Owning more than one property is very exciting and deciding exactly how to use it is both nerve-wracking and exciting. For most who own more than one property, the rentals market is where you can conveniently make a tidy profit in a short space of time. This means that not only can you recoup any money that was put into the property in the first place to make it look and feel nice, but you can start saving for yet another mortgage to get yourself another property and continue increasing your portfolio.
Whilst it is exciting to have a rental property, it is important that you prepare the property and adhere to all laws and regulations as well as health and safety and other considerations. Falling foul to any of these could land you with hefty fines to pay or in the worst cases; a court appearance. There are a number of things you can do to properly and comprehensively prepare for the rental of your property, giving you the best chance of success.
Property Build and Décor
A simple one but one that should not be avoided and whilst it may be easy to do the absolute minimum that you have to for the property, a more attractive and better maintained property is a more appealing prospect for renters. Instead of simply adding a lick of paint to damaged walls, re-plaster them, ensure there are no cracks and there is no damage from things like water. And, if winter is approaching, make sure the property is properly prepared for the incoming weather (read more). For example, consider installing double glazing for the property to keep the cold out and reduce the likelihood of rising damp and condensation.
Also, by plastering the walls properly, you will ensure that in between tenants, rather than having to re-paper or totally redo the walls, you will be able to touch up the paintwork. Plastered walls are hard wearing and last quite a while before needing re-plastering.
Also, decorating the property so that it gives a warm feel, rather than a generic or even ‘clinical’ one cannot be overstated. Instead of just painting everything white, consider other colours like off whites and pale colours. This will instantly make even the smallest of rooms appear a lot more welcoming.
Wear and Tear
It is inevitable that having people living in your rental property will incur a little bit of wear and tear. For example, if you have carpeted floors, don’t be surprised or angry if some of it gets a bit worn out. This is more likely in the parts of rooms where people walk, sit and move on such as the middle and areas near things like couches and the TV.
By fitting your property with harder wearing flooring like parquet, you will in the long run save yourself money as you will not need to pay for professional carpet cleaning services and you will not have to deal with the wear and tear of carpeted or some cheap lino flooring options.
Secure your Fixings
Wall fixings in particular will very likely be made full use of by any tenants as they seek to make the property more homely by adding things like mirrors, decorations, pictures and more to adorn the walls. Make sure you use sturdy fixings and that all fixings you provide are properly installed. This includes additions like coat hangers and light fittings (just in case).
As well as the practical considerations for tenants and rental properties there are a number of other considerations; legal and required that you should be absolutely certain are in place before, during and after any tenants’ living in your rental property:
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – Make sure you have a valid EPC. This is a certificate that sets out the energy efficiency of the property. All properties, including those for rental need an EPC so that they meet the minimum standard.
Sound Insulation Testing – This applies when a property is converted from one housing unit into numerous. For sound testing, you will need to bring in specialists (who often also carry out air tightness testing services) to check the sound insulation status of the property between walls and ceilings and floors. This will make sure that subsequent tenants don’t suffer from too much noise from their neighbours.
Insurance and Contracts – It is crucial that you ensure you have the correct type of insurance. This may include landlord insurance and/ or rental insurance. This will protect you should anything untoward happen furthermore, you should work with the agent who is letting your property (or a solicitor if you aren’t using an agent) to draft contracts to bind any tenants, agent and yourself to legal terms, ensuring all parties are protected.