How to prepare a property for rent?

A guide to preparing a property to rent

Are you thinking of letting out a property? The lettings market in Bristol is booming at the moment. So now is a great time to take the plunge.

Of course, letting a property is a big decision and with so much to consider you may find this brief rundown of the main issues a useful starting point.

To keep things simple we have prioritised them, starting with the essentials to keep you on the right side of the law, followed by things that are just common sense even if not a legal requirement and finally, actions you can take to make your property more desirable to a prospective tenant.

Preparing a property for rent: must haves

These are all self-explanatory but must be done properly.

1)  Gas safety checks

2)  Electrical equipment safety checks, including portable appliance  tests

3)  Installation of adequate smoke alarms

4) Furniture and furnishing fire safety checks

5) Will it be classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO)? If so you may need a license.

6)  If there is a mortgage on the property you must notify your mortgage provider

7) You must notify your insurance company

Preparing a property for rent: should haves

Once you have covered the above legal requirements it is time to think about those common sense steps you should take to make renting a property as easy as possible.

1)  Qualify prospective tenants and get a credit, employment and landlord reference. Your property is a valuable asset, so you want to ensure that it will be looked after and that the rent will be paid on time.

2)  Prepare a detailed inventory of the condition of the property and its contents and ask the tenants to read, agree and sign it. It will make any disputes that arise so much easier to deal with.

3)  Fit a carbon monoxide alarm. Unlike smoke alarms this is not compulsory but it could be a life saver all the same.

4)  As well as the statutory checks of the ‘must have’ section, preparing a property for rent is also a good time to make sure that everything is working: from radiators and taps to cupboards and drawers. Your tenants are paying customers, so give them the environment they deserve and make your life and theirs easier in the future.

Preparing a property for rent: good to haves

Now that you are staying on the right side of the law and taking some sensible actions, what else might you like to consider before putting that property on the market?

1)  Decide whether to offer the property furnished or unfurnished. If supplying furniture, you will find it easier to rent if you avoid stocking the property with the random proceeds of a car boot sale. It doesn’t

need to be (and probably shouldn’t be) an expensive shopping spree, but think coordinated, new and light (so it is easy to re-arrange) furniture to show the property at its best.

2)  Along the same lines, if the property is looking unloved a lick of paint and deep clean will work wonders on most houses or flats.

Now you should be pointed in the right direction. And if all the ‘must haves’ and ‘should haves’ sound like too much hassle that is what a lettings agent is for. Call Gough Quarters today on 0117 329 0039 for more information on our service and to find out about our ‘special offer’ for landlords.

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