There are many different reasons why homeowners choose to rent out their houses. Some choose to buy a home purely as a rental home, while others want to put their home on the rental market if they are moving in with a partner or moving away with work. Others find themselves becoming landlords unintentionally when they don’t sell their homes in enough time to enable a move.
Whatever your reason is for deciding to put your home on the rental market, there is quite a lot to consider before doing so. Here, we’re guiding you through some of the initial steps to look at:
Understand the basics first
Remember that number one crucial factor – ‘curb appeal.’ This is how potential tenants will view the house from the outside. Anything broken, like fences, gates or letterboxes leaves a lasting first impression
The same can be said for any tired exterior paint, doors, and windows.
The next important factor is the two rooms which tenants want to feel confident with, and these are the kitchen and bathroom. Are your bathroom accessories in good working condition? Do you have a leaky tap that may get worse months down the line? Are the kitchen cupboards in need of repair? Now would be the ideal time to start updating anything that isn’t in top condition.
Think about creating a space with a quality finish that will also wear well. Tenants won’t look after things as well as you would. For example, look at getting a hard-wearing steel bath. It could be worth getting bathroom specialists, such as beautifulbathroom.net, to advise on bathroom design and how to make your bathroom stand the test of time.
Have the biggest clear out
It’s up to you if you decide to rent the house out as furnished or unfurnished, but either way, you’ll have a clearing out job on your hands. If you don’t have a thorough clear out beforehand, you could find yourself taking lots of old stuff with you or paying to put it into storage units.
However, recent research suggests that furnished properties can make an extra 21% more rent than unfurnished properties, so that could be something to consider. Do consider the demand in your area for both types of lets. If you’re sentimental about your furniture and belongings, it might not be a good idea to put your trust in new tenants you don’t quite know.
Don’t forget the legal side
More often than none, you may have to change your mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage, so you can legally rent out your property. Ensure you discuss this through with your mortgage provider.
Another key step to follow is to make sure you get the right insurance. It is landlord insurance which will completely cover you, as homeowner’s insurance may not cover for anything that happens when the house is rented out.
Don’t forget about the bills, too. When you have new tenants confirmed, make sure you close all bill accounts in your name, and any follow-up mail should be instructed to be forwarded to your new address.
Look at using an estate agent
The decision of whether to use an estate agent or to manage the rental yourself is completely down to your situation. If you are moving quite a distance away and would struggle to attend to the house if problems came up, it would be beneficial to use an agent.
However, if you won’t be far away and have lots of contacts with tradesmen if emergency jobs are needed, it might be that you can manage it on your own. It also depends how much time to have to dedicate to showing people around.
Being a landlord is rewarding, but of course, comes with a lot of areas to cover to ensure you do this properly. The above tips should hopefully give you a little food for thought before you set out on your rental journey.