The buy-to-let sector is highly competitive and, not surprisingly, the landlords who are typically more successful are the ones who appreciate the importance of making their properties attractive to tenants.
“Presentation, presentation, presentation,” if you want to attract tenants at the best price, it is important that your property is clean, well maintained and nicely presented.
So, what are the biggest annoyances for tenants and how can they be avoided?
Even if a property is being let furnished, most tenants will arrive with many of their own possessions, so they are not likely to warm to a property which is overflowing with unwanted clutter. Landlords should systematically declutter their properties before showing them to prospective tenants.
If the walls have not been painted for several years, a property will make a bad impression on tenants as soon as they walk through the door. To rectify the problem, all the walls need is a fresh coat of paint. However, it is important that landlords repaint their properties regularly or they could lag behind the competition.
Unfinished DIY tasks
Viewing a property that look like a ‘work in progress’ can be quite off putting to prospective tenants, especially with fixtures that have been half-repaired or rooms that have been half-redecorated. If you have begun a DIY task to upgrade your property, make sure you finish it before conducting viewings.
This can be a majorly off putting for tenants, whether they emanate from cigarette smoke, pets or food. Landlords who want their properties to pass the smell test should invest in air-fresheners and remember to clean the bedding, carpets and curtains regularly.
In presentation terms, the garden can be as important as the property itself. Some tenants will be instantly put off if they see a tangle of weeds outside the kitchen window. So, make sure you put the effort into mowing the lawn, weeding flower-beds and generally making the garden easy on the eye.
There is nothing worse than bathrooms that look dirty or unhygienic. Spare no expense and take no short cuts, until it is completely clean and hygienic.
Tenants are likely to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Perhaps it is cramped, badly laid out or poorly lit. Give thought to what sort of kitchen space you would want to cook in and try to create a space that is warm and welcoming. A lick of paint on kitchen cupboards or modern kitchen handles will often lift a dated kitchen.
Malfunctioning domestic appliances
From leaky washing-machines and aging kettles, to thermostats that do not do what they are supposed to, domestic appliances which are unreliable, or even dangerous, are a tenant’s nightmare. Landlords should check all appliances before showing tenants around a property. And if something goes wrong when the tenant moves in, act fast to repair it.
Badly maintained common parts
Despite how well presented a rental property may be, tenants will stay away if the common parts of the building look tired, messy or neglected. Savvy landlords understand this and liaise with the managing agents for the building to ensure that the common parts come up to scratch.
Prospective tenants will naturally be curious about their new neighbours and may take fright if, for example, they hear heavy metal being played loudly in the next-door flat. To some extent, this is outside the landlord’s control. But landlords can certainly help their cause by maintaining good relations with the residents of neighbouring properties.
Tenants are realistic. They do not expect rental properties to look like suites in five-star hotels. However, they do expect properties to be clean and generally in good working order. And if your property does not pass those tests, they are likely to look elsewhere.
At Boxall Brown and Jones, we offer a full property management service to take the stress out of your hands. With contractors to hand, we can help ensure your property is looking up to scratch for your tenants. To find out more, click here.
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