Published: 25/04/2016 By Stephanie Wright
As a Landlord you will be faced with many responsibilities and challenges, the first of which is marketing your property and finding your new tenants. On viewings first impressions are key and your challenge is to ensure that your property is the best it can possibly be. The presentation and condition of the property will heavily influence the way that it is treated by your tenants. As will your willingness to maintain it and see to issues or repairs during their tenancy.
There are a number of key elements which potential tenants often express to us and are big decision makers for them when considering renting a property. These include:
Transport links, especially via tube
Distance to work
Condition of the property
Quality of furniture if provided
Layout and room sizes
These are very important requirements to consider if you are looking for a new buy to let investment as they will lessen the chances of you experiencing any void periods between tenancies. It can be a very risky time when you are sourcing new tenants and it is essential that your property isn't online for too long as it will loose it's appeal instantly. Ensuring that your property meets the majority of these factors will increase the number of viewings and get you closer to securing new tenants.
If you already own your buy to let property then there are methods you can take to enhance its value and appeal to tenants. One of the most important but often overlooked is the general up keep and maintenance. It is understandable that landlords want to keep costs low but ignoring maintenance issues should not be taken lightly. Noticeable maintenance issues during viewings will reduce the chances of tenants making an offer. If the property is due a new coat of paint or replacement carpets then it may also be very worthwhile to get these done. The key goal as a landlord is to acquire good tenants who will look after the property and continue to rent it for a long time.
So where should you begin? The entrance, this is a common factor which is overlooked, especially if it is a communal area. However, this is the first thing potential tenants will see and it can be an instant turn off and effect their opinion for the remainder of the viewing. Firstly, ensure that there aren't any personal items dumped there, that all the rubbish has been removed and that the front door and locks are all maintained. If there is a garden this should also be well kept as this can be a key selling feature.
Check through your property thoroughly, electrical maintenance is key. Ensure that all appliances are thoroughly checked as it is a common issue where fixtures are missing or burned out. Working lightbulbs should be fitted throughout the whole property and the correct safety checks must be done prior to your tenants moving in. Ignoring these issues can cause concern to potential tenants as it may flag a safety warning and cause you to come across as negligent which is not the right image to create to a tenant.
Another concept which is often overlooked is the importance of having the property professionally cleaned for new tenants. The number of issues created at the end of a tenancy due to the property not being presented professionally cleaned is endless. The great thing is that as a landlord you will only have to pay for the property to be cleaned once, it is custom for the landlord to pay for the clean at the start of the tenancy and the tenants will be liable to pay for a professional clean when they move out. Therefore, if the property is continued to be let each year with no void periods you will always have a clean property!
When considering how you can make your property more desirable to a potential tenant it is important to put yourself in their shoes during the viewing. When viewing a property a potential tenant will be imagining how their lifestyle will fit with the property and whether they can imagine themselves living there. Spend some time dressing your property and making it desirable to the sort of tenants you think it would appeal to.
If you are looking to redecorate then we would suggest focusing on using neutral colours throughout to help improve the size and brightness of the property. Using neutral colours will suit the majority of viewers, if you want to add colour and warmth to the property try doing this with colourful accessories. Doing this will allow the potential tenant to be imaginative and picture themselves living at your property whilst making it their home.
The most important thing about preparing your property for a tenancy is to remember that the condition your property is in when you preset it to your tenants will reflect the condition that they have to return it to you in. It is absolutely essential to have a professional, third part inventory report for each tenancy, otherwise you will not be able to prove any differences in the condition of your property.