It may feel daunting to be letting someone live in what could be your biggest asset, but to give you a helping hand as you embark on this exciting journey, our CEO Paul Harrison gives his top tips for first time landlords.
Think about the target market for your property and who you would be looking to attract. What size and type of home is it? – a one bedroom flat or four bedroom detached? suitable for a young couple, a family, busy professionals, or a retiree? What’s the location like? Is it likely to attract commuters or people looking to downsize in later life? Here at PropHome we can help with defining your target market and with over 30 years’ experience in the market, we can advise on the type of client you are likely to attract, positioning your property in the best possible light for a good rental.
One of the first questions we get asked by new landlords, is do we need to furnish the property? This very much depends on your target market (see tip 1). If you own a flat or house in a university town or city, then it’s likely that you may attract students or young professionals looking for their first home. In this case, we would recommend including some furniture in the property, however it must be in good condition, though, and not too worn. In the majority of lettings situations, we advise clients to let out their property unfurnished as it gives tenants a blank canvas to make their own.
Give the property a thorough clean. It’s common sense but very important that a rental property must be clean and in good condition when it’s put on the market. It is essential to present it in the best possible light, which increases the chance of attracting quality tenants and also encourages them to look after the home themselves and returning it to you in good condition. It can be worth hiring a professional cleaning company as they will give it a deep clean, including scrubbing everything from the oven to the tiles. They’ll also do those ‘unseen’ areas such as backs of doors, skirting boards and behind radiators, which really does make a difference to a property’s overall appeal.
Whilst indoor maintenance is essential, outdoor is no less important. The exterior of the property needs to be given some attention too to make sure you create a good first impression when the home is put on the market. Are the windows clean and how is the paintwork looking? Does the garden need tidying, do borders need digging or the lawn need mowing? If so, it makes sense to do the work or get a handyman in to help – it could make all the difference!
There are certain legal requirements and one is to make sure you have smoke alarms on all floors of your property. You also need to make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in any room where there is a solid fuel appliance, like an open fire or wood burner. These need to be tested and working before a new tenant moves in.
Think about whether you will allow the tenant to keep pets. It can narrow your search if you have a ‘no pets’ policy, but even the best behaved pets can have an impact on a property over time. It can be sensible to set a limit on number and type of pet, being clear on this from the outset will save disputes later.
You need to give your tenants an Energy Performance Certificate when they move in. If you work with an agent like PropHome, we take care of this on your behalf. Your property must be at least EPC band E before letting it out.
Make sure you have up to date insurance for your property. You will need to let your building’s insurer know that you’re renting out the property, otherwise it could invalidate your policy. It is worth taking out specialist landlord insurance as standard building insurance may not provide the protection you need. Ideally the policy will cover loss of rent, damage, legal expenses and liabilities.
Do your research into rental properties in your area. Here a good lettings agent like PropHome can really make a difference. We have the experience of knowing what properties in your location could fetch in the market and this will help us come up with the most suitable rental price.
Choose an agent. It is important to choose the right lettings agent to suit your needs. Make sure the agent has plenty of experience. It is also advisable to meet your agent either in person or virtually. You can then discuss all your needs and make sure you are working with someone who understands you and your property’s specific requirements. If you are looking for a hands-off approach to being a landlord, then a fully managed service with PropHome could be just what you need. Many landlords choose this route with PropHome as it takes away all the hassles of finding and managing tenants.
PropHome is a professional online lettings and property management agency. We offer competive rates and a transparent service that landlords trust. We provide a highly personalised and unique landlord experience, this includes everything from an initial free consultation through to management to contract packs and ????. The business is owned by Paul Harrison and David Wright, who collectively have over xx years’ experience in the property management and lettings business.
For more information, call 0345 8686868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.