If you’re planning to rent out a residential property, a little preparation can fetch you a much better rental income. A lot of the things that will achieve this for you cost next-to-nothing, so you may as well take a little time and get them right!
First impressions count
The first impression your home makes on a potential tenant will be a lasting one. Don’t let any little imperfections stand in your way. You’ll find a tenant faster, and you could get a much better rental!
When prospective tenants arrive at your home, the external view is the first thing they’ll see. Get what real estate agents call ‘pavement appeal’ with a bit of simple maintenance.
· Pull out any weeds, prune unruly shrubs and get the lawn looking great.
· Give your garden a loved appearance with some colourful bedding plants near the entrance.
· Clean the pool and get the water chlorination right so that it looks inviting.
· Look for little things that you might otherwise not notice: are there any cracked walls? Does the paving need a little repair?
· Keep garden rubbish and dustbins where they can’t be seen.
· If needed, a lick of paint will give your home a fresh, new look.
· Check for cracked window panes and have them replaced if you find any.
Freshen up your home’s interior
Now that you’ve charmed your possible tenants with your well-tended outdoor spaces, they’ll be moving indoors to look around.
· Fresh paint indoors is a must. Choose neutral colours and brighten up those walls.
· Make sure that rooms are free from clutter. Create a feeling of spaciousness by storing away a few pieces of furniture.
· If you’re living in your home at the moment, pack personal items away neatly so that viewers don’t feel like they’re in ‘your’ space.
· Prospective tenants will be interested in cupboard space. If any of your belongings are still there, make sure that cupboards are neatly packed and not overly full.
· Look for minor repair jobs that might detract from your home’s rental value. Discoloured tile grout, cracked tiles, hairline cracks in walls – now’s the time for a few repairs.
· Clean up so that everything looks as good as new. Have the windows washed, shine up the bathroom fittings, and get everything looking spotless.
Bathrooms and kitchens can be deciding factors
If your bathroom or kitchen aren’t looking inviting, you may find it worth your while to shell out a bit of cash on basic renovations. It will add value to your house if you decide to sell it later, and it will add to the rental you can command if these two rooms are looking great. People will notice any imperfections in:
· Kitchen units
· Fittings like sinks, basins, baths and their taps
Even if these aren’t deal-breakers, they will create an impression of a home that’s not pristine if they aren’t in good condition, and that will affect the rent you get.
Last round of checks!
Make sure everything works perfectly. Sliding doors should glide back smoothly, electric gates should open when you push the button, taps shouldn’t drip. The impression you want to create is that of a ‘perfect’ home that’s worth paying more for.