Published on November 2nd, 2017 | by Martin Clancy
Preparing your property for rent: A useful guide for landlords
If you are thinking of renting your property you should consider following a set of specific steps in order to have the best rental experience possible. This includes steps such as cleaning the property and staging it – steps which are, traditionally, the responsibility of the owner. While some landlords may decide to carry out these steps themselves, others prefer to use the services of a property management agency in order to handle this work. Preparing property for rent is an important part in attracting a tenant, and also in ensuring that it is suitable to be lived in.
Property preparations are important whether the property is to be rented or lived in by the owner. Things such as repairs and maintenance, cleaning the property, staging it (with furniture and appliances), as well as ensuring that everything is in working order, all play a crucial role in property preparation. If the owner fails to complete these tasks before the tenant moves in, complaints will likely be made. By preparing the property in advance, the landlord is ultimately making the rental process much easier by avoiding complaints.
Guest post by Eldron Property Consultants.
What Steps are Involved in Preparing Property for Rent?
Preparing a property for yourself to live in is often a very personal process. The colour of the walls, the style of the furniture, and the overall design of the whole place will quite likely be all to your own style and choosing. It can be difficult to separate yourself from your property and imagine what style of house a tenant would want to live in. This separation, however, is necessary if you want a tenant to be attracted to your property and not to feel as though they are trespassing in someone else’s home. This is where a professional property consultant can be of great value. Not only will this consultant be able to guide you through readying the property for someone else to live in, they will also be able to recommend other professionals to help you with your property’s preparation. These professionals may include interior designers, plumbers, engineers, and landscape gardeners, amongst others.
Assigning a property agent to prepare a property can be an excellent idea if the owner does decide to rent and cannot find the time to prepare it. Regardless of whether it is a tenant or yourself who is living in the property, some useful tips to consider while preparing a property for occupation are:
- Inspecting the Property and Ensuring Safety
Before even placing the property on the market, the first step which should be taken is a thorough inspection of the property. It is best to carry out this step once all of the furniture has been removed. Things which you should be on the look-out for include: sagging or clogged gutters, cracks, roof leaks, leaky faucets or pipes, electrical outlets, and even burnt-out light bulbs. Other important things to ensure are the soundness of floorboards, ensuring that the smoke alarms are in excellent working condition, and that the kitchen and each floor is equipped with a fire extinguisher.
- Going through the Cleaning Phase
When going through the cleaning phase while preparing a property for rent, it is important to place yourself in the tenant’s shoes. By doing this you will recognise the importance of cleaning the property from top to bottom. Nobody wants to move into a place which is dirty, or which the owner themselves would not want to live in.
Areas which should be focused on are: floors, windows, blinds, and bathrooms. It is also essential to shampoo the carpets if they are stained in any way, and to consider touching up any paint in order to make the property appear brighter and fresher.
- Consider the Furnishings and Appliances
Preparing a property for rent requires time and attention to detail. If an owner feels that he/she cannot commit to preparing a property it could be a good idea to hire a management company that will be responsible for this kind of work. This way, the work will all be done by a professional who knows the necessary steps in renovating, cleaning, and managing a rental property.
When cleaning a property you should always consider the conditions of old furnishings and appliances: do they need to be changed and replaced? Though replacing old appliances may seem, to some, like an unnecessary expense, it is important to remember that replacing an appliance may well be cheaper than repairing it in the future.
You must also take the sentimental value of objects into consideration. If something holds special meaning to you it is advisable to remove it from the property before the tenant moves in, in case it gets damaged.
- Notifying Mortgage and Insurance Companies
It is important to notify your mortgage and insurance companies if you decide to rent out your property. This is important because your policy requirements may change once you become a landlord. The insurance company should be informed because you will need to change the homeowner’s insurance policy to landlord property insurance policy. This will be essential when it comes to any losses occurring due to the negligence of the tenant, fire or water damage, or even any natural disasters.
- Considering the Market Value and Sourcing Potential Tenants
Once you have gone through the cleaning process and the renovation of the property, you will need to consider the market value. To ensure an accurate market value you should conduct some comparisons of similar properties in the same area.
The value of the property will, ultimately, affect the amount of rent you can expect to receive – this is why the preceding steps in the property preparation are so important. Part of preparing property for rent is selling the property to tenants in an attractive way, and showcasing how your property is the best option.
In addition to the market value, it is important to source potential tenants and select the most responsible and trustworthy of them. When sourcing tenants, subjects which should be covered include the name of their employer and their rental history.
More about Preparing Property for Rent
Staging a property, cleaning it, and making sure that everything in it is in safe working order are all different aspects of preparing a property for rent – and making it the ideal property for a tenant to live in.
Sometimes, in order to make the whole process of preparing a property for rent an easier one, owners may choose to hire a property agent to oversee the various phases necessary before a tenant moves in.
Some property companies offer services which include project management and letting preparations. Sourcing and collecting the furniture, working with experienced property service companies, and negotiating with furnishing companies are things that these professionals can take care of. You can learn more about these services here.