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Renting Out Your Home: How To Get Ready For New Tenants

Posted 23 November 2022 by Keith Osborne

Everything you need to do to get your home ready for new tenants so that your relationship can get off to a fantastic start...

Renting out your home can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve never been a landlord before. Welcoming tenants into your property means that you take on a lot of responsibility for their quality of life, whether that’s through the working order of their kitchen appliances or the structural safety of their new residence. Before you hand over the keys, there’s a number of steps that you should take in preparation, and in this guide, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to do to get your home ready for new tenants so that your relationship can get off to a fantastic start.

Safety first

First things first, before you rent out your property, you need to ensure that it is structurally sound and safe for tenants to move into. To do this, there are a number of checks that you should carry out, as well as safety legislation that your property should adhere to, including:

  • Gas safety checks – As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants around gas in the property, and there are a number of checks that you need to carry out on the property by law. To understand more about your responsibilities, you should consult government-issued advice and keep in regular contact with your tenants about how you’re staying within the law.
  • EPC – At least once every ten years, landlords need to get a new Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, that details how well the property performs, and makes recommendations for energy-saving measures that could be taken. Before your new tenants move in, you need to provide them with a copy of the most recent, up-to-date EPC ahead of the move-in date. Typically, this is done before the rental agreement is signed.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors – You also need to provide, and carry out tests on, carbon monoxide detectors in the property if a gas boiler, appliance, or heating system is used.
  • Smoke detectors – Since the 1st October 2022, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 have stated that on any floor used as residential living space in rented properties, a minimum of one working smoke alarm must be fitted. If a tenant advises that the alarm is faulty, it must be repaired or replaced in good time, which will not only prevent a fine of up to £5,000 but will also keep your tenants safe in the property.
  • New locks – While it’s not a legal requirement for landlords to change the locks on a property between tenants, you might wish to do this as part of your safety management practices. Replacing the locks before the new residents move in doesn’t just help them feel safe in the property, but it also reduces the risk of the current locks breaking down due to wear and tear.

By getting the basics right and making sure your property is habitable, you’re well on the way to a successful tenancy.

plumbingProperty maintenance

Next up, start thinking about any maintenance that needs to be done on the property before you can hand over the keys. This might include repainting rooms and skirting boards, replacing any damaged flooring, or repairing broken appliances, so sometimes it’s best to hire professionals to come in and finish any odd jobs that need doing before your tenants move in.

For example, fixing any dripping taps or slow-to-drain shower plugs might not feel like a big deal to you, but for your new tenants, this will give a poor impression of your property, and might even leave you facing complaints in the first few weeks of their tenancy. Finding a reliable, experienced plumber to visit the property and resolve any nagging issues is the best way to nip any problems in the bud.

Use a site like mybuilder.com to find local plumbers near me who come well-recommended, so there’s no reason to put off those outstanding jobs any longer. Having any plumbing work completed before your tenants move into the property means you can start off on the right foot, and make their move as seamless as possible.

Spring clean

For most people, a cosy home is about more than just working appliances. Having a clean space to relax in after a hard day is paramount, and when your new tenants tackle the move-in day, a clean home will be highly appreciated. As part of your preparation, make sure that you leave the house in a clean, tidy state, paying specific attention to:

  • Carpets – One of the most commonly overlooked element of home maintenance is carpet cleaning. From muddy shoes to excited puppies, the mess of everyday life can take a toll on your carpets, and this is especially true if you’ve previously rented your property to multiple tenants. Investing some money into carpet cleaning or replacement is a must-do in between tenancies, to protect your home and make moving in easier for the next resident.
  • Bathrooms – Due to condensation and frequently changing temperatures, bathrooms can be a hub for limescale and mould build-up, so it’s important to take some extra care when cleaning the property for the new tenants.
  • Kitchen cupboards – Whether you’re moving out of your own home and letting to the next tenants, or you’ve had previous tenants in the property, spend a while going through the kitchen cupboards to clean any mess and remove forgotten items. A tin hidden away at the back of a corner cupboard might not mean much to you, but it can really damage your reputation and the first impression you set for any new tenants who want to make themselves at home.

If your budget allows, try to hire a professional cleaning company who can come into the property and ensure that the house is spotless ready for the new tenants to move in. After they’ve visited, you can then take pictures of the property as a record of how it looks at the start of your tenants’ new contract, just in case there are any hiccups down the line that leave you looking back to the state of the property at move-in.

FireplaceOngoing upkeep

Although right now you’re just preparing your property for the move-in date, it’s worthwhile to think about how you want to approach any ongoing upkeep that might be needed at the property, especially if your new tenants end up living there long term. This upkeep might include things like servicing a wood-burning fireplace, carrying out any legal compliance checks, and maintaining the grounds around the home if this isn’t the responsibility of your new tenants. Having a clear plan in place that you can use to let tenants know how you’ll be maintaining the property is a great way to build trust in the early stages of the relationship, and it also sets clear expectations on both sides around when and how you’ll complete upkeep work.

Renting a property to tenants can be challenging but knowing that you can safely provide a home for someone to live in is rewarding work. However, before your tenants move in, it’s vital that you take the right steps to not only secure their safety but also create a space that’s welcoming and warm. By following this guide and prioritising adequate maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep, as well as following legal regulations, you can create the perfect property for your new tenants to call home.

 

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