Our Property Partner, estate agency LEADERS, give useful and handy tips to help you adapt your parent’s home, should you need to put it on the market to sell or rent.
Having to make the hard decision to move an elderly parent into a care home, care village or assisted living community is not easy. Feelings, emotions, stress and apprehensions will surface, not only for your parent, but for you too. If you’re faced with having to put your parent’s home on the market to sell or rent, we’ve put together this handy ‘tick list’ to help you adapt their home.
- Declutter, Deep Clean and Décor
Declutter the house, one room at a time. It may sound simple, but it could be a long and emotional process. Set yourself a checklist:
- Clean sinks, ovens, fridges, microwaves and inside kitchen and bathroom cupboards, drawers or units.
- Remove any old fluff and lint from tumble dryer vents.
- Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
- Clean the curtains or buy some inexpensive new ones.
- Remove any free-standing equipment such as portable commodes and raised toilet seat frames.
- Replace any broken door handles and make sure fitted wardrobe doors or tracks are working.
- In the bathroom, clean the tiles and grout work and fix any leaky taps.
- Mow the lawns, tidy any plant pots, clean any decking and sweep up any leaves or windswept foliage debris.
A prospective buyer will want to see a blank canvass, so depersonalise as much as possible. If it’s too upsetting or time consuming, there are a wide range of cleaning companies who can help.
Contact LEADERS for more information on their approved specialists (https://www.leaders.co.uk/branches).
- Safety First
It’s important to make sure that all gas and electrical appliances are safety checked and serviced, with a house sale or in a rented tenancy. There are a range of tests which should be carried out, including checking for any CO emissions.
- If you are planning to rent out the property, as a Landlord, your duty is to guarantee the safety of all gas and electrical appliances in your property, to meet your legalobligations and keep your tenants For gas appliances, a gas safety check must be carried out annually and a gas safety report provided to your tenants at the start of their tenancy. For electrical safety, a PAT Test (Portable Appliance Test) is used to examine electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use. The PAT will cover any appliance that has a plug which is to be connected to a wall socket or generator.
- Unlike gas regulations, there is no law which states youmust have a Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate; however, if any electrical fittings or appliances within your rental property cause harm to a tenant, you could be held liable.
- Private Sector Landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. The Landlord must ensure alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
- Landlords should be aware that with regards to windows and safety glass, ground floor opening windows should be fitted with window locks with operable keys. Interior doors that have glass panels should be fitted with safety glass but, if not possible, they should be protected and boarded over (at least one metre high).
- There are also regulations which must be adhered to regarding certain types of furniture and furnishings that you can supply in a rented property. The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 states that:
“Any furniture and furnishings supplied in a property that is rented out are fire resistant and that they won’t produce fume-filled smoke if there is a fire in the property. Sometimes, furniture also has to pass a test for match and cigarette resistance.”
All new furniture must come with a label already attached.
Items which must comply include: arm chairs, three-piece suites, sofas, sofa beds, futons and other convertible furniture; beds, bases and head boards, mattresses, divans and pillows, nursery furniture and garden furniture which could be used indoors and loose, stretch and fitted covers for furniture, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows. Those items which do not need to be compliant include any antique furniture or furniture manufactured before 1950 (unless they have been reupholstered after 1950), bed clothes and duvets, loose mattress covers, pillowcases, curtains and carpets.
- Alterations – Inside and Out
If your parent’s home has any disability features, these should be removed before it goes on the market or is available to rent out. Items such as grab rails, hand bars and anti-slip mats which may have been installed, won’t appeal to most prospective buyers or tenants. Rails can be easily removed, and any screw holes quickly filled which will alleviate the potential problem. If the property is being rented to a disabled tenant, as Landlord, you will be expected to make certain reasonable alterations.
For additional security, a potential Landlord may wish to install motion activated external lighting or even CCTV. For general lighting requirements, a property should have adequate electric lighting to the entrance and sufficient electric lighting to each room.
If you’d like any more help or advice regarding selling or letting an elderly parent’s home, please contact LEADERS via https://www.leaders.co.uk/branches or contact Joanne Darroch, Senior Branch Manager on BRIGHTON 01273 025728.
Do you have experience of helping elderly relatives or friends move home? What are your top tips? Share your experience or see others’ advice in our Age Space Forum at www.agespace.com