What Does “Turn-Key” Mean in a Rental Property Listing?

Turn-keyYou’ve seen the buzzword. You’ve probably often wondered exactly what it means.  Now you can know for sure… well, sort of!

Turn-key is a popular adjective used to describe a rental property that is move-in ready. In other words, all the renter has to do is turn the key to unlock the door and start living their life in the property.

To most people, turn-key signifies a property that is in good condition and requires little to no updating or maintenance. It can often describe a corporate rental or vacation rental that has everything someone needs to live – pots, dishes, towels, linens, TV, wireless, etc.

The problem with the word “turn-key” is that it can mean different things to different people. A tenant should always inquire to what furnishings and creature comforts of home are included in the property and never assume “turn-key” means it has everything they need. One item I usually ask each landlord about is the blow dryer. I want to know if I need to bring my own, or if the “turn-key” property has one. It’s not always clear.

Corporate Housing by Owner has created a self-certification for corporate housing rental properties called CHBO Complete(TM). A property listing that is “CHBO Complete(TM)” means it includes every item on the generally accepted corporate housing standards list, which can be found in the CHBO handbook. It can generally be described as a “turn-key corporate rental.”

That said, remember that “turn-key” can mean different things to different people. Always ask what a rental property includes and never assume “turn-key” or “CHBO Complete(TM)” has EVERYTHING you need.

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