A Love For Letting: Making Money on the Rental Market

If you’re looking for a long term investment that’s safe, earns you far more than a high interest savings account at the bank and makes a fun project then why not consider property? Particularly, renting out property. If you get an estate agent to manage things for you then it’s something that you can easily do around a full time job or other commitments as there’s no hassle to you. It also makes a great retirement fund later on, as each month you have the tenants rent landing in your bank account- if the property is paid off by then it’s money you can spend as you wish. However there are a few things you will need to do first to ensure you’re all set up and ready to go.

A Love For Letting: Making Money on the Rental Market - property letting image

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Decor

Decorating a property for the rental market takes a few extra considerations. You don’t want to give yourself lots of added work or have to spend significant money between tenants redecorating. For this reason, keep it as a blank canvas. If you give tenants the freedom to redecorate, put a clause in the tenancy agreement that things must be returned back to normal at the end. A coat of paint and the use of a carpet cleaner will always be needed as fair wear and tear is allowed, but it beats having to spend hundreds or even thousands getting things back to the right condition. Keep walls plain and paint them white or magnolia, not only does this create a blank canvas for tenants but it’s cheap to repaint. Put down wooden floors downstairs and hard wearing carpets in a darker colour upstairs, these will stay looking nice for many years. If you want to offer the home as furnished, for example as a student let, you can actually buy furniture designed for the rental market. It’s usually more hardwearing and is often built in so it’s extra sturdy.

Contracts and Credit Checks

If you’re working with an agency this is something they can do for you, but you always have the option of drawing up your own contract. If you choose to go private and not use an agent then this is of course something you will need to do yourself. Again, if you’re using an agent they can arrange things like credit checking and vetting tenants so there’s no hassle to you,  but you always have the option of doing this yourself. If you are very against tenants having pets, smoking for example- make sure this is very clear in the agreement. When doing credit checks, decide how lenient you will be. For example, missed payments or defaults from four or five years ago may not reflect how the person manages their money today. But in some cases, you might prefer to take someone with a perfect or near perfect record to minimise your risk.

Inspections

Communication is key when it comes to property lettings. It might be your property, but it’s home to the person you’re renting to so you need to bear in mind their rights and considerations. If you want to inspect the property, you will usually need to give fair advance notice. It could be best to set out the terms of inspection in your tenancy agreement so everyone knows where they stand.