My Tips Getting Your Property Ready to Rent
Having recently been listening to a friend ranting on how she is having so much difficulty trying to rent out an inherited property left to her by a very wealthy spinster of an Aunt, I suddenly realised people not in the industry really could struggle even with the obvious fundamentals of getting a property ready if they decided to go it alone and manage it. So whilst sitting in Arabella’s garden , chilling out with a bottle or two of Sancerre I decided I would jot down , what I believe to be some top tips ……………….
1. Curb Appeal
“First Impression,”people usually form their first impression within 20 seconds of arriving at a property. If the outside is a little shabby and unkept then in some cases this could be a reflection of the inside. The front of a property is a good place to spend a little extra time and money. Plant flowers, trim bushes, weed, pick up leaves, repaint your front door, replace tarnished house numbers or a dented mailbox, get a brand-new neutral doormat, and please park your old caravan out of sight!
When taking external photographs try and wait for a sunny day with a bright blue sky, it really does make a difference . Do ensure before photographing you remove all kids toys off the front lawn, trim back bushes and remove the car from the drive. If the property is looking a little ‘tired’ and you do not have time to smarten it up before the photos, then try taking longer shots through branches, really has a nice effect. Internal photographs, again ensure the property is looking its best, clear the rooms leaving minimal amount of furniture, remove all bits and bobs off of tables and counter tops.
3. Rental Price
Be realistic about price expectation, it is better to have a lower rent continuously than setting your rent too high as this can cost you in the end with a longer void period between Tenants. Do your home work …… Look online at property websites such as www.rightmove.com and www.findaproperty.com these will give you an indication of what rental price your property can achieve and also gives you comparison information.
You want all prospective Tenants to see a neat, clean, well lit interior. Get clutter out of sight, ensure the carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed. Take a sniff, are there any unpleasant smells, if so, track them down and eliminate them. Make sure all your lights work, replace light bulbs if need be, and blow away those cobwebs!! You want the property to look spacious, bright and fresh to entice those would be Tenants. It is a good idea to pay to have a professional clean, then when your tenants vacate the property they to will have to have this done ….. remember not everyone has the same idea of cleanliness, so best to use a 3rd party.
Make repairs – tighten screws, patch holes, remove stains, fix leaks and touch up paint work where necessary. It is also worth paying a professional person to service the boiler, check the central heating system and check all the electrics, last thing you want is a Tenant to have a mishap and you be sued for negligence. If you are leaving white goods in your property, see if you can get extended warranty cover, better to do this than be hit for a brand new washing machine or fridge freezer – think of all those shoes and bags you may miss out on!!!
5. Professional Inventory
This is probably one of the most important and worthwhile things you should do when renting your property. The inventory is a listing of all the contents of a property and a record of the condition of the property. The form is designed to help monitor the condition of the property/items before a tenant moves in and just before a tenant leaves, so it can be made clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for. Even if a property is deemed as unfurnished, there will still be items that can be damaged and costly to replace eg sinks, carpets, condition of walls etc. Consequently, it is still crucial to have a detailed invenotry. An inventory can prevent a lot of disputes between tenants and landlords, so it is extremely useful.
If however you do decide to use a lettings agency then it is important to ensure you are dealing with a reputable and competent organisation. The key to success is finding a letting agent who will market your property professionally, source you reliable tenants and achieve a good rent. I can highly recommend an ARLA qualified and award winning agency….
…...SEWELL & GARDNER!