Preparing your property to let isn’t complicated, but it does take time and money to get right.

Letting with Chaffers

When preparing your property to let, your standards need to be high if you want to attract the right tenant. Slapdash work and a poorly maintained interior will reduce your chances of finding a tenant and achieving the optimum rent.

It has become mandatory to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), on rental properties from the 1st October 2008. If you do not already have one, we can arrange this for you at a fee of £85 + VAT to include free floor plans.

Safety for you and your tenants

The safety of your tenant is paramount. Accidents from faulty equipment or services in your property will be costly to remedy and could even result in legal action if someone is badly hurt. Here are the main safety considerations:

Gas safety – Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must arrange to have all gas appliances, pipework, fittings and flues checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Electrical equipment – You are not required by law to get your electrical supply and appliances checked. However, there are lots of regulations covering electrics and you do have a duty of care to your tenant. A Portable Appliance Test (PAT test) is also required for any free standing electrical appliances left in the property, such as a cooker or washing machine, this does not apply to built in appliances. Failing to make sure that electrical equipment and appliances are safe is a criminal offence. We will, therefore, require you to provide a current electrical installation report.

Smoke alarms/Carbon Monoxide Detectors – All properties built after 1991 must be fitted with mains-powered smoke alarms. For older houses, the rules are less clear-cut, so the best advice we can give is to get them fitted without question. Smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are cheap and are easy to fit – and they save lives and your property!

Furniture and furnishings – To minimise the risk of fire, the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 set out requirements for soft furnishings, such as cushions, beds, sofas and pillows. It’s illegal to provide furnishings that don’t comply. We generally only deal with unfurnished properties.


Try not to impose a highly personal style on a property you want to let. Keep the decor simple; neutral colour schemes and furnishings are unlikely to offend other people’s tastes, and will help you let your property quickly.

The list of things you could or must do before you let your property is endless. As well as the essential things above, here’s a reminder of other things to consider:

If you’re letting the property unfurnished, you must still ensure the property has working, safety-checked appliances, including a fridge, freezer, washing machine, oven and hob.

  • Get enough sets of keys cut for the agent and future tenants.
  • Ensure all minor DIY jobs are finished, including fitting working light bulbs.
  • Have the property professionally cleaned before your tenant moves in (tenants are expected to do the same when they leave).
  • Defrost the fridge and freezer (if there is one)
  • Bleed the radiators.
  • Leave instruction manuals for all appliances and take copies for yourself and the managing agent (if you have one).
  • General decoration should be carried out at least every 5 years and between tenants as necessary.
  • Carpets should be replaced every 6 – 8 years depending on wear.

Mike or Shirley

Shaftesbury Office: 01747 852301

Email: [email protected]

Kevin or Helen

Sturminster Newton Office: 01258 475151

Email: [email protected]

Gillingham Branch

Gillingham Branch

Gillingham | Dorset

The Gillingham office is located in a prominent position in the centre of town. A wealth of local knowledge, filling you with confidence. 

Call us on 01747 822233

Shaftesbury Branch

Shaftesbury Branch

Shaftesbury | Dorset

The Shaftesbury office is situated in the heart of this historic town with a prominent corner position. Tom and the team are waiting to help you.  

Call us on 01747 852301

Wincanton Branch

Wincanton Branch

Wincanton | Somerset

The Wincanton office is located in a Grade II listed building on the Market Place close to the Post Office. Just inside the border of Somerset.  

Call us on 01963 34433

Roy Barrett Branch

Roy Barrett Branch

Sturminster Newton | Dorset

Chaffers Estate Agents acquired Roy Barrett in October 2016.  Roy Barrett has been established since 1991.  Call us on 01258 473900 for Sales, or 01258 475151 for Lettings