Official government figures show that home ownership in England has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years (www.theguardian.com/money/2017/mar/02/home-ownership-in-england-at-a-30-year-low-official-figures-show). The private rental sector on the other hand has doubled since 2004 with almost half of all people in the country aged between 25 and 34 now in rented accommodation.
While this isn’t great news for those looking to get on the property ladder, there couldn’t be a better time to be a landlord. With so many other homeowners thinking the same thing however, how can you make your property more desirable to potential tenants?
Remember, first impressions count
The inside of your property is of course more important than the outside but if a house looks truly awful on first appearance, a prospective tenant may not even bother going inside.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that most properties are now advertised on online portals such as Rightmove. Most people tend to skim through these listings so it’s crucial that your property looks good enough to attract people’s attention very quickly.
Some great ways to improve the curb appeal of your home include:
- Spruce up the garden by cutting the grass, removing weeds and planting some flowers
- Remove any rubbish or debris. If the outside of a house looks unkempt, people will assume it looks just as bad on the inside
- Make sure window frames are in good order – if they’re rotting away, replace them or if paint is chipping off, re-paint them. Window dressings can also make a huge difference to the overall look of your property. Window shutters for example are stylish, look elegant and can give any home that wow factor.
- Don’t forget the little touches. Ensure the letterbox, light fixtures and address numbers are in good condition.
Do renovations before you show people around
A lot of landlords make the mistake of trying to get new tenants in before carrying out renovations. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to worry about doing the place up and it then sits empty until someone moves in.
The drawback of this however is that most people find it difficult to see past what’s right in front of them. If your property looks old and run-down, it will probably take a long time to find a tenant who is keen. If you make the place look fantastic however, you can guarantee you will get lots of viewings and you may even be able to charge a higher rent.
Be flexible with the furnishings
Moving home is stressful and time-consuming because we have to pack up our whole life and transport it to our new accommodation. People tend to stay in rented accommodation for a shorter period of time than they would if they owned their own place so it’s logical that most tenants won’t have a lot of furniture.
When advertising your property, try to be flexible when it comes to offering furnished or unfurnished. Don’t worry if this means you will have to go out and buy a bed or a sofa – most tenants expect to pay a bit extra for a furnished property so you will make your money back in the long-run.
If you’re thinking about investing in a buy-to-let project and need help choosing the right property, ‘This is Money’ has put together a handy guide which will help you to ensure that your rental property is irresistible to tenants. You can find out more by following the link: www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/buytolet/article-3108271/How-make-buy-let-property-irresistible-house-hunters.html