There is an old saying that goes something along the line of “failing to prepare means that you’re preparing to fail”. Fortunately, landlords have plenty of time to prepare for a new tenancy, whether they’re first-timers or season pros. They’ll be no failure on our watch.
From minor repairs and touch-ups to meeting safety regulations, there are a few things landlords need to do before they can rent out their property. But don’t worry, as we've put this guide together that details everything you need to know about preparing your property for the next renter(s). So, read on and find out how to get your home rental ready.
If you had a previous renter in the property, you’ll need to make sure that everything is all up to scratch and ready for the next one. Tenancy agreements typically state that the outgoing renter should have the home professionally cleaned, but there’s bound to be some wear and tear if the tenancy lasted for a while.
For first-time landlords, your property will probably be a little further down the line than one with a previous renter. But you’ll still want to do some initial checks and assess if any work minor work needs carrying out before the next occupant moves in.
It’s off to work we go?
Once you’ve assessed the property’s condition, it’s time to fix minor issues. Again, if you’ve just bought a brand new place as a buy-to-let investment, there won't be much for you to do. If, however, the previous renters have moved out, you might need to make some minor improvements. Think cosmetic upgrades, rather than full-on redecorating.
The work shouldn’t be too strenuous – you’re probably looking at painting the skirting and maybe giving the walls a once over so that everything has a fresh lick of paint and feels nice and new.
Replace old furniture (if necessary)
Furnished homes require a bit more work as you may need to replace items that fall under the “fair wear & tear” bracket. Whether it’s a squeaky bed, a worn-out sofa or an old wardrobe, some items might be ready for an upgrade.
Fortunately, you can offset the expenses against your tax bill, as long as the replacement items cost the same as the initial furnishings. There's no need to go overboard, putting in a Fendi rug. But some fresh, neutral items will go a long way to keeping a happy renter.
Ensure you pass the test
There are several safety requirements that need tobe in place before a renter moves in. These include a gas safety check if the property uses gas, and an electrical test to check the electrics. Both of these should be performed by a qualified engineer who will then provide a certificate. The incoming renter should also have a copy.
The property also needs an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you don't have one already. You will also need to check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, and that a smoke alarm features on each level of the property. Failure to comply with these safety checks could lead to a fine or, in the worst-case scenario, a possible jail sentence. Yikes!
Ok, so the property is looking good, the new furniture is in place, and you’ve done all the necessary safety checks. All that’s left to do is thoroughly clean the place. We recommended getting a professional cleaner so that it’s looking spick-and-span before the new renter moves in.
Most tenancy contracts state that the landlord provides the professional clean before the renters move in, with the renter conducting a clean when they move out. It costs about £100 to clean have a one-bedroom apartment cleaned professional, but it's well worth it. New renters don't want to move into a grubby place. Again, you can offset your cleaning expenses against your tax.
A rental-ready home
Getting your home rental ready is essential if you want everything to run smoothly when the new renter moves in. And we’re sure that you would appreciate a hassle-free experience as a landlord.
For more juicy insights on being a landlord, why not head over to our Landlord Hub? And, if you’re actively looking for your next renter, give us a shout by filling out the form below. We'll be in touch to tell you how you can advertise your property to 700,000-plus verified renters.