I deal with a lot of tenants when leasing out my own properties and sometimes for clients who have purchased properties, but on a limited basis. Since I get to talk to a lot of potential tenants I know what they like and what turns them off.
The basics are important, “good” neighborhood, access to jobs, shopping and freeways: the size and amount of bedrooms are all important, but those are things many apartment communities share so the competition is similar to our offerings, but there is something, amongst smaller property owners, which makes it easy to compete against and that is the condition of the units.
One of the most common themes that comes up in my conversations with potential tenants is the quality and cleanliness of other properties they have seen, both houses and apartments.
The overall assessment is that many owners don’t prepare the properties for new tenants. They leave them dirty and that turns off most good tenants.
If your place is clean it will have an advantage over the competition. Anyway why would you want to lease out a dirty property? Some owners I’ve spoken with say that, ‘tenants will mess them up anyway’. That is not true. It is true that if you put a dirty property up for lease then, it is likely that what you’ll get is a dirty and grimy tenant that will match your style of cleanliness. Dirty apartments attract dirty tenants.
That means you need to get the apartment really clean, inside and out, especially in all the nooks and crannies, and get rid of any nasty smells or mildew smell that may be present. Nothing will differentiate your place like cleanliness.
By the way. The same goes when selling your home. It needs to be clean.