Buying, selling or running a home – everything you need to know about your home and garden!

Letting

It is important to get the best return from your investment. A poorly presented property is likely to only appeal to the type of tenant you do not want, the type of tenant that treats your property with contempt.

Maintaining the presentation need not be expensive and could add value, get better rents and be easier to rent.

  • Freshen up the presentation regularly with new emulsion
  • Replace worn and dirty carpet
  • Clear junk mail and newspapers
  • Clear and maintain the garden
  • Remove rubbish from previous tenants
  • Clean throughout even if the property was apparently left clean
  • Air out and heat before a viewing as necessary

If you are to furnish the property then it is worth looking for the most durable furniture that conforms to the current fire regulations. Some flat-pack furniture will disintegrate even with the most careful of treatment.

Gas safety

All gas fixtures and appliances are legally your responsibility to maintain. A CORGI-registered fitter must inspect gas appliances every 12 months.

A complete and accurate record of inspections must be made available upon request to current tenants and potential tenants.

Make sure you have taken care of these inspections and have the necessary records in order.

Electrical safety

All electrical appliances, including refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine must be maintained in a safe condition.

The electrical cabling, switches, circuits and sockets should also be tested regularly. It is wise to have a qualified electrician inspect the electrical appliances and power supply before a tenant moves in, though this is not currently a legal requirement.

Electricity supply companies recommend five-yearly inspections of the circuitry.

Soft furnishings safety

Upholstery – sofas, mattresses, cushions and other soft furnishings – must conform to flammability regulations. Safety labelling stating compliance is now legally mandatory. Dispose of any furniture that is not acceptable.

Legally mandatory for multiple tenant landlords:

Fire safety

All landlords should ensure the basics of fire safety before any new tenants move in: items such as making sure the smoke detectors work and checking that there are working fire extinguishers.

Ask your local fire brigade if they have any advice regarding your specific property – their advice is often very worthwhile.

Remember – it is a criminal offence to breach the statutory regulations

Ignorance is not a defence in law and therefore we strongly advise you obtain all the advice you can if you are new to the letting business.

Mortgage

If your investment is mortgaged we would advise that you look at the range of buy-to-let mortgages available to see which is the most cost effective and allows you the best return.

Alternatively you could release equity in your investment to enable you to buy further rented properties.

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