Renting out a property can be both difficult and daunting, not to mention trying to do this when you aren’t even in the same city or country. All kinds of questions and concerns pop into your head: How do I go about renting out my house? How do I advertise my rental property? How do I rent out my house online?
Admittedly, there’s a lot to do, but Spotahome are here to help. Our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide will shed some light on how to get the ball rolling, and you’ll be fighting tenants off in no time.
Check you’re allowed to let your home
First off, you need to check that you have the legal right to let your home. This doesn’t really apply to property owners, but if you’re a leaseholder, you definitely need to chase this up. This is because when you let a leasehold property, in reality you’re subletting and you need permission to do this.
You can find this out by checking your lease. If your lease specifically refuses subletting, you’ll have to get in contact with your freeholder to get permission.
It’s crucial that you ensure you have permission to let your property right off the bat. You don’t want to waste time and money preparing a property to rent just to be told you can’t legally do so.
Show me the money
Pricing property is no mean feat. You want to make sure you’re actually set to make money from your property, and if so, how much you want to make. You’ve got to strike the right balance – it’s got to be financially worth it, but likewise, you don’t want to set the price too high and scare off flat-hunters.
A lot of this boils down to context. Look at the types of properties being let in your neighbourhood, and how much rent they’re looking for. It’s also worth talking to some letting agents, and better yet, asking for recommendations from friends and family if any of them happen to be landlords.
But remember, don’t be greedy. Be smart and stick to the market rates. A slightly lower rental income to start with is better than none at all.
Think about the costs
In order to be a reliable and successful landlord, you need a firm grip on your finances. The best thing to do, even before you start renting out your property, is to calculate all the costs you’re likely to incur. This way, even if you hope for the best, you’ll be more than ready to handle the worst.
So, calculate how much money you’re likely to need to cover:
- Meeting health and safety requirements (e.g. smoke alarms)
- Marketing (e.g. finding tenants)
- Maintenance (e.g. utility bills)
Talk to your mortgage lender (if you have one)
You’ll need to let your mortgage lender know that you want to rent out your property, otherwise you might be breaking the terms of your mortgage contract. Nobody likes a mortgage-contract-breaker!
Most lenders will need you to obtain something called a ‘consent for lease’, but overall, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
Get to grips with insurance
It’s essential that your current buildings and contents insurer knows you’ll be renting your property out, so that they can amend policies if required.
You’ll also need to arrange a landlord insurance policy, which will protect your property and your tenants – and some even pay out if your tenants miss a payment.
Prepare your property
First and foremost, decide whether you want to let your property furnished or unfurnished.
Next, as we only want the best for you and your property, we’ll let you in on a few insider tips:
- Remove fragile items from your property
- Make sure any repairs that need doing have been carried out
- Ensure all appliances are ready and safe to use
- Try to maximise space and lighting
The more attractive your property is, the more likely it is to be snatched off the market. So don’t rush this part – it really is crucial to success.
Find an agent
Technically, you don’t have to enlist the help of a letting agent to let out your property, but it does save you a ton of elbow grease. They can help you to advertise your property, handle the viewings and draw up a tenancy agreement.
That said, the world is your oyster, and you also have the option of opting for an online letting agent. But with Spotahome, there’s no need to worry about the dirty work. With booking agents helping you every step of the way, you’ll breeze through these tedious tasks.
Bringing in the tenants
Now you’re probably thinking, how do I advertise my rental property? It’s no good being on the market if nobody knows about it.
It may seem obvious but make sure to write a compelling description for your property, outlining why someone might want to live there. Run through the best features of the house, but also think about your target tenant. For example, if you want to attract a small family, you might talk about the local schools and playgrounds. If you’re looking for a young professional, mention the trendy restaurants in your area.
Follow this with a clear and detailed description of all the flat’s features. This should include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of heating and the appliances available. And last but not least, you need some high-quality photos of your property looking its best.
When working with Spotahome, our Homecheckers and publishing team take care of this for you. With Homecheckers taking professional photos and filming a guided tour of your property, potential tenants will be able to find their next home away from home. Plus, our copywriting team will help you put together the perfect listing.
Now there we have it. A quick and easy guide to letting out your property. It certainly isn’t a walk in the park. But with these simple(ish) steps and the help of our team at Spotahome, your flat will be let before you know it!