How To Prepare A House Or Flat For Rent

Whether it is your own home which you intend to let or an investment property you have bought to rent out there are certain steps you have to take before it is ready to go on the market. Most big London, Birmingham or Manchester letting agents will advise you on much the same.

The Legals

In the UK there are a couple of things you must have by law in order to be able to let a property to tenants.

The first is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This looks at how efficient your property is in terms of saving energy and grades it accordingly so that prospective tenants can see the information at a glance. If your property has a better EPC than another, it is more likely to be chosen by the tenant.

If you don’t have an EPC on your property when you come to let it out, you will be fined. These certificates are valid for 10 years but can be updated if you make any improvements to the energy efficiency of the property.

The second is a Gas Safety Certificate, which ensures that all the gas appliances in a property are safe, including the boiler. This has to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered gas installer every 12 months and failure to have this done can result in prosecution leading to imprisonment or fines up to £25,000.

The Aesthetics

Your property will likely stand empty for a few weeks or months while a tenant is found, which gives you ample time to clean it up in preparation for viewings. Ensure all paintwork is up to scratch, repair any holes in the walls, clean all surfaces, including tiled or wooden floors and walls, vacuum the carpets, clean the oven thoroughly and clean the windows.

Think how you would like to view the house if you were going to rent it and what you would like to see. That includes clean curtains and blinds and, if furnished or part furnished, clean, well presented furniture.

If the carpets are looking threadbare replace them with hardwearing but cheap new ones. It really doesn’t cost that much and any letting agents will tell you what a difference it will make to potential tenants.

Get rid of any excess junk in cellars and attics. This includes paint cans, old furniture that has just been stored away and old appliances.

Think of the outside too and repair guttering, tidy the garden, clean the windows (again!) and touch up paintwork.