Once you’ve purchased your investment property, or have decided that you are going to rent out your current home, it’s time to start planning and preparing for the marketing and letting process.

Presentation of your home is key at all stages of the letting process, from the photography, through the viewings, and then on hand over at the start of a tenancy.

We’ve compiled a simple list below to help you through this process and to maximise the return you can achieve:

Compliance

Familiarise yourself with the latest legislation surrounding rental properties.  Over the past couple of years the government has introduced new minimum standards for ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as Healthy Homes Standards covering 5 areas (Heating, Draught stopping, Ventilation, Insulation and Moisture Ingress and drainage) to make rental properties drier, warmer and healthier for tenants.

With heavy fines for non-compliance, it is essential that you meet these minimum requirements within the defined timelines.

Rental Appraisal

What is the likely weekly rent achievable for your property?  Talk to a professional to obtain a rental appraisal, which will be compiled using current market data and comparisons with existing properties on the market and recently rented properties in the area.  A good property manager will be able to visit your property and talk to you about the things you may need to do to maximise the rental attractiveness of your home.

Make it ‘Motel Clean’

First impressions last.  When we talk to our landlords about presenting their property, we refer to ‘Motel Clean’ as our standard i.e. try to achieve a level of cleanliness you would expect if you walked in to a good quality motel.  The condition that the property is handed over in drives the expectation for the tenants as to how it needs to be maintained and we can recommend experienced cleaners who know the standards we aim for.

Do the essentials

As a landlord, you will be responsible for the general wear and tear maintenance of the property and any appliances that are provided as part of the tenancy, will need to be kept in good working order.  Before letting, it is recommended that you check appliances, clean carpets, service air conditioning units, sweep chimney.   Take a walk through your home and identify any small maintenance jobs that you might be able to rectify yourself or with the help of a professional – e.g. paint touch ups, clean roof/patio, loose handles, carpet stains.   We have cost-effective options available if you require the services of a handy man to complete these smaller jobs.

Garden Maintenance

First impressions last so make sure that you also spend time tidying up the outdoor entertaining and garden areas.  Tenants are expected to keep borders and paths, etc. weed free and to keep the grass cut and tidy.  If your property has large trees and shrubs, then we recommend that these are pruned before the tenancy commences or at least annually going forward.

Photography/Staging

At The Rent Shop Nelson we pride ourselves on the quality of our marketing and taking high quality photos that show our rental properties in the best light.  Before photos are taken, it is appreciated if you can de-clutter wherever possible, and aim to present your home as if it were for sale.

It is better to photograph a property with furniture in so that it looks more homely plus it helps potential tenants to get a better perspective of size for their own belongings.

Appoint a Property Manager

As part of the preparation for letting your property, you will need to consider whether you are going to manage the property yourself, or appoint a professional to act on your behalf.  A professional property manager has the experience, knowledge and systems in place to enforce the terms of the lease and to minimize the risk to you and your property.  Property management is a skilled, time consuming job and having a 3rd party act as a buffer between the owner and the tenant if things go wrong, can dramatically reduce the stress for all parties.

Methamphetamine Testing

The Rent Shop Nelson strongly recommends landlords to test their properties for Methamphetamine at the beginning and end of each tenancy.   If there is ever any contamination caused during an occupancy, having a baseline test as evidence can be the difference between winning and losing a case against a tenant at Tenancy Tribunal.  Having a baseline test is also useful for insurance claims and enables us to advertise the letting as ‘Meth Tested’ giving applicants confidence that the property is safe for them and their family.

Here at The Rent Shop Nelson, we are experienced in guiding our new landlords through the process of preparing their properties for letting so that they can maximise the rental return.  We can provide a no-obligation rental appraisal and offer feedback on compliance and where improvements can be made, if necessary.

For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager – Julian Kett on 022 639 2620 or email at julian.kett@therentshop.co.nz