Everything You Need to Do Before You Rent Your Property Out

Whether you’re off on a trip around the world, buying a new house, or simply just want a bit more income, renting out a property is a helpful way to keep the security of owning your own place, without the financial drain. However, if you’ve never let your property out before, it can be quite daunting: there’s a lot of boxes to tick and people to talk to. Plus, you need to know how to find your tenants and decide how much is fair to charge. There’s a lot to do before you rent your property out, but don’t let it put you off. When it’s broken down, it isn’t as hard as it sounds. Follow the checklist below, and you’ll find the whole process to be a breeze.

Understand the process

Firstly, you need to know how it all works. You need to understand what happens from the moment you speak to a real estate agent, to the minute your new tenants take the keys. Plus, you also need to know your rights and your responsibilities as a landlord, and how this investment and extra income will affect how much tax you pay. There’s a lot of research to be done, so it’s often best to involve an agent right from the start. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and break down any complex legislation into easy action points.

Find the right agent

While you might want to go it alone when it comes to renting out your property, if you’ve never done it before, it’s often easier and safer to rely on an agent. First, decide if you want an agent to manage the property, or just advertise it. If you’re only going to use a letting agency to find tenants and sort the referencing and deposits, then you’ll need to be in charge of the management. This means organizing any repairs and answering any questions yourself and doing it all within the legal time frame. Some landlords prefer to keep an element of control over their property, but it all depends on how far away you are from it, and how easy you find it to manage your property as it is now.

Decide how to advertise it and for how much

While you’ll get some good guidance from your agent on this section, you should go into discussions with some ideas. When it comes to pricing your property for rent, have a look at rental sites to see what nearby, similar properties are going for. If you get a good idea of what others are being rented at, you’ll know whether your agent’s valuation is respectable or not. Likewise, when it comes to advertising your property, your agent will know where is best. In fact, many will have a list of people who are looking for certain houses or apartments – so you might not even have to advertise it all.

See if there’s anyone else to consult with

Sometimes you need to discuss this decision with external figures. From your bank manager and mortgage lender or advisor, to your insurance company, you need to alert them to this decision. Your insurance provider will probably want to get in touch with the new tenants about tenant insurance too. It’s vital to check this with your insurance company, as you may void the policy by letting it out without telling them. If your property has a freeholder, you should discuss it with them too.

Come up with a tenancy agreement

The tenancy agreement is one of the most important documents of the entire process. The earlier you can draw this up, the better, as you’ll be able to edit and amend it the more you know and find out about letting. Be clear from the outset: will you accept pets or children? Whose responsibility is the garden? What do you expect from your tenants? Will you accept smokers? This agreement can be drawn by a lettings agent if you’re going to work alongside one.

Keep the property in a safe, hygienic state

If you’re managing the property yourself, you need to ensure that it’s clean and all in one piece before a tenant moves in. It needs to be safe and hygienic, otherwise you could get into trouble. It’s a good idea to have certain services ready for use, just in case. One example is pest control: from ants to raccoons, you can’t predict what’s going to happen. Instead, make sure you know a local company, such as Go-Forth Pest Control in Concord NC.

Make sure all fire safety is up to date

One of the most important things to do is to ensure there’s at least one working fire alarm within the building. You’ll need to comply with legislation on a number of topics, this being a key one. You’re responsible for all fire safety, and you need to be quick to respond to any possible worries about fire precautions. Likewise, you’re also responsible for gas safety, and you need to comply with gas safety regulations to be a legal landlord.

Clean it well, both inside and out

When your new tenant moves in, they don’t want to spend their first few hours in their new home cleaning up. While it might have been clean when you left, after numerous viewings and time sat empty, dust and dirt is going to pile up. Plus, giving it a thorough clean means there are no exceptions when your tenants move out. They’ll be expected to leave the property in the same state they found it. Plus, it’ll start everyone out on the right foot.

Prepare an inventory and check the property thoroughly

An inventory is your protection against any damage, willful or accidental. At the beginning of the tenancy – before anyone moves in – go through the entire property and note all damages and marks. Do everything from the lampshades to the curtains to the walls, and make a note, no matter how small or insignificant it might be. A good, clear inventory will keep both parties safe if disputes over damage arise.

 

 

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