29 August 2014

10 Things To Do Before Renting Out A Property

Rent not buy blackboard conceptRenting out a property is a fantastic way to pay off your mortgage, cover living expenses or simply to earn an extra form of income. To help ensure the process is as smooth as possible, we’ve put together this useful list of hints and tips to consider before you welcome new tenants into your property.

1.   Draw up tenancy agreement

While some landlords prefer to draw up their own tenancy agreements, most are happy with the standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement. Any agreements over three years will need to be overseen by a solicitor. 

2. Taking an inventory

If you’re renting out a furnished property, taking a pre-rental inventory is a good way of protecting your belongings against loss and damage.

3.   Spring cleaning

While spring cleaning isn’t essential, it is strongly advised. Whether it’s as simple as scrubbing and dusting or as complicated as new licks of paint and a manicured garden, it will help your new tenants build respect for the property and encourage them to keep the space looking at its best.

4.   Take out a landlords insurance policy

Whether you’re renting privately or through an agency, taking out landlords insurance is a legal requirement. Prices vary between providers and you’ll also need to consider whether or not you want to pay for added extras such as contents insurance, rent guarantee insurance and building insurance. For the best possible deals from all the leading property insurance providers, be sure to visit the quote compare experts at Peacock Insurance.

5.   Find a suitable rental platform

One of the major decisions you’ll have to make is whether to rent privately or through an agency. There are upsides and downsides to both – agencies do charge however they take care of everything quickly and efficiently. Renting privately is cheaper however you’ll be responsible for all repairs and issues.

6.   Look at legal requirements

As a landlord, you’re legally required to ensure your property complies with government health and safety guidelines. Your new tenants must be issued with an Electric Performance Certificate (EPC) and Gas Safety check record while Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations and Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations must also be adhered to.

7.   Take photos of the property

As well as an inventory, taking pictures of the property is a great way to resolve any disputes over damage or wear and tear.

8.   Write up a list of criteria

If you’ve got any specific rules or regulations you would like your new tenants to comply with, it’s important to draw them up in a tenancy criteria document that is agreed to by both parties. From smoking and pets to gardening and furniture upkeep, this is an important part of making sure inspections and the move out process go smoothly.

9.   Think about the deposit process

According to government regulations, you are legally required to put any received assured short hold tenancy deposits into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. There are several different providers which can be viewed here.

10.       Inform the neighbours

It may sound small but informing the neighbours of your intention to rent the property will help to build a good relationship and could be beneficial if any disputes arise in the future. If you are privately letting, you can also ask them to keep an eye on your property and let you know in person if there are any issues.

By following these 10 simple steps, you can make sure that your rental experience is as smooth and stress free as possible.