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Should It Stay or Should It Go? - A Guide for Landlords

Should It Stay or Should It Go? - A Guide for Landlords

As landlords prepare to transition their primary residence for a new tenant, we often receive inquiries about what should remain in the home and what needs to be removed. Most of the time, our answer is to remove the items in question. In this article, we’ll discuss the most crucial items that should stay and the unnecessary items that should go.

Items that should stay with your property or that you should supply to your tenant:

  • If you have extra paint and if it matches the current colors in the home, that should stay with the property. You should store it somewhere that is climate controlled if possible and if not, inside the garage would work best. Leave additional flooring or other household items in an attic, shed, or stored away in a garage.
  • Garage remotes should always stay with the property. Please leave them on the counter or in a kitchen drawer.
  • If you have a community or private mailbox, be sure to provide us with the mailbox number and the keys to access it. If there is any additional hardware for the home, such as special light bulbs, light or fan remotes, or hurricane protection those should be kept in place to replace any broken or missing items.
  • If your fridge requires a water filter, please be sure there is a new one installed and supply us with the necessary filter information for replacements.
  • Property related documents are other items to consider keeping with the property like builder warranty information, HVAC warranty info, and appliance manuals helpful items for us to have. You should have digital copies of these to provide to your property manager or create a designated folder to keep in the property so that they can be referred to if needed.

Landlords often wonder which appliances they should keep with the property.

  • We do require basic appliances in your home including a stove and refrigerator. Refrigerators are items that absolutely must be left in the house. If you have two refrigerators and want to take one of them, please make sure one stays inside the home. While you can likely sell your home without a fridge, leasing your home in the Pensacola area without one is not a smart move.
  • While renters prefer a dishwasher, is it not a requirement if your kitchen does not have a place for one.
  • While any built-in microwaves should be functioning, countertop microwaves should be removed.
  • Other appliances, such as a washer and dryer, can be tricky. Most of the time, we recommend removing these from the premises, however, in the cases of apartments and condos and those close to the military base, we may recommend leaving these if you prepare to maintain them. If you're moving and you don't need them, consider selling or donating them. Laundry appliances are not required to be repaired or replaced as designated in our lease agreement. Many tenants do have their own and we get requests to have them removed since they prefer to use their own. If you decide to keep them on site and they are in good working condition, we'll take inventory of them and list them as included with the home. If they don’t work well or are on their last leg, both should be removed.

Items that should be removed from the property:

  • Please be sure not to leave any trash or debris inside or outside. We want to provide a clean and ready home for tenants to move in.
  • Do not leave any playground equipment as these can be potentially dangerous for tenants and children.
  • Clean out any old paint that no longer matches the colors of the house or any old building or flooring materials that are no longer in of any use.
  • In addition to those items, anything personal as well as anything expensive or valuable will need to be removed. A rule of thumb is to not leave anything behind that you would be upset about missing in the future if it was accidentally removed or tossed in the trash by a tenant.
  • Lastly, unwanted items such as furniture should not be left in the home. Most tenants have their own home furnishings and unless it is something like a portable kitchen island, we would recommend its removal before tenants moves in. Even items like shelving in garage, if not secured properly, can be a hazard.

Having a good understanding of what should stay and what should go will help ensure a smooth move out for yourself and move in for your tenants. For some more helpful tips on getting a property ready for a new tenant, download our free e-book “Getting Your Home Rent-Ready.” If you are ready to take the next steps to being a landlord, give us a call at 850-473-3983 or email us at we would love to get the conversation started.