There are plenty of things you need to think about before you list a property on the rental market, but one of the top priorities is making sure your property looks presentable. Not only will this make it more appealing to potential tenants, but it will also make their tenancy more enjoyable and hopefully lead to them staying for longer (and get you better rent)! Our managing director Joe Gervin is also a landlord and he gave us some tips on how landlords can get their houses ready to rent.
Landlords should start preparing their property well in advance if they plan on doing any major works before the tenancy begins. Most prospective tenants will look for properties ahead of their move-in date so your property should look like a cosy haven and not a building site. Starting around eight weeks before you intend on listing the property should give you enough time to get your ducks in a row.
First impressions count for a lot, so you need to make your property look appealing – even if that just means giving the walls a fresh lick of paint and updating the sofas in the living room. When a house looks like it has been designed and maintained with care over the years, prospective tenants will be more likely to put down an offer and enjoy their tenancy and stay for longer. If your rental is fully furnished, consider investing in some brand-new contemporary furniture that is built to last. And if there is a garden, trim the grass and plant some fresh flowers.
If you are giving your property a makeover, you first need to think about the kind of tenants you’re looking to attract. If you’re trying to appeal to a wider audience you should opt for neutral colours and simple furnishings with a lot of room for personalisation. Anything too outlandish could scare some people off! Remember that any given rental property will be occupied by several different people with unique requirements. Therefore, more general designs will give the house greater long-term appeal over the years. But while ‘blank canvas’ properties are more profitable in the long run, the interior design of your property should still take into account whether your tenants are students, professionals, or families.
Making sure that a property is safe and functional should be a top priority for any landlord. Indeed, renovations and repairs are simply part and parcel of the job and should be carried out promptly and regularly. When getting a house ready to rent, it is your responsibility to render it free of risk by carrying out the necessary repairs. Replace broken furniture, repair damaged fittings/fixtures and test all white goods are working well! You can also limit the need for repairs in future at the preparation stage by choosing designs that are easily replaced should they become damaged by your tenants – e.g. carpet tiles can be replaced more efficiently than hardwood floors, and dark colours are better at hiding stains and scratches. The most important thing is that your property meets all the necessary legal requirements of safety so that its tenants live free of household dangers.
In addition to repairing compromised items throughout the property, landlords should ensure that all utilities and appliances are operating in line with safety requirements. This will involve getting gas appliances (i.e. boilers, ovens, radiators) tested by registered engineers, checking that all lights and electrical outlets are working safely, and installing the necessary safety devices such as smoke alarms. Landlords are also required by law to produce an Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate before renting out their properties. In conjunction, these measures ensure that a given property is both efficient and safe. We can arrange all these things for you.
On a practical note, you could consider leaving your tenants the necessary instruction manuals for all cooking appliances, white goods, alarm systems, boilers and thermostats. These will come in handy when your tenant is getting to grips with the property and save you some valuable time explaining how things work every-time they get stuck.
Nobody wants to move into a property with black mould in the bathroom or dirty carpets in the living room. It’s your responsibility as a landlord to make sure that your property looks clean, hygienic and fresh by the time your tenants come to view (and eventually live in) the house. You have two options when it comes to cleaning a rental property: you can either pay for a professional service to give the property a thorough clean or put on some rubber gloves and do it yourself! We can support you if you opt for the professional route!
In a competitive rental market, it is always wise having a well-presented clean tidy and neutral rental property ready to go to get the best level of rent and best quality of tenant.
If you’re looking to let your property please get in touch and one of our lettings team will be able to help you.