With mortgage rates still high and banks reluctant to lend to those without a very sizeable deposit, long-term renting is becoming more and more common.
The supply of new properties available for rent has failed to keep pace with the growing demand for accommodation from tenants. This has pushed rents up and up, and made rented property a potentially very lucrative investment.
House prices are only set to go in one direction in the coming years, and many tenants are starting to look at renting as a long-term solution. This makes property one of the wisest investment options going, and a very popular one at that.
If you are considering renting out your property, or purchasing a property using a buy to let mortgage with the intention of letting it out, there are some preparations you’ll have to make.
Keep it neutral
When selling their property, many homeowners try to make the interior as neutral as possible, to avoid putting off any prospective buyers.
It’s the same with renting a property; you want to keep the interiors and decor as neutral as possible to attract tenants. After all, you are effectively ‘selling’ your property.
If there are any garish colour schemes or loud, over-the-top wallpaper patterns then grab some paint and get decorating. Neutral, non-offensive colours are best – think beiges, creams and off-whites.
The amount of cleaning you have to do before letting out your property will depend on how dirty you find it, but it should be cleaned to a professional standard before being handed over to tenants.
If it’s your home then the chances are that you won’t need to do much to bring it up to standard, but if you’ve recently purchased the property then it might be a good idea to hire a professional cleaning service.
By doing this, you’ll be able to write into the tenancy agreement that tenants must have the property professionally cleaned when they leave, ensuring a high cleaning standard between tenancies.
It’s also important to clear any clutter or junk out of the property before tenants move in, as you’ll want the property to be handed back the way you left it. Make use of junk removal schemes in London, or in your local area, to ensure the property is cleared quickly and professionally.
Make sure everything works
Landlords are required by law to provide a certain standard of living arrangements to their tenants, and that means ensuring everything works properly.
Showers, baths, toilets and any other plumbing are amongst the most important features of a home, so it’s important that these are all running smoothly.
Any white goods that you are leaving in the home, such as a cooker, washing machine and fridge, will also need to be fully functional. Not all tenants will be looking for fully furnished properties, but the majority will want to see white goods included as standard.
Any other building work will also need to be completed before you even begin to show your property to tenants. In some situations you’ll be required by law to keep things working and maintained, but aside from anything else a half-built house isn’t going to appeal to many tenants.