10 Tips to get your property ready for rent

So, you have property and you want to rent it out. There are a few things which are good to know to get your property rented fast for a good price. The key is to remember that it is not you who will live in your house, but it is your tenant. Take care to buy things that are hard wearing, easily cleaned, functional and long lasting.

Here are some tips, feel free to add to the list:

  1. Add a bit of wow factor. Remember that you are selling life style and your job is to help people to visualise that lifestyle within your property. Try to give impression of a light, bright, spacious and airy property with a minimum of clutter. This can be done by using light curtains, mirrors, wall and table lights, plants and candles. Even if you rent property unfurnished, when doing viewing, have a just enough stuff to make the place look homely. This would require beds in place (of course made up), sofas and chairs.
  2. Curtains should be washed. Curtain poles can also look good and need not be too expensive. Make sure you put in quality curtain tracking. Make windows look wider by extending the track well beyond the frame on both sides. (Especially important for furnished units)
  3. Mirrors can be used to reflect light and give the impression of more space. If your ceiling is low, pictures can be used to attract the eye away from it.
  4. Lighting is useful for creating the right look. In sitting rooms and bedrooms, standard lamps, table lamps and down lights are better than overheads at creating softer feel while spotlights are best in kitchens. Candles, burning oils, fresh flowers, soft music, a nice carpet (rug), a laid table and fresh coffee won’t do your chances of letting any harm.
  5. In the bathroom, ceramic tiles and linoleum flooring are more water resistant, hygienic and hardwearing than hardwood flooring. Light coloured suites are best and make sure there are tiled splashbacks. Use gloss paints in the bathroom as these are more waterproof or use lot of tiling as it looks good and is easy to clean. Large tiles can quickly cover the area.
  6. Keep bathroom and kitchen simple. Use stainless steel sinks with a tiled splashback to prevent walls getting grubby and mouldy. When kitchen units get tatty, use new doors rather than buying a whole unit. Put a few classy cooking bottles in the kitchen to spell good cooking. Use hard materials for kitchen working board.
  7. If you have more than one property try to stick to the same paint colour. Stick to neutral colours and remember that vinyl silk is easier to wash down than emulsion.
  8. Do not forget the outside too. Remember the first thing to do is to get people inside by making the property look nice from outside. Check your doors if the lock properly works and if it needs to be repainted, polish up brass fittings and tidy the front garden. Keep dustbins out of sight.
  9. Garden should be low maintenance because most tenants are not interested in looking after plants and weeding (Unless you get BCA Properties as your property managers ?). So, no fast-growing hedges and bushes. Leave tools to maintain gardens or include garden maintenance as a condition in your tenancy contract, but do not expect tenants to do much more than tidying it up just before they move out.
  10. Furnished or unfurnished, this depends on your target market. Some tenants will expect you to supply white goods, some will also expect to see beds, sofas and others prefer everything right down to kitchen utensils, TV and digital satellite decoder. Ask your agent for advice, the right agent of course. If tenants are scarce be ready to be flexible. Remember providing lot of furnishing means more cost and work and if next tenant does not want it, you then have to store it.

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