If you’re renting out a property for the first time, or even if you’ve done it many times before, as a landlord there are a lot of things you need to remember to do before you advertise your house to potential tenants. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled the ultimate landlord checklist for renting a house, that is sure to make the whole process a little smoother for you.
1. Undertake any repairs
When your property is vacant, take the time to thoroughly inspect it and repair any major problems. You should assess all potential problem areas, looking for issues such as damaged roofs, cracked gutters, broken driveways, leaky taps or pipes or dangerous electricals.
2. Prepare your property by cleaning it thoroughly
Cleaning your entire property before the start of a tenancy is essential, especially if there has been someone else living in the property up until now. Focus on the kitchen and bathroom in particular and -if you think it will be beneficial- consider hiring a professional to do the job.
3. De-personalise the décor
Bright colours and bold patterns are not to everyone’s taste, even if you like the look of them, therefore we recommend you decorate your property with a neutral colour palette. Choose high durability paints that will stand the test of time, and opt for mid tone carpets that won’t show dirt or stains.
4. Decide on furnished or unfurnished
There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it simply depends on your personal preference or the type of tenant you wish to attract. You may want to look into what people in your area prefer. If your property is in a student area, they will most likely need furniture provided for them, whereas if you’re looking to rent to a family, they may have all their own furnishings already. It might also be worthwhile adding up how much each would cost you to offer, and working out how much you could rent your property out for in each circumstance, to see which works best for you.
5. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate for any property that is being rented out, and for the tenant to have a copy too. A certificate is valid for 10 years, and we advise you get the certification while you are preparing your home to let and then renew it when necessary. The certificate has a scale from A to G; the most efficient homes that have the lowest fuel bills are in band A.
6. Notify your mortgage and insurance companies
It’s imperative you contact your mortgage and insurance company to let them know you won’t be living in the property anymore, but that you will be letting it out to someone else. You may have to meet specific mortgage-as-landlord requirements, and will need to switch your homeowner’s insurance policy to a landlord property insurance policy as this will cover any losses due to tenant’s negligence. Speak to your providers for more information.
7. Decide DIY or Letting Agent
Going DIY will involve a lot of work. Would you be able to respond quickly to any maintenance issue that may arise, and would you know what to do if a tenant fell behind on their rent? With this in mind, you may want to think about hiring a letting agent to manage your rental property for you. At Chancellors, we can assist you in many of the responsibilities of a landlord, potentially saving you lots of stress.
8. Prepare information for the tenant
Before any tenant moves in, ensure you have all the information available that they might need to live comfortably within the property. This includes everything from how to use the washing machine or the central heating, to what days the bins will be emptied.
For more information on how Chancellors can help you let out your property, read through our specialist landlord letting services.