First time landlord guide: Preparing for tenants
Preparing for your tenants
Go through the property and make sure it is presentable and tidy.
If you were the previous resident arrange to redirect your mail.
Transfer utility bills to the new tenant’s name.
Arrange for the new tenant to pay the council tax.
Leave with each appliance instructions for all appliances.
Ensure that all relevant equipment is properly labelled.
Copy the keys of the house to have a set for each tenant.
Make sure that you can provide the following to your tenants
- An Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement
- A Schedule 2 Ground 2 Mortgage Notice
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- How to rent guide
- Standing Order
- Smoke alarm checklist
- An inventory of the property
On the day your tenants move in
Take final meter readings and give them to the tenants.
Conduct, agree with the tenants and sign the inventory.
Demonstrate the workings of relevant equipment – alarms, locks.
Explain how to use any safety equipment – extinguishers, blankets.
Provide emergency contact numbers and written explanation of how to manage a property emergency.
Let the tenants ask you any questions they have.
Hand over the keys.
If you let your property through an agency, the agent will perform a lot of the above. Check what they’re going to be accountable for with the agent. This depends on the sort of contract that you have.
Decorating and furnishing your rental property
Getting the right decor and furnishings may not always improve your property’s value, but may help improve your chances of securing a tenant in a competitive market and reduce your property’s empty time.
As a general rule, neutral is regarded the best way to go as it appeals to more individuals and is readily available with any furniture and furnishings.
Use a satin finish to clean walls between tenancies and reduce the remedial job to get the property ready for the next tenant when selecting paint. To reduce the need for redecoration, use high durability paints containing acrylic or latex.
Delivering white goods in your rental may also be an additional incentive to rent quickly. Cooker, washing machine and fridge / freezer would be the minimum.
Providing a property furnished can be a godsend to tenants who are on temporary contracts of work and can help show off your property.
Ensure that each room had the basics covered:
Bedroom – bed and bedside tables
Lounge – sofa and side table
Dining area/room – table and chairs
Go for a carpet of mid-tone that shows no dirt or stains. Cheap carpets may be appealing, but with frequent professional cleaning they are less likely to last. So choose the finest flooring quality you can afford. Light carpets are hard to keep, and it is too easy to show dirt and stains.
In sleeping regions, carpets are usually preferred, but excellent quality laminate or wooden floors are great for high traffic living areas