Preparing a Property to Let

Once you have bought your investment property you will have to set about the next important task; preparing it for let. If you did your homework your property should be in a safe area with good transport links. There are always tenants looking for this type of property but you need to make sure that your property is well presented.

It is easy to do a Changing Rooms type makeover on a property and make it look presentable on a low budget but with a rental property you should go for a more long term makeover. Here area few tips.

  • If possible return the walls back to a plastered finish. This will make re-decorating between tenancies much easier.
  • Make sure that anything fixed to the wall is rock solid. Tenants have a way of testing these things.
  • Have the heating system serviced. Ask the engineer how old it is and whether it may be better to renew it to prevent continuous breakdowns during the tenancy.
  • Go for hardwearing flooring where possible such as tiling or wood.

Finally you need to think about furnishings. You will probably need to provide the white goods even if you intend to let the flat unfurnished. Most tenants expect a dishwasher these days and all expect a washing machine. It is best to remain flexible on the general furnishings.

There is very little difference in the rent between a furnished and an unfurnished property. If you can get away with leaving it un-furnished that is ideal but it would be foolish to turn away a good tenant that plans to stay for the long term if you can provide a couple of items. Always try and look at the situation logically. If you can let your property immediately by providing a bed is that better than saving the money for the bed and letting it in two weeks time?

Like the general decorations, furniture needs to be attractive but robust. If you go for cheap rubbish it will break quickly and tenants will remind you that it was cheap rubbish. Expensive furniture is not appropriate either unless you are letting a penthouse in an expensive area. A certain Swedish superstore seems to strike a good balance between style and quality and is popular with Landlords and tenants.

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