Preparing your property for tenants
In case you didn’t hear, CrowdLord’s first property has reached its funding target, before the deadline!
The property which is located in Teesside will now undergo preparations to be put on the market for prospective tenants. If you already rent out, or you are thinking of becoming a landlord you’ll understand that a lot of work needs to be put back into the property for it to reach a high standard, as well to maintain a happy tenant.
Below we have a few tips and tricks to help you prepare your property for future tenants.
- Complete any property structural repairs:
A vacant property is the best time to do any major repairs to your property. The best way to know where to start is by asking previous tenants what could have been improved. Prioritise your repairs by focusing on important things first, like treating damp areas, cracked tiles, leaky roofs, etc. If your property is in tip top shape, you might want to touch up things like re-painting the exterior, fixing squeaky doors and broken windows.
- De-personalising any decoration:
A common occurrence, especially in long-term rentals is that tenants often decorate their home according to their preferences. We’ve seen properties that still have the original wallpaper from a child’s nursery, although the house was being advertised for university students. The best approach for this would be to paint or wallpaper the interior with neutral, plain and light colours. They tend to last longer and perfect for all tenant types.
- Thoroughly clean the property:
Before the arrival of your new tenant, make an effort to hire (or purchase) a steam cleaner to clean floors, furnishing, curtains and windows. The bathroom and kitchen should be spotless – ensuring there is not a single trace of mould, damp or stains anywhere in the property. The alternative is to hire a professional cleaning service, which can be costly, but something you can tick off your to-do list. And it’s amazing how much better tenants treat a property that looks in good condition.
- Check the plumbing:
Broken plumbing has got to be the worst. No hot water when you need it, broken radiators, blocked pipes and leaky faucets are a few things tenants do not want to have to deal with. Hire a well-known and trusted plumber to make an evaluation of your property and make repairs that will last at least another year or two.
- Kitchen appliances:
If you have it in your budget to replace kitchen/big appliances, then please do so. The worst thing is seeing a beautiful property being brought down by appliances from the 80’s or 90’s (brown/beige coloured, rusty, dials with no markings…you know what I mean). New appliances also mean less chance of incurring crazy repair bills, and could also increase the value of your property. Check out your local appliance store to see if they have deals for landlords but don’t forget to make sure they have had the necessary safety checks. Make sure you opt-in for the warranty, even the extended warranty, as we’ve seen them actually come in handy!
- Maintain the garden
If your property has a garden, front, back or both, make sure that it is neat, tidy and rubbish-free. The lawn should be cut prior to your tenant arriving, and any hedges should be trimmed and leaves, raked. If the tenant is expected to look after the garden, provide the tools and equipment for them. Alternatively you could hire a local gardener to come, depending on your gardening needs. Having a garden is near the top of many tenant’s wish list, so if you have one make the most of it, you might find you attract more and better tenants.
- Prepare important information for the tenant:
Any instruction pamphlets for your appliances, boiler, security alarm, council information and list of important contacts should be kept in a folder somewhere in the property for the tenant in case they require it. This way if there is anything that needs to be done, the tenant would be able to help themselves. We’ve heard of tenants getting the landlord round to turn the heating up!
- Spare Keys:
It’s not uncommon for tenants to misplace or lose keys. Get several copies of the keys cut, one for yourself, your managing agent if you have one (who should give it to the tenant) and one for the neighbour (if you trust them!). Any doors or windows inside the property that require keys should be left inside the property, ideally labelled (we’ve had some landlords put every key they have on one fob, making it a pain for those looking for a particular key!). If you are worried about tenants losing the keys, you could look into Lost Key Cover with your home insurance policy, which may lessen the blow of making crazy amounts for a locksmith to change locks. Best prevention? Get copies made and give them to the managing agent.
- Energy performance certificate:
It is now compulsory to have an energy performance certificate for your property and to give to the tenant. They are valid for 10 years, and have a scale of A to G, with A being homes that are most energy efficient, and therefore have lower bills. To get one of these certificates, contact an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) to survey your property.
- Gas Safety Certificate:
If your property uses gas, make sure all appliances using gas are well maintained, and serviced or checked at least once a year by an approved tradesman. The tenant should also have a copy of this certificate.
- Electrical Safety:
All electrical appliances in the property should be safe to use. You wouldn’t want to own the property famous for having a “shock-wire” in the shower.
- Landlord insurance:
You may want to look into getting landlord insurance if you haven’t already done so. Standard home insurance does not apply for houses that have been let out, and in case of severe weather changes, fire damage, etc, having landlord insurance might pay off. It’s one of those “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”.
- Keep an eye on the market:
If you think your property is doing well financially, you may want to look into expanding your portfolio in the same area. Alternatively, if you’re done being a landlord (we get it!) but still want to reap the rewards of being one, you could be an investor. Get in touch with CrowdLords for hassle and active free Buy-to-let investments.
Have a great weekend!
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