Preparing your Rental Property 1st Mar 2017

It is essential that you prepare your property for letting in order to attract the best tenants and achieve the best rent. If the rental property down the road looks a lot better than yours, then rest assured you will lose out. Tenants are looking for a home, and as such want a good well-presented property in a good location. Here are our top tips for preparing a property for rent.

Thoroughly inspect the property

• Prepare to invest time and money in your property. Thoroughly inspect the property, including all nooks and crannies, for any areas needing attention prior to letting. A poor quality property will fall to less desirable tenants, as most people will just pass it by. Throughout the tenancy the property has to be well maintained – invest in improvements in order to maintain the value of your property.

Is the property well presented?
• Take a good look around the interior and exterior. First impressions make all the difference.

• As far as the exterior is concerned, tidy up the garden and paint the front door and windows if needs be. Hide bins and recycling boxes if possible. Check roofs and gutters.

• Internally the property should be in good repair throughout – check for cracks in walls or windows, broken tiles, evidence of condensation or damp etc. Fix all minor repairs such as leaky taps and replace bath seals. Redecorate if possible in neutral colours. Ensure carpets or other flooring is in good condition. Blinds or curtains should be provided, and try and match them to the décor. If the property is furnished, ensure it meets all safety standards. De-clutter in order to accentuate light and space as much as possible. Are all appliances in good working order?

Deep clean the property
• If you want the property handed back to you in good condition then it must be spotless (and odour free) at the outset. Remove any items that are not being included in the inventory.

Safety regulations
• Is the property compliant with all safety regulations? There are severe penalties for non- compliance.

Do you have an inventory?
• An inventory, which costs landlords a relatively small amount of money, ensures that any damage done during the tenancy can be clearly identified, and as such offers a level of protection to both parties. In practice, inventories are essential in order to provide evidence regarding the condition of the property and its contents at the start of a tenancy. Without an inventory, it is very unlikely a landlord would be awarded money from the deposit scheme to cover damage, cleaning costs etc. An inventory is a ‘detailed list of all things in a place`. It is a piece of documentation itemising property fixtures, fittings and furnishings, and making comment about their condition. This refers to external items as well as internal.

Managing the property on an on-going basis
• Do you have the experience or the time to manage the property yourself? You have to be available all day, every day, answering queries from your tenants, organising trades to do repairs, advertising your property and selecting the best tenants (for a full list of what’s involved see accompanying newsletter article). If this is not for you then consider hiring a letting agent for a stress-free approach to help you succeed in creating financial success.

As your property is likely to be your greatest asset, it is vital that you protect this asset. If your property requires upgrading, or repairs are needed to any of its contents, we encourage you to invest - to keep your tenants happy and to maximize the income from your investment. As you know, we carry out regular inspections of your property and will endeavour to bring any issues we can see during our inspection, to your attention. If you have good tenants, you want to keep them, and they have every right to expect their home to be maintained to a certain standard. If your property is vacant, does it need any upgrading in order for it to let quickly and at a good price? Again, The Key Place is happy to advise. As a landlord, if you invest in your property, you will not only achieve the best rent but you will also attract quality tenants.

Contact The Key Place now for advice on preparing your property for letting, and a discussion of our management services.