Of course, you may be purchasing a brand new investment property, which will need less work (hopefully) than if your rental property is the home you have been living in yourself. Alternatively, you may have a property that's  been recently tenanted and needs a refresh. Or perhaps you've refurbished but need to add some character to appeal to new tenants.  Let’s take a look at each scenario, to get your property rental ready.

Getting a brand new property rental ready

When you get the keys to a brand new property, you will usually have a walk-through with the builder to review any “snagging” issues.  However, it is often not until your new tenants move into the property that snags become apparent, as they tend to show up as the property is lived in.

A snag is a minor flaw or issue that still exists after the construction is finished. Typically, it is something that is broken, not fitting correctly, or appears incomplete. The majority of flaws are cosmetic, but more serious ones, including large cracks, poorly connected pipework or improperly fitted kitchen fixtures, can sometimes appear.

Building code inspections for your new property should have been successful, and it should include a structural warranty from a reputable insurance company, such as Buildmark for NHBC properties 

Before you finalise the sale, it is your house builders job to inspect the property and correct any cosmetic issues, although it is unlikely they will find everything.  If your new property is covered by NHBC (you can check the database here they currently protect around 1.5 million homes in the UK), then you will have a two-year builder warranty period that is supported by the NHBC resolution service and guarantee, as well as eight-year insurance coverage for physical damage to the property brought on by a failure to build in accordance with the NHBC Technical Requirements.

It is, therefore, an excellent idea to book a visit with your tenant around 2 weeks after they have moved into the property to discuss if any “snags” have arisen so that you can get in touch with the house builders or their insurers as soon as possible. Of course, you will need to be sure that these issues are due to faulty artistry and not down to the tenant, so it is essential to have a thorough inventory and schedule of condition, along with a check-in report from the start of the tenancy.

Usually, a new build property will be very neutral, which is perfect for attracting a new tenant.  Depending upon the deal you made with the developer, you may or may not have the following items included in your purchase, but if not, you should organise these for your new tenants:

  • Light fittings - don’t leave hanging bulbs with no shades

  • Curtains or blinds at all windows - make them neutral in style and colour. Blinds that are hidden inside the window frames will provide the impression of more room, so they are ideal for smaller spaces; however, if curtains are your preferred option, it is advisable to select colours that match the walls because they appear less obtrusive and to fix the poles higher than necessary to make the windows appear bigger.

  • Bathroom fittings such as toilet roll holder, medicine cabinet, toilet brush, towel rail

  • Kitchen appliances (although it is unlikely that these are not already in place)

Suppose you will be letting out your property whilst ongoing building work is still in place. In that case, it is wise to make your property visits more frequent, as there are usually more issues that can happen if there is heavy machinery and building material in the close vicinity of the property. You might also want to include the services of a window cleaner in the tenancy to ensure that the building dust doesn’t do too much damage. 

It is also wise to ensure that you have a public liability clause in your contents insurance policy to cover you if something happens to your tenant, such as tripping on building materials.