Being a first-time landlord is both exciting and overwhelming. Whether your rental income is your main source of income, or if it’s a side hustle you’re managing on top of a full-time job, there’s a lot to consider and take care of. When your current tenants hand in their moving notice, there’s even more to do in order to prepare your rental property for new tenants.
Ensuring you can find new tenants as quickly as possible is a major undertaking in itself, especially if you’re trying to avoid a lapse in rental income. But before you can start advertising your property, there are a few steps to complete first to make sure everything is in tip top condition for new tenants.
Check All Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As of October 2015, it’s legally required for landlords to make sure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and in good working order. There is also a requirement for a functioning smoke alarm to be located on each storey that has a room being used for living accommodation.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Your tenants are expected to get their own contents insurance, but landlords are responsible for providing their tenants with buildings insurance. If you have landlord insurance, your policy may also include buildings insurance, but be sure to double check. If you’re renting out your property fully furnished, you might also want to take out insurance to cover your furnishings as well.
Change the Locks
This isn’t a legal requirement, but it is a good idea to prevent any sort of situation where you could be held liable for your tenants’ safety. Even if your previous tenants returned your keys, it’s still good practice to change the locks in between each tenant as a precautionary measure.
Clean the Entire Property
End of tenancy cleaning is a big job but it’s one of the most important ones (other than getting new tenants to actually sign their new lease). Your rental property should be deep cleaned from top to bottom before you even start showing your property to prospective tenants. Do not forget to take care of your oven cleaning and carpet cleaning.
Everything from washing windows and floors to scrubbing hard-to-reach corners and crannies should be taken care of. Every room should be sparkling clean when you’re finished. Not only does it make your property look better when you’re showing it to prospects, but it sets the standard for how you expect it to look if and when your new tenants move out down the line, as well as how you expect them to keep the property while they’re living there.
Make Repairs and Do Regular Maintenance
Before you show your property to prospective tenants, be sure to do a once-over and carry out any repairs or maintenance to fix and maintain appliances, heating and cooling systems, along with any and all electrical issues. As a landlord, you are legally responsible for providing a certain standard of living, which includes having all basic utilities fully functional, and ensuring the health and safety of your tenants while they occupy your property.