The very nature of the rental market means that no matter how good a tenant might be, eventually they will want to move on. They might have saved up enough of a deposit to buy their own property, they might need a larger home, or even a smaller one. They might just want a change.
When this time comes, it is important to get the property ready for the next tenants as soon as possible so that you are not losing out on the rental income for too long. Here are some tips on what to do.
Inspect The Property
This is a job that is best done before the current tenant leaves so that if anything needs to be put right you can discuss it with them. However, if you are unable to do that, you will need to get there and check everything over as soon as you can after they move out. Alternatively, you can hire an inventory company to do the job for you – this can be extremely useful if you live a long way from the property.
If there are any problems, you will need to discuss these with the tenant. If they cannot put the problems right, their deposit will be needed to cover the cost of repairs. Otherwise, the deposit needs to be released back to the tenant within 10 days of their leaving date.
Depending on how long the tenants were living in the property, you may need to repaint the walls or put up new wallpaper, or even replace the carpets. This will often be down to general wear and tear and isn’t the responsibility of your ex-tenants. Ideally, they will have cleaned everything before they went, but you may need to look at the end of tenancy cleaning prices from Cleaning Day and hire professionals to make everything look absolutely perfect for prospective tenants.
You can also dress the property by installing your own furniture. This can help a property rent more quickly, as prospective tenants will be able to see how they can make it a home. An empty property can be difficult to rent out.
Reduce The Council Tax
Once the tenants move out, they will no longer be paying the council tax on the property and it will fall to you as the landlord to pay it. It is vital that you contact the council involved and apply for a reduced rate if the property is going to be empty. If you don’t, you could be paying hundreds of pounds over and above what you should be.
Change The Locks
Even if you had the most trustworthy, reliable tenant you could have hoped for, it is still wise to change the locks once they move out. You never know if there is a spare key still around, or if they made copies. Of course, generally a tenancy agreement will require any copies to be handed in as well, but if they can’t be found or they have been forgotten, you may simply never know about them. Changing the locks means you can ensure the property is kept safe and that the next tenants are the only ones who have keys.