How to prepare your house or flat for a rent
Whether you want to rent out your home or an investment property your job is to make sure it is ready for tenants before you start advertising it. There are several steps to take before going on the market.
First comes the legal part, which includes having an energy performance certificate and a gas safety certificate. The first one shows how efficient your property is regarding saving energy. It gives your place a grade which is available to tenants. The certificates are valid for 10 years, but can also be updated in case you do any improvement in terms of energy saving. The gas safety certificate ensures that your appliances using gas are in full working order - this includes the boiler. The check-up has to be done every 12 months to secure the safety of your property.
The most important part of closing a deal with potential tenants is of course the way your property looks. It doesn't matter whether you are renting out a big or a small house, a flat or just a room - aesthetics is a major point of interest. You usually need to be prepared that your place will stay empty for weeks, or even months before someone rents it out for the first time. This gives you more than enough time to prepare it for viewings. Try seeing the place from the eyes of a potential renter - how would you like the place to look like when you enter, how would you like it to smell? Are you pleased with the overall look and atmosphere? If you notice any unpleasant marks, spills, scratches, holes in the walls and dust, then you can be sure that the tenant will notice this too. Inspecting a place is what renters do and the first impression does matter a lot. Make a plan of what can be done to improve the place? Replace broken or damaged appliances, clean the ones that work, move the furniture and clean any stains on the floors; any surface will look better cleaned and polished; clean the oven thoroughly and wash the windows. Make sure the carpets are vacuumed and washed, and that the curtains are cleaned too. Change the light bulbs if necessary. It isn't that expensive to make a place look better and you will certainly benefit from that. If you are renting the whole place get rid of any junk in basements or attics. The outside needs to look as clean and tidy as the inside - cut the grass if there is a yard, do some weeding. A nice thing to do is always add something more which you don't state in the advertisement. At viewings people expect to see the same as on the photos, not worse. Surprise them by offering them something better - add a few pictures on the walls, place plants here and there, have a bottle of wine in the fridge. Be nice and generous - this makes a great impression. Just because you are the landlord and will be collecting rent for the place doesn't mean that you can't treat the potential tenants hospitably. Always think of ways to add something more and you can be sure that they will remember the place. The last thing to consider is that once you have tenants and you are collecting rent this is considered income and you have to declare and pay taxes for it. There are deductions which can be made, based on whether you use the service of a letting agent, building insurance and amount you pay for additional services.
Following these tips will secure you an easy rental process.