From regulations to repairs to landlord insurance, there’s a lot to consider. Here, we share seven tips for how to get your home rental-ready.
1. Check where you can add value
Start by thinking about where you can add value to the property. A property that presents well – for example, walls that have a fresh lick of paint, new taps or doorknobs, and new appliances – can make a big difference to the amount of rent you can charge, not to mention save you the headache of repairing or replacing items down the track. Upgrades take time, however, so if you’re hoping to be leasing a property out sooner rather than later you should get started on the renovations straight away.
2. See that everything is in working order
Some of a landlord’s critical responsibilities include ensuring utilities such as electricity, gas, heating and aircon are all in order and that there are no health-related causes for concern in the home, like mould or rising damp. Gas and electric hot-water heaters typically last 10 years or so, while taps last 15 to 20 years; if yours are roughly that old they may need replacing. You’ll also want to check the fire and smoke alarms on your property are working properly.
3. Tend to general house maintenance
Much like making sure everything is in working order, you should also address any general house maintenance. In addition to tending to the garden and the exterior of the property, you’ll also need to fix anything that’s broken inside – things you may have grown used to living with. To make sure you don’t overlook anything, go through and inspect each room thoroughly, checking for anything that needs replacing or repairing, for example mouldy bathroom grout, dripping taps, broken tiles or chipped paint.
4. Know the regulations
Before leasing a property, a landlord needs to ensure the property adheres to certain regulations and safety guidelines. If you’re leasing a property through a property manager, they should be able to talk you through the guidelines and tell you whether your property is compliant. If not, you’ll need to do your own research. Areas that typically come up include pool fencing, safety rails on balconies, blind cords being safely stored and locks being installed for every window.
5. Deep clean every room
The property will need to be deep cleaned, particularly after a long tenancy. The carpets will likely need to be shampooed, any grease build-up in the kitchen will need to be removed and the bathroom will need to be disinfected. While you can do it yourself, ot could be worth investing in professional cleaning services as they’ll have the proper cleaning equipment and products to do it right. Remember, you want to set the tone for how you expect your tenants to treat your property.
6. Change any locks
If you’re in between tenants, order new keys for the existing locks or replace them. You should also use this time to ensure you have spare keys made for you or your property manager for all entry doors, window locks and letterboxes. Alternatively, for entry doors, you might consider installing an electronic keypunch lock, which can be reprogrammed before the next set of tenants and save you the effort of having to cut new keys each time.
7. Get insured
The last, and important, step is to buy landlord insurance. This type of insurance covers you against potential damages or financial losses caused by tenants, their guests, and pets. Whether you’re leasing a property yourself or using an agent, landlord insurance offers a level of financial protection for out-of-pocket expenses, such as paying for unforeseen repairs.