The most important thing to most Landlords is that their property is occupied by a paying tenant with no void periods. Some properties do take longer than others to let, and often the reasons why aren’t down to a lack of potential tenants in the market place, but the condition of the property.
These top tips aren’t rocket science, and most will cost you little to nothing but a little care and attention, and they can often be the deciding factor in your property letting quickly.
Sleek, clean, modern and clutter-free. Bright colours and patterns may make your property stand out but they might not be to everyone’s taste . If you can, clear any clutter. The more a property looks ‘ready’ to move into, the more it will appeal.
If your property has an overgrown garden, with wheelie bins overflowing and a door number hanging upside down, a lot of people might be put off even arranging a viewing in the first place! Even if they do go ahead and book in with your agent, they may make up their mind before the front door is opened. Pay attention to the details- a lick of paint on the front door or a recently cut lawn can make a world of difference.
Refreshing the décor and/or paintwork of a property can be relatively cheap and easy, yet can take years off. Aim for neutral colours (beige, cream etc.) to appeal to a wider audience. Add interest with colour in the soft furnishings. Colourful cushions on the sofa or towels in the bathroom can make a wonderful impact.
There is nothing more off-putting to potential tenants than unfinished maintenance work. Fix that leak, screw the door handle back in place and replace the sealant around the bath. Small jobs that make a huge difference.
Valiant Properties will conduct a formal Risk Assessment for you on the property, which we recommend is updated annually. Landlords are required by law to keep the property in a good state of repair.
Regulation 1994 All gas appliances such as cookers and boilers in rented accommodation must be serviced and certified every year by a Gas Safe registered Installer. A certificate should be provided for your tenants. These regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive. Valiant Properties can arrange this for you.
After 1st June 1992 it was a legal requirement for builders to install mains operated smoke detectors one each floor and that they should be interlinking. If the property is built prior to this it is recommended that a smoke detector be fitted on each floor. As it is the responsibility of the Landlord to ensure the safety of his tenants we recommend that you do so. We would also recommend that any electrical appliances left in the property are checked by a qualified electrician thus showing ‘due diligence’ should an accident occur.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives information on the energy efficiency of the property. It gives the building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade and is valid for 10 years. Valiant Properties can arrange this for you.
If your property is furnished, make sure it is up to standard. Scruffy, dirty and general old-looking furniture isn’t going to do much to impress tenants. Improved standards of furniture can also help to attain a higher rent, so it’s a win/win.
Most Landlords do this anyway, but depending on preference and the level of service requested, a lot still accompany their own viewings. Agents are often available at the drop of a hat to conduct a short-notice viewing. If you’re not you could miss a lot of opportunities, so give them a key.
Make sure you are clear about what is and isn’t included in the rent. Bills are usually the tenants responsibility but if you are looking for student tenants or sharers, offering a bills inclusive package could attract more interest. Take meter readings and don’t forget the council tax (whilst students are exempt from paying they still need to provide a university certificate).
If your property is being advertised whilst the current tenant is still living there, they can often be the deciding factor in the appeal of your property. The last thing you want as a viewer is for the current occupant to be pointing out unfixed leaks and broken washing machines. Keep them happy and use a strong relationship to encourage them to be flexible with viewings, and keep the place clean and tidy etc.
Most people start their property search online and this now tends to be from mobile devices. Make sure your agent has a fully responsive website that works on all mobile platforms. You will also get more interest if they advertise on the UKs main property portals Zoopla.co.uk, Rightmove.co.uk and Primelocation.com. Even with all the technological advancements in property marketing, you’ll be surprised how much interest a good old-fashioned board can drum up so it’s a good idea to allow one.
Take a look at your property and see if any of the above tips need to be implemented. If you take them all on board your property should let not just quickly, but at the highest possible rent. Care and attention with your property literally pays off. A full Property Management service, where the agent collects rent and looks after the property and tenants, can be an excellent option for complete novice landlords when they start out, particularly for legal advice.