If you are in the happy position of having a property which you can rent out then you will be looking forward to receiving a healthy income from it for some time to come. Apart from this factor, you can also expect to gain from any upswings in the local housing market. However, if your house is needing repairs done to it before you can consider putting it on the market then there are a few things you need to carefully consider before going ahead and getting the builders in;
1) DIY or professional builder. If you love doing DIY, and you have the free time, then doing it yourself is a cheaper option. However, in all other cases you should remember that this is a business transaction, so the quicker you get the work done and the property let out the quicker you start earning money. For example, you might save £500 by doing the work yourself, but if you can only work in the evenings it may take you a couple of months to finish off the job, meaning that you lose out on two months rental income. You should also be honest with yourself about the standard of work you could expect to do on your own.
2) Standard of finish. This really depends upon the type of person you think will rent the property, and depends as much on the area as your own personal tastes and choices. If the house is in a highly sought after area, such as Central London, then people will expect a good quality property, and will pay accordingly. If the property is in a less exclusive zone then it may not be such a good investment to include high spec fittings and quality flooring etc. You should check out local letting agencies to see what kind of price you should be looking at. In all cases you should at least ensure that the fittings are of a sufficient standard not to need replaced shortly, or to cause you continuous headaches when tenants complain of handles falling off or of cookers not working properly.
3) Alterations to the property. Apart from the basic work needing done, whether that be painting the walls or putting up wallpaper, if the house is virtually a shell then this is a great time to think about improvement or alterations you can carry out. For example, if the property is in an exclusive zone you might consider increasing its appeal with an en-suite bathroom. If you have a large property located near a university it may suit you to divide it into separate, self contained units for students.
If you decide to go with a local builder for the work, to get the work done quickly and professionally, then a good bet is to look up a site where highly rated tradesmen bid for your job. Here you will find a good builder at a reasonable price.