Buy to let houses can be a fantastic investment and at the moment, it seems that many of us are jumping into the rental market.
Buy to let lending has reached a five-year high this month as savers clamour to put their cash somewhere other than low interest saving accounts.
The upward trend in buying rental property is expected to continue after the Bank of England’s new governor, Mark Carney, indicated earlier this month that interest rates will remain low for several years yet. Suddenly buying property promises a much better return than cash investments.
Buying the houses is not the problem. Giving them a quick, easy and cheap clean-up before you hand over the keys to new tenants each time is what proves to be the biggest headache for landlords. The best way to give your rental property a thorough clean is to work through the house methodically, working out exactly what needs to be done.
This way you can ensure you buy all the necessary products in one go and work out exactly how much time you need to set aside for the big clean. If the previous occupants have been good tenants then a quick once-over clean will probably be sufficient. But if your buy to let home has been left extremely dirty, or you have only just bought the property, you may need more time and energy to put it right.
- Get any big, DIY jobs out of the way before you start the cleaning. A quick coat of paint, in a neutral colour, will usually be enough to brighten up most rooms. It may be worth considering getting rid of carpets, particularly if they have been left in a terrible mess. Hire a sander and bring wooden floorboards back to life.
- You can always give them a coat of white floor paint too. If you are going to keep the carpets, then an industrial cleaner can also be hired to give it a real spruce up. A carpet that looks new can easily push up your rental price.
- Keep everything plain and simple. Letting out your property will be far easier if it is not cluttered and full of garishly painted walls.
- Once all the big jobs are done, you can start cleaning. Firstly, work on the rooms you will not need to go into again. There’s no point cleaning the hall and kitchen when you will be traipsing through them again and again.
- Use a multi-purpose cleaner, which will tackle the stains on walls, worktops and floors in one go.
- Don’t forget to pull out the appliances and clean behind them. It doesn’t bear thinking about what grows behind the cooker and it is unlikely that your previous tenants will have bother to clean there.
- Keep all the windows open, if you can, when you are cleaning. This will not only help expel any cleaning product odours, but will generally give the property a real fresh air feel about it.
- Once you are done, turn all the lights on and have a good look round. The extra light helps you spot any bits you may have inadvertently missed. And if all this sounds too much like hard work for you, there are plenty of companies out there that can be called in to bring your buy to let property back to life.