"I have sold several rentals I managed for owners this year. Hire me to manage your rental today!" - Naomi Burke/Manager: (253) 683-0093
Office phones: (253) 531-1010(253) 531-2000 Fax: (253) 531-5358 Email: managers@bciprop.com
Banner Snack

Main Content

Owner Rental To-Do Guide


BCI Properties, LLC will inspect the property to see if it needs repairs, improvements, and cleaning. These are the areas we will be considering looking at. Remember, that in order to rent the property quickly and obtain good quality renter, we suggest the following:


We highly recommend it to be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning company


This is a must! In order to attract better tenants, the house should be spotless inside and out. All garbage and debris must be removed! Areas to consider are floors should be swept and mopped, all appliances, especially ovens and fridge are clean, cabinets are emptied and wiped cleaned, bathtubs and sinks are scrubbed, windows and window sills cleaned, etc. We can make recommendations of people who are able to do the work.


Please make sure that all rotten boards are replaced. You may want to paint or stain it for protection. Decks should be up to code. If your deck is over three feet off the ground, it must have a railing. If there are more than three steps, it must have a handrail. To avoid the potential for high liability, check the spacing of the rungs on older deck railings. If you are replacing any railings, a good rule of thumb is to be sure that you cant push a pop can through the rungs.


If you’ve had a short, or if a few outlets don’t work, have it checked out now! Replace any cracked or missing outlet covers. Make sure the breaker box is covered and labeled properly. Make sure there are no exposed wires anywhere.


Most people prefer to rent houses that have a fenced backyard. If the fence exists when the tenant moves in, it must be repaired or replaced during their tenancy.

Fire Extinguisher

– You must have a 2-1/2 lb ABC fire extinguisher located within 20 feet of a rental unit. It must be mounted permanently on the wall, high enough so those little children cannot reach it. The suggested place to mount it is inside the garage or the utility room, but not under the sink.


– Floors must be swept clean and clean up any oil spills. It must be totally empty of any tools, old paint, oil, or any hazardous chemicals. If there is an automatic garage door opener, please make sure that it works well.


Baseboard heaters and in-wall electric fan heaters need to be cleaned and dusted thoroughly. If they are outdated and rusted, it may be necessary to have them painted or replaced. If they are the old cadet heaters that were recalled, please make sure that they are replaced. If you have the gas or electric forced-air furnace, filters must be replaced or cleaned. It would be a good idea to leave a few extra filters for future use. If you have an oil or propane forced-air furnace, the filters also need to be cleaned or replaced and, in addition, you must have at least 100 gallons of fuel delivered. We will have the oil measured when your tenant moves in and when they move out. The tenant is expected to have the same amount when they vacate the premise. An adjustment will be made to reimburse them for the oil or propane left.

Hot Tubs, Saunas, and Swimming Pools

An annual inspection must be performed by a professional from a reputable company that deals with hot tubs, saunas, or swimming pool. It would be a good idea to have an inspection and cleaned prior to the tenant moving in. Securing the perimeter of the swimming pool to keep little ones from falling in is a good idea.



All burned out bulbs should be replaced and all sockets should have a light bulb. There should be lighting both inside and outside to prevent accidents and acts as a deterrent to keep criminals away. Good lighting inside means you have two-way switches at the bottom of all stairs and that the tenant shouldn’t have to walk across a dark room to turn the lights on. Good lighting outside means that the steps going up to the front door are well lit. Your house number should be well lit and can be seen from the street. We suggest a motion sensor light be installed to light up your backyard.


The Landlord Tenant Law requires that all rental properties be equipped with “reasonable” locks due to safety reasons. This is an area of high liability for landlords. All exterior doors must have a deadbolt lock. Sliding glass doors must have locking bars or pin-locks. All windows must lock, especially ground level windows. Keyed locking doorknobs on interior doors must be removed. Passage locks, such as those found on bathroom doors are allowed. We will need a minimum of two sets of keys. Please make sure that they all work. After the tenant moves in, we will re-key all the locks for the tenants’ security.


A nice clean, white paint job throughout will give the house a clean look. We recommend you use a good white, latex semi-gloss paint. If you are not able to do it yourself, we can recommend someone to do it for you.


Everything in the house must be in good working order. All appliances must be operational. If a dishwasher, microwave, or washer and dryer are provided, they must be in good working order, repaired or replaced when they break down due to normal use. Toilets and faucets must have no drip.

Roofs and gutters

They must be cleaned and in good condition. Depending on the location of the house, they may need frequent cleaning, such as if it is underneath a pine tree. Otherwise, they need cleaning on a yearly basis.

Security Systems

If there is one on your property, make sure you write out the instructions on how to use it and also the code. If its a monitored system which you subscribe to, please contact that company by means of a letter that you will be vacating the property and find out if the tenant can take over the payment or restart a new account. You need to give them our name, phone number, and address and that we will be representing you as Property Manager. We will notify the company when then new tenants move in.

Septic Systems

Septic tanks must be pumped every four years. It would be good to have a map drawn of the location of the tank.

Smoke Detectors

There must be working smoke detectors in the home. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of a multi-level home. There must be one for each bedroom or sleeping area and in hallways leading to the sleeping areas. We make sure that the batteries are replaced prior to the new tenant moving in. You must do this as this is required. Otherwise, this will be a charge to your account.

Sprinkler Systems

It would be a good idea to draw out a plan of the system showing where the pipes are laid. Please make sure that your system works well. We also need instructions for “winterizing” your system.


Power and water are necessary so please DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING SHUT OFF!!! Notify the power company that you want a “never discontinue” or “never disconnect” on the property. This will ensure that the utilities are not shut off when the tenant vacates. You need to decide whether you want us to handle the payment of the vacancy utility bill. If so, this amount will be deducted from your account. If you have oil or propane heat, please leave about 100 gallons or one-months worth of fuel usage. If you have a maintenance contract with your fuel company, they may require that fuel be purchased from them. Please inform us of the company’s name. If you have Pierce County Sewer, notify them that we are your Property Manager. Make sure that you discontinue garbage service, cable t.v., telephone, high-speed internet and the newspaper subscription.

Window Coverings

It is recommended that you have blinds or drapes cover windows, especially in the bedrooms. We would not want the tenants to cover the windows with sheets and blankets, which is not the look that we want to present to your neighborhood.

Yard Maintenance

Curb appeal is what will draw potential tenants to the house. Grass should be cut, weeds pulled or killed, and areas of gravel and beauty bark cleaned. Any tender care needed for special plants such as roses, please let us know and point these out during a walk through. If there are holes in the ground, make sure that they are covered to avoid any possible injuries. Also, if there is a swing set, it would be a good idea to remove it, or you may end up replacing it in the future, or be sued because a tenants child is injured. If your yard is beautifully landscaped, it is recommended that you use a professional yard maintenance company. We can recommend some good companies who are able to do this. The lawn must be cut when it is vacant. We can hire someone to mow it during the vacancies.

Hopefully, you will consider that a well-maintained home is easier to rent.