If you are a new landlord, renting out your property for the first time, there are a number of things to consider when getting your property ready for the rental market.
Make upgrades where needed
Decisions relating to upgrades in your property will obviously depend on your budget and the potential return on the investment of upgrading. When renting a property for the first time, cosmetic upgrades like painting, decorating and new carpets or flooring can make the biggest positive impact on the rentability of the property. Kitchens can be rejuvenated by replacing worktops and cupboard doors rather than going to the expense of replacing the whole kitchen.
Taking care of any minor repairs or fixes in the property are a very good idea. These are usually little things that you may have lived with for some time like dripping taps or marks on walls but future tenants probably won’t look past them quite as easily.
Understand the legal requirements
There are legal requirements for rental properties that cover gas safety, electrical safety, fire alarms, energy efficiency and legionella risk. The property must also be registered for rental with the local authority and you need to register yourself as the landlord at the same time. The list of legal obligations can feel long and daunting when seen for the first time but working with a reputable letting company who navigates these requirements on a daily basis will make this painless as they take care of this on your behalf. Expect to spend £500-£1,000 on the legal requirements needed to get the property rental ready and then budget around £250 per year on average after that.
Create a knock-out ad
Your property is likely to be advertised for let alongside other properties of similar size in similar locations. In today’s market, prospective tenants have to move fast in order to successfully secure a good tenancy so a high-impact ad that shows the property in its best light is important if you want to attract good offers from quality tenants. Wide angle photos are a must as is spending some time staging the property before taking photos or carrying out video walkthroughs. It’s also wise not to assume that prospective tenants know the area well so describing the local neighbourhood and amenities will also help tenants decide more easily if yours is a property that they are interested in. A good photo of the local area or high street is a good addition to photos that you’ll upload of the property itself.
Set the right asking rent
Too high and you’ll put off good tenants. Too low and you’ll short-change your rental income. Looking at what other properties are currently advertised at in a similar specification to your property can help, but a good letting agency will have access to years worth of data on the whole market and will know exactly what rent level to expect for your property and what the level will likely be in the near future.
The points listed above can be daunting to first time landlords and it’s easy to go wrong in any of these areas (and this is all before a tenant even moves in). Employing a good letting agency, like UMEGA, to take care of these areas and all other aspects of renting a property can make a world of difference to your next tenancy and your experience of being a landlord, for relatively little expense compared to the costs of not getting it right.