Preparing a house for renting

(15 Posts)
Countingthehours Mon 29-Feb-16 12:37:11

We'll use a letting agent who should advise us but what do we need to do.
We have instruction booklets for the CH and range, will have it properly cleaned, have the chimney wept, checked the smoke alarm and CO monitor.

The downstairs carpets and shoddy, but clean should we replace? What about the rusty letter box and 'tired' floors in the kitchen and bathroom?

If you were a tenant what would you expect?

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Mon 29-Feb-16 12:44:05

You need a smoke alarm on every floor.

The standard of fixtures and fittings will depend on the rent/tenant you expect to attract. Will you allow pets?

If for you are renting to a group of students for a relatively low amount, you may wish to leave things as they are. If you are looking to rent to professionals in central London you will have to upgrade.

Letting agent should advise.

Countingthehours Mon 29-Feb-16 12:48:34

Thanks Drinks. There's no student population round here, it's more of a family house. The smoke alarms are wired to the mains and meet safety requirements.
Do tenants take 'as seen' or will they move in and ask us for a new kitchen floor?
<<very green about this>>

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 13:02:48

worryingly so... you may have an agent but the buck stops with you so get informed about YOUR responsibilities. Do not trust the agent to do anything, check.

properties are rented 'as is', but make some effort; clean/replace the letterbox and put down a new piece of vinyl in the bathroom. If you get good tenants who are in for a while, you can then think about reflooring down the line.

do not leave originals of the manuals, leave copies. Also leave a two page max quick start guide in the vague hope that someone might read it. With a range you may well want to meet your tenants and talk them through how to use it.

insurances: contents, buildings, legal, malicious damage, rent guarantee, home emergency.

SmellySourdough Mon 29-Feb-16 13:06:14

everything needs to work properly.
a toilet flush that you have to press 'just so' will not do.
carpets flooring can be old, but must be in a good condition and safe and absolutely clean.
you need to look up how long floorings are expected to last. if the carpet is old and will be damaged by tennants you might get only a tiny proportion of the depisit back (if at all).

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Mon 29-Feb-16 13:18:45

Tenants take as seen. They can ask for an upgrade on fixtures and fittings but unless they do this before the tenancy starts and it goes in the contract, there is no obligation to provide it.
Landlord must replace anything that becomes dangerous/stops working as it did when tenants moved in.
If you can, get any structuaral repairs/re-decorating done before you let the property. If the letting agents do it for you they will charge over the odds.

On carpets, I would wait until you have tenants lined up and ask them what they want to do. They may want them replaced - but if they have a dog and four children they might prefer to live with the old ones.
If you do get new stuff, they need to return the property to you in the same state subject to "fair wear and tear".

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Mon 29-Feb-16 13:22:56

Also dont forget the gas safety certificate if you have gas at the property (every year) and the electricalmsafety certificate (every two years). I think you need to produce an EPC and there is something about legionnaires disease risk. Get landlord insurance for non payment of rent, malicious damage and legal expenses and make sure your buildings insurance know rhe property has been let.

AgathaF Mon 29-Feb-16 13:32:32

You can do the legionnaires risk assessment yourself, rather than paying the agent lots of ££££ to do it. Gas cert yearly, but wait until just before the tenants move in so that you're not 'wasting' weeks on it. You do need an EPC, if you haven't already got one. Shop around on the www for a decent deal. They're not accurate anyway, so no point paying more than you need to for one.

It's probably worth checking with two or three agents about who the most likely type of tenants will be, and then taking their advice regarding changing or leaving the carpets or flooring. Can you do anything with the rusty letterbox yourself? Polishing it if brass, or painting it perhaps?

NotCitrus Mon 29-Feb-16 13:45:20

Get the EPC done yourselves - firms do them for under £50 compared to over £100 charged by certain agents. I'd check with the agent - if everything is scrupulously clean, a tired floor is likely to be ok. If the letterbox looks rusty from the outside, replace as first impressions are important.

Check which insurances are included in the agency costs.

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 14:10:25

no requirement for an electrical safety certificate (England/Wales) unless an HMO but obviously the installation needs to be correct.

yes, you need an EPC, you can't market it without one and you can't issue a valid section 21 unless the tenants have signed to say they were given one. Plus several other items of documentation. And yes, legionnaires is the latest thing. Plus right to rent checks; you've got to do the work of the UK Borders agency or YOU get fined.

you get bugger all back for damaged carpets unless they are virtually new; the damage is a factor of age and area damaged.

as I said - get informed.

Countingthehours Mon 29-Feb-16 16:28:01

Thanks for all the comments.
By the time we've paid for us this, and the letting agent fees, and the council tax for any voids and the inventory and the tax on the income it hardly seems worth it.

Sunnyshores Mon 29-Feb-16 16:36:38

Yes, the reality is (for the average person) there is very little money made in BTL - but government propoganda would have you believe otherwise.

Worse still is the HUGE risk if you get it wrong. Join NLA for training and a free advice line.

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 17:27:33

BTL is worth it if you have no mortgage, the property is increasing in value (even slowly), it is bought for the purpose so there's a sensible balance between cost and rental income, you have all the right (pricey) insurances and because even a 3-4% gross return is much better than you can get on cash savings, given that inflation is not zero. This is why so many people have got into it because savers have been hammered for six years now and there's no end in sight.

renting out a property to keep it while you are abroad is also worth it IF you can cover the mortgage during voids/non payment etc. Plus storage for your stuff.

otherwise; don't bother.

kirinm Mon 29-Feb-16 18:39:32

Even better, sell it to someone who is trying to buy! (Sorry, stressed and bitter ftbwink).

From a tenants perspective things like the condition of the floor in the kitchen and living room might bother me but not so much the bathroom. I cannot stand seeing dirty anything as it just feels gross and puts me off. I would say I expect decent standards given how much I pay £20k per annum. But it probably does depend a lot on where you are, what the rent is, supply / demand etc.

Don't get carpets that are meant for commercial properties. It shouts 'cheap landlord' and I'd I'm paying so much out per year, I'm looking for a decent and fair landlord.

YaySirNaySir Mon 29-Feb-16 21:52:11

You need window keys left upstairs and downstairs.
We have boiler cover too- essential ioe.
We had kitchen and bathroom flooring done really cheaply using end of roll vinyl.

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