Renting out a property is a fantastic way to generate a second income. If this is your first time letting out your home, below are some key things to remember when getting ready for new tenants.
Spruce the place up
Naturally, you want your tenants to take good care of your house and they’re far more likely to do this if the place is in good condition. You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds doing this however, a few simple yet effective changes could be all that is needed.
A fresh lick of paint, filling in any cracks, fixing anything that’s broken and adding some nice finishing touches can completely transform your home.
Get it professionally cleaned
Most landlords require their tenants to have the property professionally cleaned when their lease is up. Because of this, it’s only fair that your new occupants should expect this level of cleanliness when they first move in.
Having your house professionally cleaned beforehand also helps to avoid any potential disputes when the occupants move out. Say there’s a big stain on the carpet for example, if you had all your carpets cleaned before the tenants moved in, you know this will have happened while they were staying there and which they then would find difficult to dispute.
Make sure you’re complying with regulations
There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to renting out your house and it’s important to be up to date with them otherwise you could be breaking the law. Statutory legal requirements you should be aware of include:
- Gas safety – your gas supply and gas appliances need to be inspected annually and this must be carried out by a Registered Gas Engineer. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution and/or imprisonment with fines of up to £25,000.
- Electrical safety – an electrical safety check must be carried out prior to new tenants moving in and it must be carried out by a competent person (Part P qualified in kitchens and bathrooms). Failure to do this is a criminal offence and can lead to a £5,000 fine and/or six months in prison.
- Energy performance certificates – any property for sale or to let in the UK must now have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate and this must be made available to any prospective tenants.
- Tenancy deposit schemes – The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is backed by the government and requires all landlords to put their tenants’ deposit into a Free Custodial Administered Account or an Insurance Scheme.
- Landlords insurance – mortgage companies usually insist that landlords have insurance before they even purchase a buy to let property. There’s good reason for this too. It will protect you from anything including fire and water damage to accidental damage caused by the tenant.
Enlist the help of an estate agent
Many people are put off the idea of becoming a landlord because of the amount of work involved. When you have your own home to run as was as a full-time job and children to look after, this is perfectly understandable.
If you are keen to rent out a property but are worried about the time constraints, you can enlist the help of an estate agent to manage this for you. They will take care of everything from advertising your property and doing viewings to carrying out credit checks, preparing the tenancy agreement and even managing any issues that may occur during the rental period.