Millions of people can’t afford to buy their own home, so they rent instead. In many cities, rental properties are common, as it’s a cheaper way to enjoy city living. Not surprisingly, property developers and landlords have capitalised on the demand for rental housing and there is now a booming private rental market in major cities around the world. It is possible to make a good living from managing rental properties, but only if you find the right tenants. Here is a quick guide to help you prepare a rental property for tenants.
Health and Safety
Health and safety is an important consideration for landlords. There is legislation out there to protect tenants from landlords who take advantage of people looking for a home. The days or letting out poorly maintained flats with leaks, mold, and dangerous electrics are long gone, although, somewhat inevitably, some landlords do still try to get away with it.
It’s important to ensure that any property you rent out is 100% safe for tenants. Check electrics for broken switches, dangerous wiring, and any issues that could cause a fire or other injuries. The furnace and heating system also needs to be in good working order. Tenants have a right to hot water and some form of heating for cold weather. Have your furnace serviced and carry out an annual maintenance check, including furnace repair where necessary. Rental properties should also be fitted with smoke alarms and CO detectors. It’s best to have these hard-wired into the electrical circuit, as tenants don’t always bother to change batteries in non-mains alarms.
You will find it a lot easier to find new tenants if your rental property is nicely decorated. It is better to stick to fairly neutral colours for a rental, as this will appeal to the maximum number of people. Emulsion walls in a neutral cream. If you are providing blinds and window drapes, make sure they are plain or neutral designs. The same applies to floor coverings. Wooden floors are best, as they are hard wearing and stain resistant whereas carpets soon start to look grubby. If you do have carpets in your rental, have them professionally cleaned or replace with new carpets.
Clean and Tidy
It should go without saying that rental homes need to be clean and tidy to attract tenants. Once your old tenants move our, clean the place from top to bottom. Wipe down paintwork, clean windows, and tidy up the outside areas. If there are shrubs and plants, trim them and make the place look inviting. Don’t allow a garden to become too overgrown while you are looking for new tenants, as it looks as if you don’t care about the place. Pour bleach down the toilet and clean bathrooms until they sparkle.
Once you have a viewing, head over to the property half an hour before your prospective tenants are due to arrive. Open windows to clear stale air and spray some air freshener around to eliminate any nasty whiffs.