Tips on preparing your property for tenants

This guest blog post was provided by Ashley Wilson Solicitors in London; established in 1988 Ashley Wilson have vast experience in many legal areas including property law.

As a landlord, adequately preparing your property for tenants is of the utmost importance. Failing to do so gives the impression that you may be a lazy or incompetent landlord – there’s no way around it.

Good presentation increases the value and desirability of your property and first impressions mean everything for a tenant. If the property is in bad condition during a viewing, there’s not much of a chance that the tenant will want to live there. If this is the case, it’s important that word may spread, and it may tarnish your reputation as a landlord.

What can be done?

Preparing a property for tenants can seem overwhelming, even if you’re a fairly experienced landlord. No matter your experience, it’s totally normal to feel stressed – preparing a property is about a lot more than just cleaning it, after all.

The best place to start is normally with the decor of the property.

Decor

When preparing a property as a landlord, you have to pay no attention whatsoever to your own personal tastes. Strong colours and patterns are a no-go, as they date quickly and can be difficult to repair/maintain.

That’s why all walls and floors in the property must be of a neutral, light colour. Floors should be plain and unpatterned, and either be hard wearing carpet or laminate wood.

Any kitchen and bathroom fittings must also follow a similar theme, and should be clean, bright, and matching.

Once the decor is sorted, you can get right down to the nitty-gritty.

Some of the most crucial things to do in each room can easily be bullet pointed, which makes turning them into a checklist even easier.

Bathrooms/Kitchens

  • Both should have the aforementioned decor, and should have all appliances and installations working.
  • Check that everything such as fridges and ovens work in the kitchen, and that all of the taps and sanitaryware in the bathroom function as normal. One of the most common faults that tenants find in their properties after moving in is that the shower or bath doesn’t work correctly – it’s up to you as a landlord to ensure that they do.
  • Ensure all seals around baths, showers, and sinks are in good condition. Resealing any gaps in advance is much, much cheaper than the repair of any damage that can occur from leaks.

Central heating

  • If your property has a hot water tank, ensure it has a functioning immersion heater- it’ll come in handy if your boiler can’t heat hot water for some reason. Having one will allow you time to get a cost effective boiler repair, meaning you don’t have to fork out for an expensive emergency call out.
  • Ensure that the central heating system in your property is fully functioning, cheap to run, and that all radiators are working efficiently. Any issues should be dealt with as soon as possible.
  • Consider replacing the boiler if it is over ten years old and has failed more than twice. Remember – if a boiler begins to need multiple repairs, it’s likely that they will continue. It’s nearly always cheaper to replace a boiler as soon as it begins to need repairs, instead of forking out for multiple repair costs.

Anything else?

  • If you need to paint, use standard paint from a reputable brand, and make sure to keep some spare. If you need to touch up any scuff marks in the future, it’ll be much easier to do so.
  • Use carpet or flooring from a well-known supplier. If you need to replace any in the property in the future, it’ll match the rest of the room/ property.
  • Ensure that all handles are secure – everything from door handles to handles on a drawer. Tightening them up yourself is much cheaper than having them repaired or replaced by a professional.

As an overall rule, everything in the property should be clean as it can possibly be. It may seem like common sense to most people, but you’d be surprised at the number of tenants that have viewed houses with dirty countertops or baths, amongst other things.

Make yourself a checklist or two and ensure that everything in each room is clean – not forgetting the little things such as taps and windowsills; it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference.

Although we’ve discussed preparing a property as though all landlords only have the singular property to deal with, there are things that can be done if you’re the landlord of several properties. Property management solutions are available, such as the ones available at RentPro if you do have multiple properties to take care of.

Regardless of the number of properties concerned, it’s important to be prepared with all of the contracts and legal information you need at all times. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with paperwork and the like, which is why it’s handy to have a good solicitors at hand.

It may seem like a lot of hard work, but successfully preparing your property sets you in good stead for your future tenants – good properties do tend to attract good tenants, after all.

As a landlord if you require legal Landlord and Tenant advice, law firms like Ashley Wilson solicitors in London can provide you all the information you may require for landlord & tenant services, dispute resolution and lease extension.

This guest blog post was provided by Ashley Wilson Solicitors in London; established in 1988 Ashley Wilson have vast experience in many legal areas including property law.

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