Guest Article from Liz Lucking: Buying to Rent out a Property Checklist

publication date: Mar 27, 2009
author/source: Guest article by Liz Lucking, Westone Housing Services

You have found the property that you want to buy, you contact either the vendor or the agents to arrange a viewing. After looking over the property for approximately 5-25 minutes you say yes and leave.  Your offer is accepted and you are on your way to purchasing the property which may range from £100k to £200k.

How many of us view the property again before completion?  Why not?  It’s because of the way we expect thing to be done I suppose. In an ideal world, if there have been any maintenance issues arising whilst the property is under offer, they would have been sorted.

When the property is finally purchased and you get the keys, the property is cleaned and ready to move in. Unfortunately this ideal world is becoming less and less apparent.

Check yourself or arrange for your letting agent to check the following whilst viewing the property:-

Whilst there, check for the following:-

• Stains to ceiling below wet areas
• Stains to ceilings below water tanks and hot water cylinders
• Cleanliness of property throughout
• Rugs on carpets - take look underneath they sometimes hide a multitude of sins
• Confirm with the vendor what is included in the sale price
• Do the vendors have pets, this can have pest implications and you may like to include before the completion goes through that the carpets are wet cleaned and pest treated
• Have a gas safety check carried out on the property before exchange to highlight any issues with the boiler or heating system
• Visual check on electrics and fuse board
• Appliance check on those which are being purchased with the sale

And the final one, when making an offer ask the vendor or selling agent if they will allow a visit from your letting agent to prepare the marketing details, this will usually involve a floor plan, photos and a mini movie. You will also have to make a condition of sale viewings (at least one a week) through your letting agent, so that you can hopefully get the property let before completion with a move in date that will be agreed to be slightly flexible to allow for possible delays.

It is becoming a growing problem when the sale has completed and the monies have exchanged, you visit the property for the first time as the new owner, and find it in a mess.

• The vendor didn’t want his old fridge or freezer and has therefore left it in the kitchen, you don’t want it and you then have to arrange to get rid of it.  You may say, well that’s not an issue as the local Council will collect large items.  Well they won’t if the previous owner has had his full entitlement for that year.
• You check through the property further and find that the carpets are soiled and overall the property is not in a condition where you can just move in.
• The roof space is full of rubbish – very rarely will you find an antique worth a million
• The garage has the remains of an engine or spare tyre in it
• You find a supply of student road signs they have decided they don’t want at their new property any more
• The garden is full of the vendor's dogs toiletries
• The wheelie bins (if relevant) are full to the brim with the wrong waste which local authorities now fine for, anything from £60.00
• There has been a leak from the bathroom and the ceiling is bowed or the artex is starting to lift.

What can you do?  Unfortunately as the monies have already exchanged then nothing.  If you are an investment buyer and the vendor is aware of this, they sometimes are less careful when leaving the property.

I would therefore recommend that before exchange of any monies you organise either yourself or the letting agent who will be marketing your property for rental to visit the property the day before exchange or completion to check the property over.

If this request is refused, then this should sound alarm bells and I would therefore suggest that you ask your solicitors to withhold at least £500 to cover cleaning, clearance and possibly any faults.  This £500 may not cover all the costs, but will help a long way towards cleaning. If there are any other major issues then a solicitor may be able to recover this at a later date.

Guest article submitted by Liz Lucking, Westone Housing Services
01733 320500

Agents to help with these possible scenarios are:-
• Belvoir Lettings, Peterborough  (Letting agents Peterborough and Corby) 01733 321500 and 01536 267755
• Westone Housing Services (Maintenance needs) 01733 320500
• Houses2order (selling agents) 01733 573100

Please Note:-
The views expressed in this article are of Westonehousing and not necessarily agreed with or supported by Designs on Property Ltd.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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