Are you struggling to find a tenant for your buy-to-let property?
Our top 10 tips for properties that will not let gives you valuable help and advice and some simple measures that you can take to make your property immediately more rentable.
top ten tips
1. Clean, clean, clean!
There is nothing more off-putting to a prospective tenant than walking into a dirty property. Clean windows, sparkling work surfaces and a spotless bathroom can do wonders to value of a property in the mind of a prospective tenant. If there is a shared close or garden then ensure that this is tidy and well kept – even if it means doing it yourself! First impressions are important; you do not want a garden filled with rubbish the first thing a viewer to see when they approach your property.
2. That feeling of ‘home’
Your property needs to look and feel homely. Even if the property has been empty for a length of time there are simple measures you can take to make it feel like a home.
Open the windows to allow fresh air in. Spray air freshener and turn the heating on before a prospective tenant comes to view the property so they will get an idea of what the place is like when it is occupied. Fresh flowers can be an expert touch too.
3. Target market
Whom are you intending to let your property to? If you cannot find a tenant you might be looking in the wrong place. A young professional is looking for something different to a family who will be looking for something different from students. Identify one segment and target your property towards them. This could mean turning a dining room into an extra bedroom or a study. Just because you have bought a property with a room of a certain type doesn’t need it to stay that way.
Put yourself into the mindset of your target market. For example, students are going to want desks in their rooms and a living room where they can relax after studying. Alternatively, a family with young children will be more interested in having a place their children can safely play.
4. Set a competitive price
Ensuring you know the local market place for rent values is key. Do your research by reviewing the rental values of similar properties within the area. Understand the unique selling points of your property and measure them against rental properties within your area. Remember, potential tenants will be scouting around for deals, so set the rent at a competitive price.
5. A lick of paint
Giving your property a lick of paint can make a world of difference. Old Blu-Tack stains and holes from paintings can be easily covered up by giving the room a fresh lick of paint. An attractive and well kept property will make potential tenants believe that you want to take care of the property and thus will take care of them.
Create more space by moving unneeded furniture into storage. It will make the place more spacious and you can advise potential tenants that if they require more furniture it isn’t a problem. Finding tenants will be far easier if they know that you have the ability to provide what they need.
7. Minor repairs
Is everything in working order? When a prospective tenant walks in they will expect everything to be working. Fix leaking taps and cracks in walls. Replace the bulbs in all the lights that are out and if there any broken or crooked tiles replace them.
8. Know the area
Create a transport and utilities manual that lists the local railway station, how frequent the trains arrive, the local bus numbers and their destinations, time to walk to the centre of town and the cost of a taxi and display these on the advert. Potential tenants want to know how quickly they can get places and how much they can expect to pay. Ensuring they know before they come to view the property can avoid wasted viewings.
Within the manual, have all the utility services listed, average costs for heating, electricity etc, and the contact details for easy set up within the property. Furthermore, leave instructions for white goods such as the washing machine, vacuum cleaner and dishwasher.
9. Contact the letting professionals
Letting agencies are professional at what they do. They do not make money unless the property is occupied. They know what sells within local areas and the target markets for individual properties. They will give you an honest apprasel of the property and what needs done to increase the renting potential. They also often have a database of potential occupents that they can instantly market the property to and they know the best channels to advertise the property on. Generally, their fees are quite resonable (approx 10-20% of the rental figure per month) and the best part is that you have peace of mind that the property will be cared for by the letting agency through reference checking of occupents, credit checks and regular inspections
10. Are you comfortable with pets?
More often than not, individuals with pets looking to rent often struggle to find rented accommodation. If you are willing to allow pets within your rented property, SHOUT ABOUT IT! Make sure pet owners clearly see your advert. You might however, consider asking for a higher deposit due to the additional risk of damage to the property and white goods. In addition, you might want to build into the contract additional inspections to ensure the property is well kept.
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