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Published On: Thu, Aug 11th, 2022

6 Steps to Take to Prepare Your Property for Rental

Renting out your home doesn’t have to be the scary prospect you might think it is. Let’s have a quick look at some steps you should take before you advertise your property for rental.

Clean It Thoroughly

The very first thing you should do when you’re preparing your property for rental is give it a very deep clean from top to bottom. This includes things like carpets and floors, furnishings, and even curtains. Wash and clean every aspect of the home. Spend extra time on areas like the kitchen and bathroom and ensure there isn’t a trace of any mould or stains and that all the walls are clear of marks and discolorations. The cleaner your home, the better standard you’re conveying to those who will be renting it, as they’re expected to keep it in the same state as it is when they take occupation. 

photo/ pixabay

Hard Wearing Fixtures

The next thing you might want to do is consider the fixtures and fittings in the home and how robust they are. Your delicate taps might look incredible, but do you want to be called to pay for replacements when the constant wear and use by tenants inevitably wear them out? Replace these fittings and fixtures with hard-wearing ones. Also, consider the flooring and swapping out carpets with tiling so that you don’t need to replace the carpeting occasionally as time goes by – tiles will last for a long, long time compared to carpets. Even better, if you’re buying a property to rent, then look that it already checks the boxes that Hopewell recommends in their list, which might mean renovating a rental property to get the most value.

General Maintenance 

You’ll need to fix everything that’s broken or worn on the property too. This will likely mean the rather costly process of repainting walls and woodwork, so you’ll want to set aside a budget for this. Inspect and check all the locks, window frames, hinges, fasteners, and fix or replace anything that is worn or broken anywhere around the house. Spend the time checking the appliances that you’re leaving in the home to ensure they are all in working order, like the oven, heating appliances, and hot water system. Boilers must be serviced and electrical systems checked too.

Defining the Responsibilities

The most important part of renting your property is a concrete definition of who is responsible for what – between your letting agent if you’re using one, yourself, and your tenants. If you’re directly renting the property out yourself, then you’ll want to make sure the rental agreement you use is legal and binding. There are generic agreements available online for a small fee that you can use. Within this rental agreement, make sure that specific things are covered, particularly the responsibilities. This might include the upkeep and maintenance of things like the garden and who will be responsible for them, or if the tenant will be billed for a professional service – and how often. Every responsibility should be covered in detail.

Insurance and Mortgage 

If your home is financed, you’ll need to ensure that you inform both your mortgage and insurance companies to let them know that you won’t be occupying the home but instead it will be rented.

Because of the value of the investment the mortgage company or bank makes, you might have to comply to certain requirements before you can rent out the property.

When it comes to insurance, you’ll want to change from a standard insurance policy to one specifically for landlords so that it will cover your home should your tenants be negligent and cause damage, and against fire, flood, and natural disasters.

Choosing a Tenant

You don’t want to have just anyone living in your home. Choosing a tenant can be daunting but there are specific things you can do to make sure you get the right calibre of people. At the very least, you’ll want to vet potential tenants by looking at their rental history, perform a credit and criminal record check, and don’t be shy to contact their references to see how they have behaved as tenants in the past. You have to do your due diligence when selecting a tenant because you’re entrusting them with your most expensive asset.  

Your home is an investment and renting it means you’re exposing your investment to a certain amount of risk. Understanding this and ensuring you have the right insurance, rental agreement, and tenants in place will go a long way to leaving you with peace of mind.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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