Preparing your empty property for letting – advice for landlords of unoccupied buildings

Before you let your unoccupied property it will need preparation. It may be just a building to you, to somebody else however it is going to be a home and you need to prepare it with this in mind.

Does it need to be repaired?

If there are any structural repairs that need to be attended to then now is the time. Don’t wait until a tenant moves in before getting around to repairing the roof, it’s far easier to carry out any repairs straight away – and it reduces the chance of further damage which can affect your insurance premium.

Clean it

Isn’t it amazing that private landlords try to let out a properties that are covered in grime? If you can’t do it yourself then hire a professional firm to clean it for you. There really is no reason why a property should be left in a dirty state, if you want your tenant to look after the place then you have to give it to them clean.


Whilst you are in a cleaning mood then take a look outside. Front and back gardens / yards should be tidy, free from rubbish (and your own possessions) the grass mowed and the plants trimmed / pruned as necessary. If there is a shed or garage the same applies to these too. If you expect your tenant to cut the grass then it is reasonable to provide a lawnmower for use but if you do this you will need to make sure it is in good condition and is safe to use.

Internal decoration

Always offer the property in good decorative condition. Neutral colours are recommended. Freshly painted white woodwork looks appealing as does clean, neutral coloured walls. Avoid brightly coloured feature walls as whilst it may appeal to your taste, it may not appeal to a prospective tenant.

Kitchen and bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom needs to be in as good condition as possible. A good quality kitchen and bathroom will lend appeal, but will certainly be a turn off if they are not modern, freshly decorated and free of mould.

Kitchen appliances

Always best to make sure these are in good condition and working perfectly. If your budget allows then if they are in questionable condition, dispose of them and replace with new. Ask yourself, would you like to have them in your own house?

Spare Keys

Get spare keys cut, one for your managing agent and one for you. That way, if your tenant locks themselves out you don’t need to break in, or hire a locksmith. If the windows have key operated locks then make sure your tenant has the keys for these as well.

Certificates and safety

A Gas Safety Certificate is required for all gas appliances. You need to maintain gas appliances in good order and having an annual certificate issued by a Gas Safe engineer demonstrates that you have at least had it checked and maintained within the last 12 months.

Electrical installations need to be checked and in good working order. Advice should be sought from a qualified electrician.

If you are letting your property furnished then all Fire Safety Regulations labels must be in place on all furniture.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required for properties that are to be rented out. You can shop around for these but shop wisely, it may be best to get a recommendation from somebody as there are many firms offering these services on a part time basis that may not be experienced, do your homework first but you cannot get away from the fact that you need to have one completed.

Landlords insurance

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