Should you be fortunate enough to own a rental property, you must know what is required of you as a new landlord before you lease it to tenants. Here’s what you must do before finding tenants and having them sign on the dotted line:
1. Prepare the Property Early
After you’ve decided on when to screen potential tenants and hand them the keys, conduct inspections on the property before your set date. This way, if major renovations or repairs are necessary, prospective tenants won’t be looking at a rental that looks more like a construction site than a future home.
Starting major repairs or renovations may lead to embarrassing views or worse, like being “featured” on social media. Give yourself at least two months before listing to have enough time to check on the property and allow for any fixes.
2. Do all the Necessary Repairs
Ensure that your rental property is safe and functional, which should be expected of any landlord and should remain your priority. When getting the home or flat ready for leasing, it is your responsibility to make it free of risks to your tenant’s safety and health. Replace broken furniture and damaged fittings and ensure that the entire property has no other issues.
Minimise the need for future repairs by installing fixtures that are easily replaced, such as carpet tiles instead of hardwood flooring and dark-coloured furniture that hides stains or scratches.
3. Get the Utilities and Appliances Sorted
Apart from repairing defective or non-working items on the property, as a landlord, you should ensure that all utilities and appliances operate in accordance with safety standards. Have boilers, ovens, and radiators inspected by certified engineers. Check that all light fixtures and electrical outlets are safe and install the necessary safety devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
To comply with safety laws and landlord responsibilities set by the government, a PAT test is necessary along with obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate. A Gas Safety Certificate is likewise required before you rent out the property. These measures are meant to ensure that your rental is both energy-efficient and safe.
4. Update the Rental
If your rental property had previous occupants, a makeover will do it good apart from necessary repairs or renovations. This can be a fresh coat of paint or updating the sofa in the living room. When the house appears to have been done-over and kept in tip-top condition throughout the years, potential tenants are more likely to place a good offer and stay for longer. Should you offer the rental as fully-furnished, consider investing in new contemporary furniture that is durable. If the rental has a garden, trim the grass and plant fresh flowers to add to the charm and appeal of the home.
As a first-time landlord, preparing your rental property before its listing can be a tad overwhelming. Be sure to prioritise all the necessary paperwork and comply with established laws and safety standards. Have the necessary inspections and repairs done, and add a few touches like new paint and furnishings or new appliances to attract potential tenants.