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So you have successfully purchased your investment property… now what?
Firstly, congratulations on taking the first step towards being a landlord. You have joined the other 2.5 million landlords throughout the UK benefiting from their investment. Now the hard work begins as it is now time to start preparing your property to enter the letting market.
At Aston Anderson, we have helped many new landlords get ready for taking on their first tenant. Here we share our best tips on getting your property rental ready.
Before you take the photos, start advertising and move the tenants in and start getting a return on your investment, you need to get ready. A quick lick of paint, replacing carpets and a good scrub from top to bottom can make all the difference.
Remember that kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms in the home, and most tenants do expect most kitchens to feature good cookers and white goods. So be honest. Do these rooms need a bit of a makeover?
A simple white bathroom suite or new doors and handles on the kitchen and cabinets can shoot you straight to the top of the rental market.
Wear and tear is natural in the lifespan of a rental property so when choosing carpets and furnishing, focus on those that can withstand a lot of living. Whilst this does not necessarily mean it has to be the most expensive on the market, there are some areas where it is more important to invest.
For example, investing more in white goods pays off in the long run as you do not want to be having to fix or even replacing these on a regular basis. That will run your costs up and eat into your investment returns in the long run.
However, when it comes to carpets, you can afford to be a little more frugal. If you make sure you don’t choose anything fashionable, it should be easy – and cheap – to replace should you need to.
If you are offering the property furnished, look for furniture that can be fixed, changed or cleaned easily e.g. sofas with washable covers. Don’t include anything that you would be worry about getting damaged – leave the family heirlooms for your own home!
It is easy to get swept away with what YOU like, after all you are the one that has made the investment but remember you want tenants to be able to move their own furnishings in and not be turned off by a feature wall.
Remember, colours go in and out of fashion. Keeping things neutral will also make touch ups or refreshes between tenancies easy.
It can be tempting to go with the trends but do everything with your overall aim in mind – to get the property rented out as soon as possible. Creating something that could possibly turn renters away because you love it could leave you out of pocket in the long run.
Your property might be looking great on the inside now, but don’t overlook the outside. Keep it nice and tidy and make sure the bins are ready to go. Give the windows a good wash, and touch up any paint work.
Fix any gates and fences (especially if you are considering accepting pets) and if you have a garden area, try to keep everything as low maintenance as possible. It is unlikely that your potential tenants will want to tend to your vegetable patch on a daily basis! Clear out the shed or garage if you have one. Leave the tenants with as much storage space as possible.
Landlord checklist at the ready….
There is a lot of paperwork you need when you embark on becoming a landlord so start that all important folder. Also, it might be worth creating one for potential tenants too. A simple file filled with instruction manuals for any appliances, useful contact numbers and certificates provides a great reference point.
Aston Anderson can arrange everything you need, just ask!
Not sure what you need? Check out the Aston Anderson Landlord guide and checklist now.
Finding the right letting agent is probably the most important point on the list (and we are not just saying that!). It is hard work finding tenants and you don’t want to spend your time on viewings and reference checks, so it is time to find yourself a good letting agent.
A letting agent knows the area, your target market, and where to advertise your property. They can conduct your viewings and handle the negotiations. Plus, there is the paperwork – no one wants to have to worry about that. They will be up to date on the latest legislations and regulations so can be a good source of advice and guidance.
Don’t forget, if your time is precious, your letting agent may also be able to manage the tenancy for you too. Do your research, discover what they offer, and choose your letting agent as soon as you can.
For more information on becoming a landlord, check out our handy guide. If you are looking to let your property, contact Aston Anderson today.