It goes without saying that cleanliness is one of the most important factors, as dirty and ill-kept properties are both difficult to let which tends to attract poor quality tenants.
Presenting the Property. If the property is to be let furnished, 'lifestyle' is the current term and consideration should be given to the type of furnishings that your prospective tenant may be expecting to see, as they enter the property for the first time. Remember the best-presented properties always let first. A few tips are listed below:
Furniture should be adequate and in good condition which will give a “Feelgood” overall impression of the property. Do not be tempted to use old second hand furniture, as this will usually de-value the maximum rent achievable. All furniture and furnishings must comply with all current legislation.
When letting fully furnished, a full sized cooker and fridge/freezer and perhaps a microwave oven should be included in the kitchen. Beds should always be comfortable with a good quality mattress and cover to prolong its life and keep it clean. Kitchens and bathrooms 'sell' rented properties in the same way they do to “would-be purchasers”. Great deals on ‘value’ kitchen units and bathroom suites can be found at all DIY stores. A shower is one of the most important items for most tenants. Any white goods supplied remain the responsibility of the Landlord [kettle, washing machine, Vacs etc] Many landlords minimise the electrical items to reduce potential maintenance repair and replacement costs.
Carpets and decoration should be neutral, fresh, and clean and in good condition which will make it acceptable to most people. They should also be fitted securely (particularly to the stairs). Remember that in a small property, the same carpet fitted throughout will make the property look larger as this creates an illusion of space. Remember that all furniture must comply with current legislation
External appearance is essential as properties in poor external condition can often deter potential tenants from viewing the interior. All paintwork should be fresh and on no account flaking. Windows should be clean and curtains hung neatly. Gardens should be tidy and the approach paths free from weeds and overhanging bushes. Always leave room for the tenants' own personal possessions and supply only what is needed which will avoid cluttering a room.
The more desirable the property to the target audience, the lower the potential void - All money spent can be recovered many times over either in terms of improved rents or continual and unbroken tenancies. At the same point, as a rule of thumb, the maximum furnishing cost should not exceed 6 weeks rental value against every two year period.
Security should include basic precautions such as a five-lever mortise lock on the front door and window locks. Many tenants may regard a security alarm as an important feature. It does not always have to depend on the location of your property as it does provide a re-assuring factor and another reason to rent your property.
At every viewing you should always take with you a Tenant Application Form, an ideal use of time at the property, would be to update your Inventory. From the 1st October 2008 - Landlords will be legally required to show prospective tenants the Energy Performance Certificates EPC, prior to letting the property. Failure to do so may result in a £200 fine. You must also have a valid gas safety certificate prior to tenant commencing residency and in HMOs you will also require electrical safety certificates. full check list
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.