Landlords : preparing your property to let

how much rent can you charge?

The rent charged is determined by several factors, including the size and condition of the property, the level and standard of furnishings and location.

decoration, fixtures and fittings

The condition of a flat or house is often the deciding factor for potential tenants. Tenants are usually prepared to pay more to get more and there's no doubt that a property in first-class order can achieve a higher level of rent and will generally let easily hence you should not have any void periods. So it's in your interest to make sure you put your property on the market in the best possible decorative state.

tenants are particularly keen on:

  • Fresh decorations light colours, such as white or off-white, are always acceptable.
  • High quality carpets of the same colours throughout. These should be light and neutral - biscuit/beige colours are popular, as are wooden floors.
  • Attractive, good-quality, well-lined curtains or blinds with well-designed headings make an all-important positive first impression.
  • A modern and well-equipped kitchen. Ideally there should be a washing machine, dishwasher if there is sufficient space, fridge/freezer and microwave. All equipment should be in good working order. Everything, including the boiler, should be serviced before the start of the tenancy (a corgi certificate may need to be provided) Please refer to other services with reference to a registered Corgi Boiler company.
  • If you have instruction booklets, make them available; if not, leave clear written instructions on how to use appliances.
  • A modern bathroom with an effective power shower, modern fittings and good lighting. Tiled floors are preferable to carpets or wooden floors.
  • Ample wardrobe space in the bedrooms.
  • An efficient central heating system and plenty of hot water.
  • The exterior and communal areas of the property should be in good decorative condition and gardens should be tidy, with seasonal planting (for contacts for garden maintenance please refer to other services ). Garages and cellars or vaults should be left empty for tenants use.
  • The property should be presentable and clean.

furnished/unfurnished

There's often no difference between the rental achieved for a property whether it is furnished or unfurnished.

  • ‘Unfurnished’ is normally defined as being fully carpeted (or with wooden floors in the reception areas), fully curtained and with white goods provided in the kitchen.
  • ‘Furnished’ is usually defined as being a property ready for someone to move into.
    The furniture needs to be good quality and the property should be uncluttered. We're more than happy to advise you on what should be left and what should be removed.
  • ‘Fully Furnished’ is usually when everything is provided from all of the above to bed linen, cutlery, crockery and cleaning materials.

furniture and furnishings (fire safety) regulation

Complex legislation has now been implemented, in respect of the supply of furnishings in property that is available for letting. With effect from the 1st March 1993, it is an offence, punishable by a fine and/or prison term, to supply furniture that does not comply with the fire resistance regulations. Essentially, this means that any furniture provided by the Landlord or the Agent in the course of business from the 1st March 1993, must carry appropriate labels and meet the fire resistance regulations. You are advised to take your own professional advice with regards to this matter.

presenting your property for showing

There's now a wide choice of flats or houses on the market for tenants to choose from, so it's more important than ever to show your property to its best advantage. We therefore recommend the following:

  • Don't allow mail - especially circulars - to pile up inside the front door. Arrange to have mail redirected. Make sure the front garden is tidy - empty milk bottles and other rubbish which could create a bad first impression.
  • Keep the windows clean. Dirty windows and grubby net curtains exclude light and give a depressing, uncared-for impression.
  • Regular cleaning is essential - dust collects on surfaces and window sills in a remarkably short time.
  • Get the temperature right - properties always show better (and often seem bigger and more attractive) if they're warm in winter and cool and airy in summer.
  • Good natural light is a tremendous asset, so make the most of it. Keep curtains fully drawn for maximum light.
  • Effective electric lighting adds considerable charm and helps to show rooms well, particularly in winter. Low-voltage lighting recessed into ceilings is preferable to pendant lights.
  • Keep the property well aired. A dusty, damp smell - often prevalent in basements - can be kept to a minimum by good permanent ventilation and by opening windows regularly.
  • Your tenants will need sufficient sets of keys commensurate with the size of your property. Remember, it can take time to get keys cut for security locks. If you will not be managing the property yourself during the tenancy, you need to put in place arrangements to enable extra sets to be cut.
  • The property should be professionally cleaned (including carpets and curtains, if necessary) before the start of a tenancy. We have a reliable contact that specializes in the cleaning of vacant properties and a reliable source for the carpet to be professionally cleaned, please refer to other services.