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Preparing your property to let

The Edinburgh rental market can be a competitive environment, It is vitally important that your property is presented in the best possible way in order to maximise your income, both in terms of the rental amount achieved and the length of time taken to secure a successful let. The following items are often commented on by prospective tenants and will help your property stand out from the competition:

  • Decoration, Fresh decoration in light and neutral colours, whites and off-whites are always acceptable. Woodwork such as doors, skirting boards and windows are preferred in matt white unless they are stripped back to a natural wood finish. It is best to paint any heavily varnished woodwork, especially pine to a matt white. We would expect the paintwork in a typical rental property to have a lifespan of 3-6 years between full redecoration depending on property type and use. Paintwork should however be touched up between tenancies as required.
  • Flooring, Good quality, hard wearing carpets of the same neutral colour throughout, do however avoid light cream colours. In a typical rental property we would expect a hard wearing carpet to have a lifespan of around six years. In traditional properties sanded and varnished floors remain very popular as is good quality wooden flooring.
  • Kitchen, Tenants will look for a modern and well-equipped kitchen. Where space allows for a dishwasher, a washer dryer or a large fridge freezer these items will all be viewed as positive features by prospective tenants. With the exception of ovens and hobs we would always recommend freestanding rather than integrated appliances. While integrated appliances do perhaps look better they can be more problematic and are significantly more expensive to replace should they go wrong.
  • Bathrooms, A modern, well lit bathroom with an effective power or electric shower and a glazed shower screen rather than shower curtain where possible. Carpeting in bath or shower rooms should be removed and replaced with either floor tiles or vinyl. Grout and silicon lines should be thoroughly cleaned and replaced if necessary. A good quality extractor fan controlled by a humidistat is a sound investment which will help to prevent problems associated with condensation.
  • Window Coverings, Attractive machine washable curtains in neutral colours are preferred, remember to ensure windows are cleaned inside and out in advance of any viewings.
  • Furniture, “Unfurnished” is normally defined as including floor coverings, window coverings and with white goods provided in the kitchen. “Furnished” is normally defined as a property being ready for someone to move into. Please consult our “list of basic inventory items” which provides a guide as to the items that a tenant will typically expect to be included in a furnished property. Properties that have been previously owner occupied should be thoroughly de-cluttered in order to compete with properties that have been specifically furnished for let. Furniture should be of a good quality and each room should have matched items where possible. Good wardrobe space in bedrooms is always viewed as a positive feature by prospective tenants.
  • Safety Certificates, in line with government legislation every rental property must adhere to specific safety guidelines in order to be let. Gas Safety Test must be carried out annually, EIR (Electric Installation Report) the testing of the fixed wiring on a 3 yearly basis and a PAT (portable Appliance Test) carried out on an annual basis.
  • EPC, Energy Performance Certificate, All residential properties available to let on or after 4th January 2009 must be accompanied by a valid EPC. If you have recently purchased the property you may already have an EPC as this forms part of the Scottish Home Report . Energy performance certificates are valid for a period of 10 years.
  • Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended 1989 & 1993, you must ensure that all furnishings in the property are compliant with the above regulations. All furniture purchased since 1990 should comply and if it does it will have had a safety labels such as the below attached at the point of sale. There may also be permanent labelling on some items. Any furniture made or re-upholstered before 1950 is exempt from the legislation. Curtains and carpets are also exempt from the legislation