10 tips to get your home ready to rent out

10 tips on preparing to rent out your home 

As an Interhouse Huur- en Verhuurprofessionals franchisee, I am part of a group of dedicated entrepreneurs who specialise in letting propertiesAmong other things, we often share experiences and exchange contactsAs a group we let thousands of residential properties a year and have already celebrated our 20th anniversaryThis wealth of experience means that we know exactly what it takes to rent out a property properlyBy properly I mean letting it quickly to a high-quality tenant at the right rent
The advantages to be gained from thorough preparations and making the right decisions will continue to be felt during the tenancy agreementThorough preparations are crucial prior to letting a propertyI talk to (future) landlords every day and they often ask what they need to do to make their residential property ready for rentalI enjoy applying my expertise to individual casesEach property requires a different approach and we often come up with ideas and tips that landlords would never think of themselves
I decided to list the 10 main tips to share with those of you who are interested.  

  1. Make sure your home is in a good state of repair.
    It seems so obvious, but every property needs to be scrutinised carefullyCheck the condition of items such as doors and windows, central heating (maintenance)kitchen cupboardsparquet floorslight bulbscurtain rails etc. Starting off in a good state of repair prevents a great deal of hassle during the tenancy agreement.
  2. Make sure your home also looks good.
    Cast a critical eye over paintwork and wallpaperA tidy tenant is looking for a tidy homeA home that is not in the best condition is more likely to attract a tenant who doesn’t care about such things. Such tenants are often more lax about other things tooExperience teaches us that a well-maintained property often stays in a much better condition
  3. Invest in a one-off deep, professional clean.
    If you do this once and can present an invoice for it, we will demand that the tenant does the same at the end of the tenancy agreement. Wexplicitly include this in the tenancy agreementThe tenant gets a property that has been cleaned professionally and has to do the same on vacating itA fair deal that avoids discussions on whether or not the property is indeed clean.
  4. Provide the tenant with a proper master key plan comprising at least two complete sets of keys.
    Match the number of sets to the type of property and composition of the tenant (single, couple or family). Make sure there are sound locks and keys, preferably one key for all the doorsThis may entail a one-off investment but certified locks ensure that it is sorted for many years to comeDon’t forget to make sets for yourself and the estate agent/manager as well as those for the tenant.
  5. Compile a comprehensive information file for the tenant.
    Instructions for use of all (kitchen) appliances in the property, information from the municipalitythe refuse collection schedulesome local informationperhaps some handy tips on the property etcThese are all very useful to the tenantThis file belongs to the property and can be used by each successive tenant.
  6. Make any outside areas as low maintenance as possible.
    This of course depends on the type of propertybut make sure it is relatively easy for the tenant to keep any outside areas in good conditionIf the property has a sizeable garden that requires regular upkeeptry to draw up a maintenance planwhere applicable with the assistance of a (specific) gardenerGarden maintenance by tenants is often an issue on termination of a tenancy agreementIt’s best to deverything you can to avoid problems later as it can be very expensive to restore a garden that has been neglected.
  7. Inform your neighbours and any Residents’ Association that you are letting your property. 
    This is also part of preparing your property for rentalIt prevents queries from or disagreements with these parties and will also mean that your tenant is made to feel more welcomeAlmost all Residents’ Associations require notification on a property being let, as well as signature of a user declaration by the tenant.
  8. You need to do this if you are letting your property semi-furnished.
    Semi-furnished means that the property includes floor, wall and window coverings and light fittingsIt is important that everything is in good conditionMake sure that the curtains are clean, that all the lights work, that walls are properly finished and free from holes and that floors are in good conditionIf possible, avoid having carpets in the propertyFew tenants like properties fitted with carpet. Hard floors are generally preferred for reasons of hygiene and potential allergies.
  9. You need to do this if you are letting the property fully-furnished.
    Fully-furnished means that in addition to the furnishings listed under point 8 the property also contains all the furniture required to live in it comfortablyThe basic criterion is that everything is provided for the tenant, who then really only needs to bring personal itemsIn addition to furniture, the kitchen needs to be fully equippedthere must be bed linen and towelsone or more television and audio equipment, a vacuum cleaneran ironing board and iron etc. If there are outside areas there should also be garden furniture, and if applicable gardening tools etc. Also think about decorative items such as pictures, plants etc. All the inventory needs to be in good condition and is tax-deductible
  10. Arrange formalities with the mortgage lenderinsurermunicipalitysubscriptions etc.
    A property is really only completely ready for rental when you can sign a tenancy agreement with peace of mindThis means that the parties towards which you have obligations also need to agree to it being letIf your property is mortgagedyou cannot simply let the collateral on your loan without the consent of the mortgage lenderThe insurer also needs to be notified that the insured property is to be rented out; different terms and conditions usually apply in such casesIf you are moving to a different address, you need to register your new address with the municipality and you will then automatically be deregistered from the address that you are lettingDon’t forget to cancel your subscriptions to services such as the internet, cable televisionwindow cleaningrefuse container cleaning etc. The estate agent will take care of meter readings and related procedures on transfer of the property.My many years of experience in the business have convinced me that selection of the right rental agent provides crucial added valueThere are many other important issues on top of advice on preparing your property to be letIssues that ensure that the strategyapproachletting process and ultimately the entire duration of the tenancy agreement go as plannedThis demands knowledge and experiencePinpointing the right target group for the property, for example, forms the basis for the rest of the procedureYet the target group in turn depends on the type of property and locationas well as the landlord’s situationThat specific target group then needs to be reached and candidates thoroughly screened before you can conclude a legally-correct customised tenancy agreement. After all, you want what has been agreed to be legally water-tightOnce a tenancy agreement has commenced, it is important to manage it properly and accurately; this keeps the tenant satisfied and your property in good condition. 

I hope you will find my tips usefulI – or one of my colleagues at our other offices – am of course available to answer any questions you may have in personI look forward to viewing the property you wish to let, to meeting you in person and demonstrating the added value of the services we provideall completely free of any obligation.

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