Depending on the figures you quote, something in the range of one in five of the United Kingdom’s households are in privately-rented accommodation, which is more than twice what it was at the beginning of the 21st century. For someone who has bought a house with a view to renting it out, it’s important to be offering something that people will want to pay for. In a competitive market, the priority must always be to make a tenant feel at home.
If you are seeking to rent out a property, there are some things you are going to have to nail down before taking it to the market. Getting those lined up is a matter of running the rule over the house and noting down where there is room for improvement. This is something you’ll have to do when you first buy the property and, assuming a successful rental, something you’ll repeat between tenants.
Carry out every safety check possible
When you are putting a property on the market, the golden prize is a quick turnaround with as little time as feasible between listing the accommodation and new tenants moving in. While you don’t want a long period of vacancy, you also can’t rush things – you need to make sure that checks such as gas safety, carbon monoxide, and all structural checks have been carried out, and that the home’s certifications in all areas of safety are up to date. You can’t let your new tenants move into a home that is not fully checked over.
Ensure all appliances are in full working order
Depending on what you are supplying with a property, the list of expenses can become extensive, particularly if new tenants move in and out every six months – which isn’t out of the question. If you were to replace every appliance, for example, the costs would escalate beyond reason. You should however check over every appliance and see how it is running. If the fridge needs maintaining, then you can look online and search for your model number to find the right parts; if the washing machine isn’t running as you would like, then give it a check-up and call an expert if needed. In circumstances where any repair would only delay a necessary replacement, it’s best to face facts and replace it now.
Get an up-to-date EPC
Every household in the UK must, by law, have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that indicates how well the property meets environmental and residential standards. It will also give a snapshot of what has been done, and what more could be done, to make the home energy-efficient. The national register is searchable and can be found here. Certificates must be updated every ten years, but if you are expecting new tenants and it has been a few years since the last inspection, it is worth requesting an up-to-date one ahead of new residents moving in.
As well as having an extensive clean-out and making any touch-ups to the decor, all of the above should be done in advance of showing the property to any potential tenant. Then, if they are happy with what they see, they can move in sooner rather than later.