CHECKLIST BEFORE RENTING YOUR PROPERTY FOR FIRST TIME LANDLORDS

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CHECKLIST BEFORE RENTING YOUR PROPERTY FOR FIRST TIME LANDLORDS


As a first-time landlord, there may be many anxious thoughts running through your mind. While this may be an exciting side income opportunity, you should be aware that renting out your property and managing tenants require both time, effort and a significant financial investment.

Once you have decided to take on this responsibility, it is important that you get into the habit of ticking these ten items off your check list before you rent out your property to make this transition as smooth as possible.

1. Clean your property

Whether it is hiring a house helper or running the iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot to clean your entire property, from bottom to top, back to front – make sure that the property is cleaned thoroughly before a tenant moves in.

Source: The Finder Singapore

If you want to attract top notch tenants, it is important to show your property off at its best. Dirty homes tend to put tenants off, and more wily renters may even use the mess as an excuse to negotiate the rent. By doing so, it will show your tenants that you, as a landlord, have a real interest in taking care of your property.

2. Repair

Walk through your property with the lens of a new tenant, with a paper and pen in hand and take note of anything that looks like it might need repairing. Whether it’s as minor as a loose doorknob or as major as retiling the floors, get it sorted out before it is rented out to a tenant.

Source: Can Stock Photo

Invest in the services of a reliable and qualified handyman, electrician or plumber to make sure that all your plumbing, heating, electrical utilities are taken care of, and are in tip top condition. A landlord is required to make sure that any gas and electrical utilities and appliances are safe and fit to use, and ensure that their properties are completely safe to live in.

3. Label important items

Don’t take for granted that your tenants will know the location, function or method of operation of important household items such as gas meters, stopcocks or water meters. Label it accordingly and remember to run through it with your future tenant before handing over the keys. While this may seem like a hassle to you, it is important in case of any emergency. For example, if a tenant knows how to operate and turn off a water meter, they could do so in the event of a burst pipe, reducing the potential for any damage to your property.

4. Do a thorough screening of prospective tenants

The importance of conducting a thorough background check on your future tenants cannot be stressed enough.

Source: Workable

While it may seem like a common-sense step to take, most landlords forget to do it, and take for granted that every tenant has a positive history of tenancy or credit/background check. Utilize the free services offered by PropAdvisor to look up the potential tenant by entering their full name and/or IC number. If any past landlords have left a negative review about your potential tenant, you will be able to read about it here.

5. Enquire about insurance

Find out from your local insurance agent about the coverage that your insurance policies offer with regards to your properties, especially if you own multiple rental assets. After all, your property is probably one of your most valuable assets.

As a landlord, you should protect your property with landlord insurance and recommend that your tenants get renters insurance. These policies can protect you and your renters in case of any covered, unforeseen losses that may occur. At the end of the day, it’s not just about keeping your tenants safe and happy – you also want to ensure your investment is sound.

6. Prepare an Inventory Check List

In order to maintain the condition of your entire property, prepare a full and comprehensive inventory check list for your tenant which spells out every movable item that you own/provide to your tenant at the start of the tenancy. It should cover everything from the furniture to the marks on the walls. If possible, go the extra mile and take photographs to support the inventory.

It is possible for either party to terminate the tenancy agreement prior to the end date. The tenancy agreement should contain a clause stating that the party wishing to terminate the tenancy agreement has to give 2 to 3 months written notice. This comes into effect if, for instance, the tenant has to move out of the property for various reasons and thus requires an early termination.

Source: Castles Estate Agent

This inventory check list is important as it allows you to compare the condition of the property when the tenant moves in, to the condition of the property when the tenant moves out. If the tenants are responsible for any damaged/missing items or ruined décor in the property, you can then use the inventory report to hold them accountable and make deductions from their deposit.

7. Prepare a tenancy agreement

Believe it or not, but putting everything in writing can be the smartest thing you ever do as a landlord. Read here to know the 5 key items that your tenancy agreement should cover to help you effectively navigate tenancy agreements as a first time landlord.

Source: SAYS.com

The tenancy agreement will protect and give you legal rights as a landlord that would be otherwise be more difficult to prove without documentation. It also makes it clear that both parties have agreed to specific terms that you can both reference later if there is a dispute.

Becoming a first time landlord may seem daunting, but with this checklist, you’ll be sure to sail through!