Our lettings and property management officer Jennifer Allen, has some top tips every landlord needs to know to attract and retain good tenants. Jen, who has been an estate agent for 9 years ensures her landlords follow correct legislation and that their properties are a good standard before letting. ‘If your house can withstand the weather, your tenant may last forever!’ Jen says.
Pre-tenancy tips for landlords:
1. Spruce up your property with a fresh lick of paint
A fresh paint job goes a long way. To appeal to as many prospective tenants as possible, keep your property decorated neutrally with modern chrome effect finishes on your taps and door handles. Any good letting agent can share knowledge about colour schemes and current tenant preferences that fit within your budget.
2. Keep the cushions for your own home
Remove all furnishings from the property, whether they’re fire resistant or not. You are required to replace anything in your property like for like in the event of damage. You don’t want to be responsible for your tenant’s curtains. But you do want to fix curtain poles (over wooden batons to protect your walls) above each window so you can be sure they’ve been fitted properly and avoid any drilling mishaps! Allow your tenants to stamp their personality on their new home with splashes of colour and pattern through their choice of furnishings.
3. White goods? A bit of a grey area
Most tenants will supply their own white goods. But if your tenant is missing a washing machine or fridge and requests one, it would be generous as a landlord to provide one. However, this isn’t a requirement. Bear in mind, anything you provide which is not gifted remains your responsibility to fix or replace if damaged and all portable appliances provided should be PAT tested.
4. Consider LED lighting
Three reasons to consider LED lighting in your tenanted property:
- LED lighting is energy efficient
- LED lighting does not overheat as often, making it more affordable for you and your tenant
- LED lighting gives a modern look and feel to the property, which many tenants would prefer
5. Have four front door keys cut
Why four front door keys? One for yourself; one for your managing agent and two ready for your tenants. This saves all parties struggling to get access to the property.
6. Be inventory ready
When it’s time to draw up your inventory list, ensure your property is ready. Be sure the house is emptied of all of your decorating and cleaning items and has been fully deep cleaned throughout. The condition your property is let out in is how you should expect it back, allowing for some wear and tear. Be sure to include fixtures, fittings and condition of every element of your property on your inventory list – this is your evidence. And don’t forget the golden lettings rule: the better quality you let out your house, the better your tenants will treat and maintain it!
7. Get a second opinion from your letting agent
Even if you’re a veteran landlord and have dozens of lettings under your belt and know what you’re doing, a second pair of eyes can only help. Ask your letting agent to complete a couple of walk-throughs as you’re preparing your property. Ask them to point out any potential hazards and to make you aware of legislation changes.
5 standard legal requirements all UK landlords must meet:
- You must have an energy performance certificate in place with a current minimum rating of E before marketing your property.
- You are required to have working smoke alarms on every floor of the property.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are required in all rooms with open flue or gas appliances.
- If your property has gas, you must have a valid gas safety certificate in place.
- All rental properties are required to have a valid electrical safety certificate in place.
Jen is available to provide more top tips or to discuss any lettings queries you may have Monday to Friday. Give her a ring on 07800 617 605 to arrange a coffee and a chat or drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org