What checks are important if you want to rent out your inherited property?

Inherited properties make very attractive rentals. If you’re keen to use the opportunity of an inheritance to start generating some extra income there are a number of important checks that you’ll need to carry out first.

The condition of the property

Tenants today are much more proactive about taking action when a rented property does not meet expectations. So, before you decide to rent out your inherited property, check the condition of the building and also fixtures and fittings like the kitchen. Upgrading can be expensive but means you can charge more rent.

Property safety

The last thing you want to do is become responsible for a property where tenants are injured, or worse. So, it’s crucial to ensure your property is safe for habitation. This could include checking:

  • The condition of the electrics. There are no set rules for making checks on the electrics when you’re a landlord. However, it’s a good idea to get a qualified electrician to do this for you at least every five years.
  • Fire safety measures. Smoke alarms are a legal requirement now – one per floor – as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance.
  • Gas safety checks. Landlords are required to ensure that a gas safety check is carried out once a year on a rented property. The engineer who carries out the check will provide a certificate that needs to be passed on to the tenants.
  • Fire safe furniture. Fully or partly furnished properties must contain furniture that is compliant with fire safety standards – if the sofa dates back to the 1970s, for example, it may need to be replaced.

The right permissions

Even if you are the legal owner of the property you may still need to have the permission of certain parties to rent it out. For example, if there is a mortgage on the property then you will need to get the permission of the lender to rent the property, as most regular mortgages won’t permit this.

Damp and mould

Most tenants will be put off by visible signs of damp or mould and you may also find yourself with a hefty fine from the local authority if you, as a landlord, leave issues like this to get worse. Damp is considered one of the most serious hazards listed in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and not worth taking a risk with.

Energy efficiency

You’ll need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for a rental property and the rating must be E or higher or you’ll be breaking the law trying to rent it out.

Appeal to tenants

Is there a fairly busy rental market nearby? How does the property rate in terms of local amenities, proximity to transport etc? And how much easier will tenants lives be if they choose to rent from you – for example, what’s the phone reception like and is the broadband signal strong? These are all key questions that will determine how easy it will be to find tenants.

These are just some of the checks that anyone considering renting out an inherited property needs to do. We can support you through the process of getting a property like this on the market. Contact Clarke Gammon Wellers today to find out more.