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How To Prepare A Rental Home For New Tenants

The new year brings forth many changes for the housing market. It means that many renters’ annual leases are up and landlords will be seeking new tenants to occupy their properties. But before welcoming new occupants into your rental property, you will need to know how to prepare a rental home for new tenants. You will need to make sure the unit is clean, safe and in working order.

The Partner of Seymours Lettings and Management in Guildford, Lisa Athron shares her tips on the best ways to get your home ready to let.

Lisa Athron Seymours Lettings & Management

Lisa says – “A proactive approach here not only ensures tenants’ health and safety but also can help prevent future maintenance issues down the line. It can also lead to a good impression that can lead to a healthy relationship between landlords and tenants and a possible lease renewal down the line”. 

“My guide will take you through different areas of consideration to prepare a rental property for a new tenant”.

Ensuring the Property is Safe

The first thing you will need to consider is the keys. Once prior tenants have left the property, you should immediately have the locks changed. Even if the old tenants have turned in their keys, it is possible that copies have been made that you were not aware of. You should make a set of keys for yourself, one for your property manager if relevant as well as one or a couple more depending on how many tenants are moving into the property. Similarly, if you have a smart home, change your codes or PINs to prevent any unwanted access to doors and other linked systems. 

 

Paperwork

You will also want to protect yourself from problematic renters by screening them to verify their identity. You will want to check their criminal history and ensure they have the financial stability to pay the rent. You will want to ensure that you carefully construct a fair and thorough rental agreement so all parties are protected.

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Fire and Safety Regulations Labels

If you are letting a property that is furnished or part-furnished, you must place a Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations label on all furniture.

READ MORE – Common stresses for landlords and how Seymours can help.

Alarms and Smoke Detectors

You will also want to test any safety devices including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and security alarms. You will want to make sure that they are in working order and have fresh batteries if necessary. Make sure that if you have a security alarm code that it is changed for each new renter.

Rid the Property of Mould and Fungus 

Don’t rely on your eyes or nose when checking your property for any fungus and potential mould. Instead, you should hire a professional to test the unit for mould and fungus issues. This is especially important for bathroom and kitchen walls as well as ceilings. Remediate if it is necessary.

Cleaning in Surrey

Make Sure the Property is Cleaned Thoroughly 

Carpets

For this step, you will want to make sure you hire or rent a professional carpet cleaner. They will help remove stains and odours but more importantly, carpet cleaning will also get rid of trapped pollutants that can cause health risks long term. Doing so can also help prevent mould and fungus from growing. Especially, if your new renters have allergies or if previous tenants had pets – this step is essential. 

Overlooked Areas 

Even if prior tenants made an effort to clean the unit before leaving, you should ensure that you check some areas renters often overlook. For example dryer and HVAC vents, window treatments, light fixtures, baseboards and fan blades. 

To ensure that the whole property is cleaned thoroughly and left spotless for your new tenants, hire a professional cleaner. Additionally, make sure to tidy up the outdoor space if there is one. If possible do some pressure washing to provide new tenants with a clean slate.

Paint

If your walls are looking dingy, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way to making a good first impression for your new tenants. It also has functional benefits. For example, it helps keep moisture out which in turn prevents mould growth. If the previous tenant tried and failed in trying to achieve this, it is worth a redo for a professional finish.

Gardening in Surrey

Gardens

Whilst you are in the process of preparing your property to be let, ensure the garden is left neat and tidy. If there is a lawn, cut it short before tenants move in. If you require tenants to keep the garden in good condition, you can expect them to do so provided that you have left them with all the tools needed. You might also choose to stipulate this within your tenancy agreement.

Check Everything is Functional 

Appliances 

Your tenants will expect rental properties to be move-in ready come the start of their tenancy. Make sure you test everything from the refrigerator, dishwasher and dryer to make sure everything is in proper working order. Try to give yourself time to bring in professionals if necessary. Alternatively, if you can carry out maintenance yourself safely, do so.

Damage 

Carry out a thorough inspection of units of any kind for damage. Damage may be caused by clumsy or reckless tenants throughout their time at the property. Checking around the house for any damage will also help you spot possible future problems that can be fixed before it is too late. Make sure you check around sinks, tubs, showers and toilets for water leaks. It may be that you have already had certain appliances and objects in the property damaged before. If so, double-check those areas again in case the problem crops up again, such as a  faulty circuit breaker. 

Make sure you walk around the entire property when carrying out these inspections. Test railings, floorboards, steps, handles and doorknobs. Additionally, make sure to check any light switches and control panels. If the tenant is going to use it, make sure to test it before they move in.

Other Things to Consider

Energy Performance Certificates

EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates)  are compulsory to have and to be provided to the tenant. You must contact an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) to arrange for one of these for your property. It is best to try and get the certification whilst preparing your property to let.  EPC certificates have a scale of A to G; homes that are the most efficient that have the lowest fuel bills are in band A. Certificates are valid for 10 years and can be an important decision-making factor for tenants.

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Gas Safety Certificates

Another important factor to consider when getting a home ready for a new tenant is gas safety certificates. You must ensure that all gas appliances are in good order and well maintained. You should pay for an annual service from a CORGI approved tradesman. Similar to the EPC, a copy of the gas safety certificate should also be given to tenants.

Arranging The Landlords Insurance

It is important to be aware that normal home insurance will not cover you should you need to claim for an accident or any damage to the property once it has been let out to tenants. Once you have agreed on who your new tenants will be and once you have obtained your gas and energy certificates, you can then arrange your landlord’s insurance. 

Providing Information for New Tenants

If you have instructions for the boiler, any kitchen appliances, security alarms or council rubbish pick-up leaflets then you should make a copy of these and leave them for the tenants. At the beginning of the tenancy, new tenants will likely have questions regarding these and this information should be made readily available.

Painting In Surrey

Decor

When preparing your property to let, you should opt for more neutral, plain and light-coloured wallpaper or painted walls as it is much more appealing and will often have more longevity than patterned wallpapers and bright-coloured walls. Doing so will also help prospects imagine their belongings within the property and can be easier for spotting changes or damage when you get round to doing the inventory.

READ MORE – How a rental property should be marketed.

Final Thoughts 

When preparing a property to let, there is much to consider so you should allow yourself plenty of time to get everything sorted prior to the move-in day. You will want to make sure the house is thoroughly cleaned in order to leave a good first impression and to prevent any health risks, such as allergy risks. You will also want to make sure that all appliances are in working order and that any instructions on how to use these are provided. You will also want to make sure any necessary certificates are provided, such as EPCs and Gas Safety Certificates.

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Looking to Sell? Get in Touch With Us Today! 

Lisa Athron is a Partner of the Seymours Lettings & Management department and oversees our offices in Guildford, Woking, Camberley & Surbiton. Lisa is one of the best in the industry, with a wealth of knowledge spanning over 30 years. 

You can search for properties we have to let in the Guildford, Worplesdon, Burpham and Ripley areas here or you can speak to Lisa or the team in the Guildford office by calling 01483 457722.

Sell your property with the experts today: choose Seymours Estate Agents.