Advice for owners of properties for rent


Preparing a flat or house for rent
Before listing your property, consult with a real estate agency regarding necessary investments, because the property must be in good condition and modernised. It doesn't have to 'designer' fittings and equipment, as the return on investment is questionable, but it must be in good order. Especially ex-pats, or institutions and companies they work for, don't want to overpay for such features. It's important that the property has new bathrooms, kitchen, and appliances, and that the floors, windows, and walls are in good condition. We suggest painting the walls white, as neutral colors are attractive to a larger number of clients. Keep in mind that the appearance of the building is also important. If possible, make sure that the common parts are clean and well-maintained. Lastly, do not invest too much in the appearance of a property on an unattractive location, as you won't achieve adequate returns.


Furniture and equipment
Furnished properties are easier to rent. The listing of a furnished property is more noticeable than an unfurnished one. Due to cost-cutting measures by their companies and institutions, most ex-pat tenants no longer have a budget for moving their personal belongings. A few large companies and embassies still finance the relocation of their employees' belongings, but the general trend is towards furnished properties. There is no need to buy furniture for all the rooms before finding a tenant, furnish the living room and one bedroom, install wardrobes and air conditioning, buy appliances, including a dishwasher and dryer. Do not buy small pieces of furniture in advance, such as tableware and bedding, as some tenants bring these items, and if not, they can be bought in one day. When furnishing, do not overspend; tenants care more about items being new and in good order, rather than 'designer'. Buy furniture and equipment in neutral tones so that it is attractive to a larger number of clients. Remove all personal items, like books, artwork, and decorations. 
 

Price
Set the price correctly because a property that stands out significantly from comparable ones will be difficult to rent. Consult with a real estate agency because they will know best what is realistic. Location, as always with properties, is crucial, as is the micro-location near public transportation and at least a small store. Lower prices will be achieved for properties in small, narrow streets far from public transportation. The vicinity of international schools is also important to ex-pats. If possible, arrange off-street parking, perhaps even in a public garage if the property is in the city centre. If you can't, expect a lower price than for a property with a  private parking spaces or a garage. It is desirable for the property to have a balcony because everyone likes to have an open space for drying clothes, smoking, or plants. If the property is on a higher floor, the building should have a lift. Properties on higher floors in buildings without a lift will achieve a lower price. Neglected buildings will also achieve a lower price.
 

Presentation during viewings
Prepare for viewings by opening blinds, turning on lights, airing, and cleaning. The first impression is extremely important, especially for ex-pats who often see a large number of properties in one day. If you haven't already emptied the property of personal items, be sure to tidy up anything that might give the impression of disarray. Leave the showing to an agent who understands the client's needs and priorities, as they will tailor the presentation. Clients also like to inspect the property on their own, so don't be surprised if the agent withdraws after the initial presentation. This doesn't mean they're not making an effort with the presentation,  but that they understand that no one likes pushy agents and owners.
Rental Agreement Drafts
Real estate agencies who work with ex-pats, should offer have bilingual lease agreements that contain all the necessary provisions for the tenants, while also protecting the owners. Be sure to review them with your lawyer. The agreement governs the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The main obligations of landlords are maintaining fixed components and installations in the property, as well as addressing any damage due to force majeure or wear and tear. A landlord should never enter the property without the tenant's permission and notice, especially in the case of diplomatic tenants, but they have the right to show the property to potential tenants during the notice period, during which the tenant must continue paying the rent and utilities. The lease agreement specifies the rent amount, payment method, utility costs, rental period, and notice period. All other clauses are subject to negotiation. Protect yourself, for example, by retaining a deposit in case of early termination of the lease. Keep in mind that foreigners must have the option to terminate the lease at any time due to relocation for work.
There are also strict forms of lease agreements, which include enforcement clauses for the collection of claims and damages, as well as the return of possession to the landlord, without court proceedings.