How to prepare your property for the next tenancy…

Whilst we are all in agreement that void periods should be kept to a minimum, it is extremely important that your property is a place where your next tenant walks into and it feels like home.
I do appreciate that cost can play a factor when it comes to the renewal of a tenancy and sometimes landlords may want to spend the smallest amount in between tenancies but if you make sure that your property is as near to perfect as you can get it before move in then three things will happen.
1. You will be able to achieve a much better rent for a much fresher and up to date property
2. If everything is done well before move in and it is clearly documented on the inventory then in turn when the tenant moves out it makes it much easier for you to take dilapidation’s from the deposit at the end of the tenancy
3. Clean fresh properties spend very little time on the market
For most landlords the letting of their properties is an investment / a business and it must be treated as such. Just like when you go to a hotel, you would not expect to pay a high price for a mediocre room that looks a bit run down so you should thick about your rental properties in the same way.
In our experience at JP Hay the better the quality of the property the better the quality of the tenant. If the landlord doesn’t care about the property that they are letting then likewise why should the tenant care that much and they will often view the landlord as someone who is money hungry and doesn’t care.
So here are our following bits of advice as to what we feel should be taking place as soon as the tenant moves out.
1. The check out process should be completed with the tenant present. This enables you or your agent to go through the original inventory with them and to address any matters relating to any deductions that are obvious at that moment in time in person.Therefore preparing the tenant for anything that may be taken from the deposit
2. Have a professional clean completed as soon as possible (do not wait to pay for this from the funds deducted from the deposit as this could take some time and mean that your property is being viewed unclean). Having a professional clean at the start of every tenancy and keeping proof of that clean means that the tenant who moves in must also exit leaving the property in the same state (the important thing here is to retain the proof in case it is needed at a later date)
3. Deal with any maintenance jobs no matter how small this is so that the property looks clean and fresh and the tenants are not starting their term with issues. It may also prevent a small issue from getting worse as it has been dealt with
4. Refresh any paintwork, we are not trying to say that the property should have a full repaint each and every time a tenant moves (if they leave after 12 months) BUT you must take into consideration if this is necessary dependant on how long your most recent tenant has been there. We generally advise our landlords to complete a repaint every 2 years which keeps the property looking in great shape
5. Don’t neglect the furniture, it is the most used thing when it comes to the day to day living. If you are buying cheap furniture and allowing it to become tired and neglected this can affect the price that you can achieve and also the amount of viewings.When potential tenants look online for properties they are going to continue to scroll past the ones with awful run down furniture.
6. Remove any unwanted items. We always tell our landlords not to leave anything that they are not prepared to lose and we also advise never to leave personal affects such a pots, pans, plates etc as this can make the inventory messy and it would make things very difficult if you wanted to charge the tenant for some broken dishes. These days tenants would more than likely prefer to have their own personal effects. If they have their own and they leave them behind we would advise to clear them all out and leave the cupboards clean and ready for the next tenants belongings
7. Ensure that white goods are spotless, fridges and washing machines should look like new and the freezer should be defrosted and switched off ready for the next tenant to come in
8. Make sure you have instruction manuals for all appliances and if you don’t then obtain the make and model of the particular appliance and download it from the internet. Leave all instruction manuals together in a file that is easily accessible for the tenants. This can prevent any further maintenance call outs when the tenant may not have known how to use an item.
9. Lastly maybe leave them a little welcome gift, at JP Hay we provide a lovely gift wrapped brew kit so they can relax and have a cuppa after all of their unpacking.