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Tips for preparing an apartment for a new tenant

If you own an apartment in Canada – in either a building or a secondary dwelling within your home – and you want to prepare a unit for new tenants, there’s lots to do.

The amount of work you will have to do to get the apartment ready for new renters will depend on the age of the unit, the damage sustained from the previous tenants, and whether it’s ever been used to house renters previously. Let’s focus on existing rental units for this piece.

Evaluate the appliances

Some people live in their rental apartment for many, many years before moving on. This means that you could find people living in your building who have lived there since it was built — or shortly thereafter. If the apartment has original or dated appliances, now’s the time to replace them before new tenants move in. Not only will you be adding value to the apartment, but you could also be saving on energy. Today’s appliances are much more energy-efficient than older versions.

Vintage interior elements gas stove

If the appliances are fine and not worth replacing, it’s important to clean and scrub them from top to bottom. Clean the oven, and thoroughly wipe out the fridge – including all drawers and compartments.


For more bang for your buck, give the apartment a fresh coat of paint! Over time, paint can start looking dull. Renters aren’t always as careful with the walls as they would be if they owned the place, so walls can get smudged and stained.

Close details painting walls industrial worker

Sometimes previous renters paint the walls and move out without painting them back. Use a neutral colour to give the place a fresh start, and then new tenants can make their own choices if they wish.

Clean and air it out

Deep clean the entire rental apartment to make sure everything is move-in ready for the new tenants. This means scrubbing toilets, the bathtub, and shower, sinks – every nook and cranny! Wash the floors, window sills, walls, and backsplash.

A woman cleaning bath at home

Open up windows, even in winter, to air the place out. If the previous tenants smoked or had pets, you want to clear the air and refresh the place.

Change the locks

For safety and security, it’s important to always change the locks when a tenant moves out. Even if they turn in their keys, you don’t know how many copies are floating around. This way the new tenants are started out with a secure apartment.

Renovate, if necessary

In older buildings, many landlords are now choosing to completely renovate apartment units as people move out. Usually the bathroom and kitchen are the primary areas slated for a redo. This means new cabinets, fixtures, bathtub and shower units, flooring, appliances and more.

A renovation can add value to the apartment, making your building or rental space attractive to potential renters. People like fresh new looks, which are hard to find in rentals.

Whether you have 1 or 2 bedroom apartments for rent (or maybe even three), you can list them on!