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Setting up your rental property - three steps to take

Some people on the proeprty ladder buy homes to live in, others buy homes to refurbish them and sell them on as a profit, but one of the more interesting things to do with a property is to rent it out to budding tenants. Whether it's just a single room or a whole flat, renting out can be a lucrative prospect. It's rewarding in other ways too – you're providing homes for those who have just moved out and perhaps can't afford to buy a property of their own.So, renting out can provide some extra income and a great service to the community. How do you do about doing it? Well, here are three steps to get you started;Address the start up costsMaking a cost estimate is a very good idea, regardless of whether you're far along with the project or not. You'll want to see if you will need extra finances to start up, or whether it's going to worth the money in the first place. You should be looking how much it costs to do all of the relevant repairs, decorations and furnishings, as well as the advertising. This gives you an idea how much much elbow grease you'll have to put in before getting any kind of return. If it's looking like a good prospect by this point, then you can start factoring in the upkeep costs. Think about the risks before being blinded by any potential rewards. You have to larn how to crawl before you can walk, after all.Think about the presentationGet all of the relevant repairs done far in advance, if the property needs it. You don't want any loose skirting boards or guttering to put off any potential customers. They may have a low budget, but they still demand a decent quality of life.Afterwards you can worry about the decorating and furnishings. We're not all professional stylists and decorators, but you'll still have to put some work in. Keep things neutral, to keep the potential market as wide as possible. Think white walls and clean furnishings, nothing avantgarde, just functional.Do the right kind of advertisingNow that your property's ready, you can start to advertise it to the world. The simple 'sign outside the house' approach is a good start, but you shouldn't leave it at that. There are so many mediums you can utilise. From print advertising in the local newspaper, to putting up a digital advert on somewhere like Gumtree or other such sites. You could even hire a private letting agent if you feel like you need the help.As for the advert itself, take the same route as the furnishings. Keep it simple, and to the point. Sure, you can add a few adjectives here and there, but the main goal is to let everyone know what's on offer and for what price. How many bedrooms are available, how many people are you accomodating, and what's the monthly rent are just some of the examples of information you should include. After all, you're selling the property, not applying for a writing competition. Take the same approach with any photographs you wish to include too. Don't go for artsy shots, just show off as much as possible with as few pictures as possible.Now, if you've done everything correctly, the offers should start rolling in. When interviewing potential tenants, be sure you only accept the offers of the ones you trust. Do they have a good credit history, for example? If so, they're most likely going to get their rent in on time. Which lets be fair, you're running a business, so it's the most important thing to get right.