The very thought of being a landlord and collecting rent come with a whole load of excitement and expectations. These expectations range from quick riches and being in charge make many prospective landlords ride on a cloud that borders a phantom. However, whether you are a new landlord or an existing landlord, there are common things that every landlord needs to know and put in place as part of the preparation for renting. With simple and little preparations here and there, you can enhance the rental value of your property.
But how do I prepare my home for renting? What are the things that I should do to ensure that my property is in the best condition to attract optimal rent? These questions are the reason why this post is being drafted. Keep on reading to find answers to these questions and much more.
This is an important place to start from. A thorough inspection will give you a clear picture of the correct condition that your house is in. This means that you will be in a better position to notice all the major issues and conditions that require your attention in terms of repairs and renovations and take the necessary steps needed in terms of planning and budgeting. You can take note of all the leaking roofs and faucets, broken electrical connections, spoilt bulbs and other issues.
Address safety issues urgently
All tenants have not just a right to live in a safe home, but they also have a natural desire to live in a home that makes them feel that they are really safe. Make sure that all the security apparatus is in proper working condition both inside and around the house. For instance, if you have surveillance cameras you need to ensure that they are functioning properly. Inside the house, ensure that the kitchen place is equipped with a functional fire fighting gear.
If it happens that your rental house has been occupied by a tenant who used to keep pets such as dogs or cats, it is advisable that you treat the home for fleas before the next tenant moves in.
Cleanliness is said to be next to godliness. A clean house is also next to any serious tenant. There is no serious potential tenant who would like to come into a dirty house that looks desolate and forsaken. Make sure that you do thorough cleaning inside and around the house to ensure that your tenant lives in a clean and hygienic environment. Additionally, ensure that the floor and the windows are sparkling clean and also do some repainting to enhance the appearance of the walls.
Clear with your insurer and mortgage
If you live in a house that is under mortgage and you need to rent it out, you have to notify them in advance. This is because mortgage companies have legal rights to the house in order to protect their security interests. In regard to insurance you need to notify them so that your insurance cover can be changed from home owner to a landlord property insurance policy in order to indemnify you against tenant negligence and other natural damages.
Set the going market rate
As your property gets ready for renting, you need to establish the market rate of the area. Consider what it will cost you to manage the property per month in line with the expected monthly income from the property. This will help you in making the decision to hand over the home to property managers.
Consider furnishings and other appliances
It is a common practice for landlords to rent out their homes with furnishing and other appliances. If you happened to have rented out your property with such facilities, it is important that you ensure that all of them are in proper working condition and clean so that the incoming tenant will find them in their best condition. You also need to rent out appliances that do not require regular repairs and maintenance so that you don’t end up spending too much on repairs and maintenance.
In matters concerning hygiene, make sure that the home you are about to rent has proper waste bins for tenant use. This is a mandatory requirement that will include a green waste bin, a recycling bin and a general waste bin. This is a necessary hygiene measure that will ensure that your tenant lives in a hygienic environment.
Consider property management issues
This is a key factor to take into account before renting out the property. You need to determine who will be in charge of the daily affairs of the property. If you would like to manage it yourself, go on and prepare a lease agreement with your tenant. If you want to delegate the responsibility of managing the property, then entrust it to a competent property manager. If you elect to go the estate management way, then you need to negotiate the commission rates with the agent, which range between 4% and 12% of the rent paid.
After landing a potential tenant, take them through the routine that all tenants go through. They will have to fill an application form with all the relevant details such as full names, employer, references and previous landlords. Additionally, it is important to check out if they have any criminal record and also ascertain their credit standing. This process will save you possible hassles and even legal battles in the future should it turn out that the tenant has a criminal record or a poor credit standing and they are rent defaulters.