A Guide to Preparing Your Home for Rentfjpinvestment
It’s more important than ever to set yourself apart from other landlords in order to thrive in today’s competitive rental market. It’s true that there are many ways to increase your chances of success, such as having a good investment strategy, but one of the simplest to get to grips with is how to get a house ready for rent.
Having said this, it’s surprising how many landlords still don’t do what they could to get their house ready for a new tenant. In a competitive market, doesn’t it make sense to maximise your chances of securing a decent tenant to fill your property?
Using this checklist set out below, getting your property ready to rent will be a breeze. OK, so let’s get going.
Make a good first impression with your properties presentation
Properties that have been well maintained and presented will automatically attract a higher quality renter pool than those that are dark and dirty. Since there is a lot of competition in this sector, you should definitely take advantage of this easy thing. You may not get everything right-don’t worry; few seldom do-but this is something that you definitely can.
It’s not necessary to always go crazy with painting and decorating to make a house seem like a home, but it should always be squeaky clean and clear of clutter before showings. It may come as a surprise, but many landlords still forget this crucial but simple step in preparation. Don’t underestimate the impact having a spotless property will have on prospective tenants.
While some landlords prefer to clean themselves, hiring a cleaning service will guarantee a thorough job, and it will free you up to focus on other matters. It’s also a good idea to hire a professional carpet cleaner if there are any in the rental property, and to have the windows cleaned as well. Cleaning the windows on the interior and exterior of a building may do wonders for the amount of natural light that can enter the home.
As we’ve already established, you don’t have to go all out while decorating, but you can make a huge difference by giving the areas that need it some love and attention. Any outside space, such as a garden, should also reflect the same high standards. You can make your property look great without hiring landscapers by simply cutting back overgrown bushes, weeding flower beds, and mowing the lawn.
Furnished or unfurnished?
Both providing a fully furnished and an unfurnished rental option have their benefits and drawbacks, so this is a significant question to address. Renting a fully furnished apartment may be a good option for certain people, such as those who are leaving home and renting for the first time. Naturally, this isn’t the case for everyone looking to rent. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of long-term tenants, and many of them will have their own furniture, which they will want to take with them from one rental to another. Therefore, they’d be more suited to an unfurnished space.
In between these two extremes, part-furnished offers another possibility. This more adaptable method of advertising your rental home increases the pool of possible renters, but it is highly location specific. Look at what’s available in the neighbourhood and this should give you a good indication of what’s in high demand. Don’t forget to consult your letting agency for guidance.
Preserve and protect everything you have
Protecting what you have is important, regardless of whether the rental home is fully furnished or not. For example, if you have delicate surfaces like wooden floors, they can easily be damaged, as can laminate flooring. These can be expensive to put right, so it is, therefore, important to make sure you use the right materials and take precautionary measures so that your property is returned in the same condition that you let it out.
One approach to safeguarding your investment property is to stipulate strict rules in your lease that govern the rental agreement. For example, you can require that shoes be removed at the door and require the usage of furniture protectors to maintain your floors in pristine condition. Providing the renter with white-goods usage instructions is another easy way to reduce the likelihood of harm being done during their stay.
However, taking an accurate and complete inventory of your property is the most crucial thing you can do. For many property owners, especially those who rent out their units without furnishings, this may seem like an unnecessary cost. This is simply not the case, and it would be unwise not to take accurate stock, even with photos. Walls, doors, floors, ceilings, and everything else on your property can be protected with the use of a thorough inventory.
Keep in mind the safety regulations
You must follow all applicable laws and regulations before renting out your home. You, as a landlord, must :
- The renter should be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
- The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations require regular upkeep of all electrical products to ensure they are in compliance.
- Get a Gas Safety Certificate by scheduling an annual gas safety inspection.
- Get smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they work by testing them regularly.
- Check that all of your home’s furnishings are up to regulations.
Using a respected rental agent will provide you with access to expert guidance on all of the aforementioned issues and more. Since falling short of the regulatory labyrinth can have severe consequences, including jail time, having an experienced agent on your side can help in these situations. If you decide to be a self-managed landlord, and thousands make a great success of it, then make sure you are up to speed on what your responsibilities are and keep updated on any regulatory changes.
Rental income protection and insurance
Accidents may and do occur, it’s just part and parcel of life, even if you have the most attentive tenants in place. Buildings and contents insurance are often required by mortgage lenders, so you’ve likely already got them, but it’s a good idea to evaluate your policies before renting out your property, especially if you’ve had them for a long time.
Given the economic uncertainty these days, if your tenant ever gets into financial difficulty, you may rest easy knowing that you have financial security in the form of a rent guarantee insurance. Tenants’ financial situations might change at any time, leaving landlords with tenants who are unable to pay their rent. While not everyone needs or wants this type of coverage, having it in place might be comforting if rent is a significant portion of your monthly income.
Find a reliable property manager
If you decide not to hire the services of a good letting agency and instead mage the properties on your own, then this section isn’t really for you. However, if you do decide to, you’ll want to keep in mind the following details:
- The agent’s accreditation by relevant professional organisations
- The extent of their insurance coverage
- Exactly what services do they provide?
- If they are willing to take care of the legal details for you
- In what ways do they plan to promote your home?
- When and how they conduct inspections
- How they calculate their fees and charges
- What they do about maintenance and repairs
- Look at their ratings to discover what other landlords and renters think of them.
Having a reliable leasing agency on board from the get-go may alleviate a tonne of stress down the road. However, this isn’t always necessary as it depends on the individual. Some landlords have a great knack for things like DIY and manage to maintain a great business approach to their leasing. Are you great at communicating with people, have a good head for numbers, and love to roll up your sleeves to fix things? If so, why not give self-management a go?
That’s it! Now you know exactly how to prepare a house for rental! If you take the above suggestions to heart, you’ll not only improve the appearance of your property, but also yourself. In the competitive rental market of today, a professional attitude can go a long way toward getting a tenant or keeping a property from being empty for a long time.