Property

An Essential Guide to Preparing Your Property to Be Let Out

For any new landlord who has just purchased their first buy-to-let, getting it tenant ready can seem a bit of a minefield. Here, we will take you through the main things to be aware of when preparing your property to be listed to the rental market.

Know whether you wish to use a letting agent or self-manage

You may have already made up your mind on which route you’d like to take, but it is still worth weighing up the pros and cons of each.

Using a letting agent will spare you much of the hassle that comes with renting a property. They can handle all the paperwork, tenant enquiries and organise any repairs. It will also enable you to rent a property from a distance. As a result, a letting agent will charge you a fee for their services.

Managing the property yourself is therefore a more cost-effective way of renting out your home. However, you’ll need to be prepared for the extra workload that this will entail as you’ll be the person responsible for all the upkeep.

Ensure neutral décor

If your buy-to-let property is previously one that you lived in, make sure all personal belongings are removed, unless you wish to leave certain ornaments to add a more homely feel.

You should also aim for furnishings, decor and the colour of walls to be neutral. A light, off-white colour is a good option; you should avoid bold, bright colours or patterned wallpaper as this will likely put more people off. Neutrality allows people to picture their own belongings and decorations in a room, and it will also help you spot any signs of wear and tear when doing the inventory in between tenancies.

Deep clean

It may seem obvious to clean the property before tenants move in, but this is still something that a lot of landlords neglect. Having a deep clean before you put your listing out will give the best possible first impression to potential renters.

You can even pay for a professional cleaner to clean your property to save you the time of doing it yourself.

Update appliances if possible

If you have the funds to do so, ensuring the kitchen is equipped with new appliances can be a big benefit. It will mean you are less likely to have to fork out money for costly repairs if they become faulty and will make your property seem more modern and appealing to renters.

If appliances are already dated, you will have to replace them out of necessity sooner or later, so it’s best to replace them as soon as possible so you don’t waste money repairing old appliances.

Prepare a short guide for your tenants

Having a handy guide for your tenants will help ensure that they can move in with little difficulty. You could include parts on how to operate kitchen appliances, the shower, the boiler/heating system and where to deposit rubbish and recycling.

This will help minimise initial questions from your tenants which are always bound to occur at the start of a tenancy and reassure them that you are a productive and conscientious landlord.

Energy Performance Certificate

An energy performance certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement in order to let out your property. This is a certificate that indicates how energy efficient your property is. A property is graded from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G the least. Grade E is the minimum requirement for rental properties. If your property does not meet grade E or above, you will need to undertake work in order to make your property more energy efficient before being able to let it out.

An EPC is valid for 10 years. Your property may already have one, but if it does not, you will need to arrange for an assessor to come out and conduct an EPC survey. You can check to see if your property’s EPC is valid by following the link to the government website and entering your postcode: https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate 

Ensure all safety standards are met

You must make sure all gas appliances are functioning in good working order and should organise an annual service by an approved tradesman. Your tenant should be given a copy of the gas safety certificate.

Electrical appliances should also be maintained and checked by a professional to ensure they are safe to use.

If you are providing a furnished listing, your furnishings need to meet the necessary fire safety regulations and fire safety regulation labels present.

Organise landlord home insurance

Regular home insurance will not cover you for any claims while your property is tenanted. You will therefore need to apply for special landlord home insurance once you have all the necessary safety certificates.

This article was written by an online estate agent House Sales Direct. If you wish to sell your house fast and for free, then head over to the House Sales Direct website for more property related information and enquiries.

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