This modern age is changing the way we think about the property market, especially when it comes to rentals. Companies like Airbnb and SpareRoom are making it easier to let parts of your home out for short-time slots online and through handy apps. When it comes to long-term rentals, more and more tenants are starting their searches on the internet rather than scanning the windows of high street agencies.
If you're a landlord looking to rent your home, it's time to take your listing digital. Here's our short guide to putting your rental property online.
How to do it: step by step
While both Rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla.co.uk are popular advertising platforms for letting, you can't list your property through these sites as any old private landlord. If you want to use their services you need to go through a high street estate agent, which might leave you with a few pesky fees to pay.
However, you can also go through an online estate agent like HouseSimple.com. This way, you pay around £29 per week for using our services or an upfront payment of £95 for three months. During this time your home will be advertised on up to 500 of the UK's top property websites and you'll even have a property specialist guiding you through the process.
Before you let your property, you need to find out how much it's actually worth, and therefore how much you can charge. Hiring a professional surveyor to value you home could set you back around £300, while our own home visit service costs £115.
If you want to conduct this part of the process yourself, you'll need to do a bit of research. Look into how much nearby buy-to-let properties are going for in your area, and how long they stay on the market for. There are even handy rent calculators available that can give you an idea of the figure you should be aiming for. Of course, nothing will be as accurate as getting a professional in to do the job for you.
Once you have your ballpark figure to hand, you need to create an attractive listing for your online advert. This means taking professional standard photographs that show off all your home's best features. Make sure there's plenty of natural light streaming in the windows and that you've already carried out any home improvements for your rental property.
If you go through an online estate agent – like us – we'll take photos and throw in a floor plan to boot as part of our home valuation visit. Then all you need to do is write an interesting listing with an eye-catching title and make sure you include some searchable keywords like 'garage' or 'en-suite bathroom' (but only if you have them, of course).
Without an estate agent running the show, you'll need to be a hands-on landlord. This means conducting viewings for the property and meeting with your prospective tenants to find out a little about them.
Once the contracts are signed and you've handed over the keys, prepare to be on call – especially in the first few months. If you've done any recent renovations, this is the time when they're most likely to show any faults that might need a touch up. Respond to their messages as soon as possible and have a few tradesmen on hand for essential repairs.