10 Top Tips For Renting Out Your Property

1. Externally

Present the property with kerb appeal: first impressions count, make sure driveways and front gardens are weed and rubbish free, bushes cut back and lawns neat. Paths and patios should be secure, gutters, fascias and windows should be cleaned, and front door locks should be in good working order.

2. Internally

Present the property with modern interiors, decoration and furnishings. We want to source the best professional tenants for you, and professional tenants in today's market expect the very best their money can buy to ultimately feel at home.

Remove all unnecessary items, such as ornaments, personal possessions and clutter from the property. Viewers need to visualise themselves living in your property and will expect to get what they see, so remove any items of furniture or appliances that you will not be including in the let.

3. Decor

Neutralise the decor: a lick of cream paint, new carpets and plain modern curtains opens the market to a much wider audience who can furnish with their own tastes and designs.

Dress the property sparsely with a dash of colour in removable items such as scatter cushions, mirrors and the odd pot plant which bring life into a room - setting the scene and creating a desired environment is important to welcome a prospective tenant into your property.

4. Cleanliness

Ensuring the property is clean is essential. Employ a professional company to get into those easy to forget areas. If you are not replacing carpets, we would recommend professionally cleaning all your carpets. This will prolong the life of the carpets and it is easier to request the tenants to do the same at the end of the tenancy if you have done it at the start.

5. Maintenance

Address all maintenance issues before marketing. Any obvious maintenance issues will put tenants off from committing to the property, therefore taking longer to secure a tenant. As soon as a tenancy has started, the tenants will soon find any problems that were not apparent.

We would recommend fully redecorating every 3-5 years and re-carpeting every 5-10 years. The life of a kitchen and bathroom is on average 10-15 years in a rented property.

All of the above helps secure a tenancy quickly and keep your tenants for longer. Starting your tenancy off on a clean slate sets a precedent as to how you wish your tenants to treat the property, is easier to manage at end of tenancy and prolongs the life of the property before it needs to be redecorated and re-carpeted again.

6. Permissions

Have you got the relevant permissions to let your property? Renting a property without permission from your mortgage company could be a breach of your terms and conditions, which could cost you more in the long term, so it is better to call them first. If you need confirmation of your achievable rental income or any other information required by your mortgage company, we are more than happy help.

If you don't inform your insurance company about letting your property, you may not be covered in the event of an accident, such as fire or flood at the property. If you own a leasehold property you may also need to have permission from the Freeholder/Superior Landlord or the management company. Your leasehold agreement should tell you who to contact and if there are restrictive clauses your tenants should be made aware of.

7. Safety

Make sure your property is safe. You have a duty of care to your tenants, so treat them as your customers. Instruct qualified, recommended contractors to undertake gas safety certificates, electrical certificates and if your property is furnished, ensure your appliances are PAT tested and check that your soft furnishings meet with the fire resistant standards. If you are unsure on how to go about getting your property safe and ready for letting give us a call and we can organise everything to ensure you are compliant with the law.

8. Mindset

Detach yourself emotionally. Easier said than done, we know! But it is really important to treat renting out your property as a business or financial investment for your future, because it will be someone else's home.

9. Service

Premier Full Management vs. Specialist Let Only service? A reputable agent can save you several times their fees such as minimising void periods, reducing the risk of getting non-paying tenants and instigate rent increases. Balance the cost of agency fees against the cost of an empty property, and your own time in self-managing, before deciding. If you are considering managing a property yourself you will need to live close, enjoy dealing with people (of all personalities!) be competent with the legal aspects and keep up to date with current regulatory changes. You will also need to have the necessary organisational and administrative skills along with time to implement any action required, such as quarterly property visits, to ensure you don't make any costly mistakes and be on hand 24/7 in case of emergencies.

A managing agent will have the time and expert knowledge to manage your property efficiently and effectively avoiding you common and sometimes costly pit-falls of managing tenants yourself. If you are short of time in your job, have family responsibilities, live abroad, would rather maintain some separation from the tenants, or have little or no experience of managing a property, then a fully managed service would suit you best.

10. The Agent

Ensure you employ a qualified, regulated letting agent! Over the past few years there has been a boom in Letting Agencies due to the demand for Lettings, but not all of them are as safe to use as others. To date the lettings industry is an un-regulated industry, meaning that anyone can open a shop and claim they are a letting agent without any knowledge, experience, qualifications in the legal aspects of letting or have any insurance to protect Landlords or Tenants. They can take tens of thousands of pounds in rent a month (your money) and there is no guarantee they will pay it to you. Agents who choose to be regulated by an independent body (members of NALS, ARLA, RICS or SAFEagent scheme) are required to have Client Money Protection Insurance, Professional Indemnity insurance, and have an audit on their client account annually. Also ensure your Letting Agent is a member of the Property Ombudsman for Lettings.

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