Getting the property ready

As a landlord you are responsible for ensuring your property is fit for living in and safe for your tenants. If you want to attract good tenants, you also need to ensure your property is well maintained and visually appealing. You want your property to be seen as a home not just a living space.

Renting out a run down or poorly maintained property is much harder than renting out a well maintained property and people will be more willing to pay a higher rent for a well kept house or flat.

Choosing to rent out your property or even a room within your property is a big decision. Once you’ve made that decision, it’s important to think whether your house is ready for this extra person or persons that will be moving in. Is there anything you can do to your home that will freshen it up but also make it stand out from the other rental properties out there? The simplest approach could be to just keep everything fresh and neutral. Use light non offensive colours and make sure flooring, curtains and blinds are of a good solid quality.

You may want to make a big change but not have a big expense. In which case, you may want to focus on your flooring. Changing the flooring in your property, even if it’s just in the main shared rooms, can make a dramatic change to the look of any home. Wooden floor is often the preferred option amongst landlords since it offers a clean and functional choice for those looking for high quality but with the benefit of low maintenance.

Make sure you don't forget the exterior of your house, ensure that the front and back of the house, windows, and gardens are all clean and well maintained. First impressions count.

Once all the visual steps have been taken care of you need to focus on health and safety. Make sure your central heating and all gas appliances have been checked and given a clean bill of health from a certified Gas Safe (previously Corgi) engineer.

Make sure that you have smoke alarms fitted and that all furnishings comply to The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations Act of 1988.

Check that all electrical wiring and appliances are up to scratch; it is advised that you get an independent company to check over the appliances and certify them as safe.

If you are renting out the property with white goods (washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, freezer and so on) then you need to make sure these are all up to standard, in fully working order and safe. If not then replace them immediately. Photocopies of the manuals could also be useful. We would not advise leaving the originals just in case they go missing.