What do I need to do to prepare my property for letting?
The amount of work will vary depending on the condition of the property. Everything needs to be in good repair and working order. To take two examples at opposite extremes:
Preparing a new 2-bedroom flat
- Organise professional cleaning, including windows inside and outside; check smoke alarm batteries, window lock keys and that trickle vents on windows open properly
- Make sure you know the new postcode
- Supply these even if the property is unfurnished, or they have not already been fitted: Washing machine, tumble dryer or washer dryer, fridge, freezer, light fittings, curtains or blinds to fit windows, carpet; water-repellent flooring in the kitchen and bathroom
- As a courtesy it is a good idea to also include: Internal and external doormats to protect your floors, WC brushes, cleaning materials, dustbins, WC paper
Preparing a well lived-in larger family house
There can be a much larger to-do list here that includes many of the details above but can also include extras such as:
- Sweeping flues / chimneys
- If there is an oil tank measure the level (leave a reasonable minimum)
- Replacing light fittings, supplying various different light bulbs
- Organising repairs needed: electrician for electrical safety test, decorator or plumber
- Working over the garden, pressure-hosing the patios, pruning shrubs and a final grass cutting
- Removing children’s outdoor toys and bikes
- Replacing the odd carpet or curtain if there are signs of heavy wear
At Finders Keepers we can handle all or some of this preparation work – as much as suits you.
If you opt to control everything yourself, we advise working to at least a 48-hour margin (and preferably 72 hours) before the tenancy starts. We find that landlords often run out of time as they are unable to concentrate solely on preparing their properties for letting.
The inventory can only be taken once the property is 100% ready. It must then be typed up before the tenancy begins and given to the tenant on the first day.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.