People become landlords for different reasons… Maybe you decided to move house and rent yours out, perhaps you’ve unexpectedly inherited a property or you could be well on your way to building your own property empire. Whatever the reason, getting a rental property ready is a bit of an art form, but done well, it can save you a lot of hassle.

Here are some top tips from Howsy:

1.Ready, steady, rent!

It pays to start preparing for your new renters at least 6 weeks beforehand. Get your paperwork in order, do your research, work out your terms, make sure things are in good working order and do any decorating or repairing well in advance. If you’re becoming a buy-to-let landlord, do your research so that you have an understanding of what’s involved. It’s worth reading up on relevant legislation, so you get to grips with your legal responsibilities.

2. Who made the cut?

If you’re an inexperienced landlord then this is a top priority. Good agents are hard to come by so do some background research and find out what other landlords think. Choosing the right one is vital as they’ll be taking care of everything – from agreeing the monthly rent, marketing the property and finding and screening potential tenants, to drawing up contracts, handling the deposit and managing regulatory documents. Howsy have turned the world of renting on its head. We offer two fixed fee plans; Howsy Standard gives you great value property management on your terms and Howsy Protect means you can be completely hands off yet fully protected from unpaid rents and unexpected damages. Tenant find is free with both. What’s not to love?

3. Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

Although this comes down to the size of the property, you need to know what type of people or person you’d like to rent to. Are you looking for a professional couple? Or perhaps a family with young children? How do you feel about smokers and pets? And what if they work a night shift? You’ll need to share these thoughts with your agency and make sure you meet prospective renters before signing a contract.

4. A lick of (white) paint

Renters will want to give your property the personal touch when they move in so it’s best to strip it right back so it’s clean and neutral and will appeal to a broad audience. It’s worth giving walls and ceiling a lick of paint and putting down the same affordable flooring or carpet throughout. If you’re keeping it furnished, get rid of anything that’s worn out, broken or more of an acquired taste.

5. Know your stuff

Your lettings agent will handle legalities for you, but it’s important you know the ins and outs. Did you know that by law, your property will need an Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate? You’ll also need to make sure tenants have access to the Government’s online How to Rent guide and their deposit (if there is one) will need to be put into a recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme. New right to rent checks also mean it’s now yours and your agent’s responsibility to check that tenants have a right to be in the UK. Check out our Landlords Responsibilities guide for more information.

6. What new tax laws?

Make sure you’re up to speed on any changes to tax laws that could affect you now and in the future. Sign up to free online alerts and read trade press to stay on top of things.

7. Your property, your terms

Think through the terms of your tenancy agreement in advance and make a call on things like the length of tenancy and notice period. Your agent will draw up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST), which is a standard contract  between yourself and your tenant.

8. A lick, a spit and a polish

It’s your job to set the standard in your property, so it’s definitely worth hiring in professional cleaners to give your home an intense clean before anyone moves in. It’s typically around a £100 and pays off in the long run. Your new tenants will then need to get the property professionally cleaned, or at least to the same standard, when their tenancy ends and they move out.

9. A manual for everything

Making sure your renter has instructions and manuals for everything in the property will save you some late night calls and unwanted stress. Dig out instructions for major things like the boiler, cooker and white goods as well as gas and electricity keys, and make sure you leave them in a prominent place within the property. It might be worth adding a clearly marked key ring.

10. Get the right protection

If you’re a new landlord, you’ll need to talk to your insurer about getting a landlord’s policy or dwelling policy because your standard home insurance policy won’t cover you as a landlord.

11. Speak to your mortgage lender

You’ll also need to inform your mortgage lender if you are renting out a house that has a standard homeowners mortgage.

If you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll and your rental property is ready for renting, get in touch! Our friendly team are on hand to offer any further advice you may need, or to get your property on the market and looking for suitable renters! Call us on 0330 043 0183.

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