.

If the tenant’s total debt does not exceed the amount of the deposit, the difference is returned to the landlord.