With housing prices in London always on the rise, renting out a property is a great way to earn extra cash. This is why many people are buying apartments which allow them to have a secure return on their investment.
However, in the ever-changing and super-fast rental industry in London, there is much more than putting a "For Rent" sign outside. Preparing your property to welcome new tenants can make a massive difference both to the appeal of the apartment as well as on the price you can charge.
If this is your first time renting out a property, what kinds of things can you do as a landlord to prepare your house to welcome new tenants? I’ve prepared a list of tricks and ideas to allow your property to stand out in this crowded market before putting it on Spotahome.
1. Fix It Up
Think about what you looked for when you were last looking for a new home.
If you are thinking about a major renovation, you can use your own taste and judgment to create an accommodation almost from scratch. If you are only thinking about fixing things up, then do a close inspection of the entire property and fix anything that is broken and substitute anything that is clearly no longer working. Make sure the windows open and close properly and that the water and electrical systems are in a good state.
Check the impression made by kitchen and bathroom also - if they are old and ugly, you can think about a minor renovation which can make a great difference both on the value (rent) and desirability of your home. In the bathroom, for example, a glass shower gives a bathroom a sense of modernity and cleanliness.
If you are thinking about painting the house, a good tip to keep in mind is that bright colours make rooms look larger while dark colours make them seem smaller.
Remember that it is much easier to fix minor issues before the tenants move in instead of waiting until they find out about an issue.
2. Clean it
You’ll need your tenants to leave your home super clean once their rental agreement is over. In order to do so, you need to set high standards by giving them a sparkling clean home on day one.
If you don't have time to do it, you can always hire some professional cleaners. Make sure they steam-clean the carpets, wash the floorboards and walls, clean the windows inside and out as well as doing all the usual taks.
3. Buy the basics...
If you aim for higher rent, you should think about investing in some basic items. These may include some white goods like a dishwasher and a washing machine. You can also consider a microwave and a vacuum cleaner if you want to make it even nicer. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also leave some necessary items in the property like dishes, sheets and a drying rack.
4. ...and some extras
If you're really keen to add extra value to your property, you could also think about investing in a few low-maintenance plants to make it look even more like home. You can think about a few succulents to add to the living room or even a couple of fake greens to add colour in the bathroom. Once you're done, you can also trust our HomeCheckers to make sure that everything is perfect.
5. Know Your Responsibilities
In the UK (and many other countries), landlords must guarantee the safety of any rental property, ensuring that no injury could be caused by your property to tenants, neighbours or the general public. Basic responsibilities include ensuring that electricity, gas and heating are in good working order and that there are no health-threatening issues in the apartment. Additionally, there must be working fire alarms. In any case, you may consider contracting landlord insurance to protect you against some of the risks associated with renting that aren’t covered by home insurance.
6. Determine How Much Rent to Charge
To get an idea of prices in your area, you can easily ask your neighbours and look at other similar properties online. Be realistic about the rent. Remember that the rent must be comparable to what's already in the market. For example, if you are renting a room in Whitechapel, you should check the rent for similar properties there.
7. Protect Your Property with Insurance
As a landlord, you'll need rental home insurance. This policy covers your home's structure as well as legal costs, or repairs when needed. In addition to your rental home insurance, Spotahome offers every landlord who works with us additional guarantees, to ensure your peace of mind. For example, if a tenant leaves without paying the rent, we will cover one month’s rent and find you a new tenant. If a tenant damages your property, Spotahome will help with the cost of repairs (you can see full details here).
8. Find the right tenant
Now you are ready to advertise your property for rent on Spotahome and to find the right tenant. The process is super easy and saves you a lot of time since we provide an HD video tour, detailed floor plan and professional photos of your property at no cost. Additionally, the times of waiting for potential tenants on the doorsteps or missed appointments are over: our entire process takes places online, including viewings!
When a tenant chooses your listing, we send you a booking request with information about the tenant. You have 12h to accept or reject the booking request. Once the tenant checks in, we will transfer you the first month’s rent minus a small commission within 48 hours.
9. Get a Written Lease agreement
A written lease is mandatory so that each party understands its rights and obligations. A good lease should spell out:
- Lease term: for example a month-to-month lease offers more flexibility if you are thinking about selling the property, while an annual lease provides more stability if have no intention of selling;
- Security deposit, usually one month's rent or more;
- Rental due date and late penalties;
- Repairs and who's responsible for what;
- List of tenants details;
- Rules of behaviour, including noise levels, neighbourly conduct and smoking;
- Pet policies and related deposits;
- Eviction terms, such as not paying the rent or damaging the property
Good luck with renting out your property and making extra money from it!
Would you like to know more about what tenants look for and need when searching for a new home? Read these articles: