If you're renting out a house for the first time, you might be wondering where to start. Perhaps you have bought a building specifically for the purpose, or you're moving out of a property you own so tenants can move in. Either way, there can be a lot of work involved in renting to other people. It's your responsibility as the landlord to make sure the home is fit to live in, and that your tenants are happy with the conditions. If you don't make it look at least habitable before you put it on the market, you could struggle to get people to take it. Follow this guide to prepare your property for rental before you go searching for your tenants.
Carry Out an Inspection
The first thing you should do is inspect the building to make sure it's safe to live in. You should look at the structure of the building, but also think about the security or doors and windows, and the safety of electrical systems. You can walk around and take notes on your own, but it's also a good idea to high a professional. Services such as BSP building reports and inspections will get you a more thorough description of any parts of the house that require improvement. There may be major problems that you won't be able to flag up just by taking a cursory look at the property.
Replace Outdated Bathrooms and Kitchens
Tenants will be especially picky in a down market, when there are plenty of properties to choose from. One of the things that will put people off is a kitchen or bathroom that hasn't been updated in decades. Some fixtures are timeless, but others are very obviously from the 70s or 80s and don't go down well with prospective tenants. Think about replacing ugly green bathroom suites and updating tired kitchens. In the kitchen, you may not need to rip everything out and start again. Sometimes just some new cupboard doors will refresh everything.
Ensure Appliances Are in Working Order
It's important that everything is functioning too. If you provide white goods, including a washing machine, fridge or dishwasher, you need to ensure that they're in working order. It's no use providing your tenants with these conveniences if they don't work. As well as making sure they operate correctly, you should check their safety too. If you're renting out the property part- or fully-furnished, you should think about the quality of the furniture you're providing too. Will it last another few years or should you replace it?
Replace Carpets and Walls with Neutral Colors
Often when you buy a house or have been living in it for a while, there's plenty of evidence of the previous occupants in the decor. It's best to rent out a home with neutral colors, so it serves as a blank canvas. You can ask that tenants either don't paint the walls or return them to their original color before moving out.
Finally, don't forget to clean the whole property from top to bottom. The first that tenants do when they move in shouldn't have to be getting out a mop and bucket. Once it's clean, you're ready to list your property wherever you want.