14th May 2021
Whether you’re new to the Buy to Let business or a seasoned landlord, if you’re thinking of letting or re-letting your property, we’ve prepared this guide to help you get the most out of your investment.
Reading this guide will help you attract a higher rental value and ease your experience of letting your property.
Head Of Lettings
If you’re about to let your property, it’s time to give it a bit of a spruce up to make sure it’s looking its best. This doesn’t mean spending lots of money refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms as small changes can make a big difference.
There are plenty of things that can be done easily between tenancies or before a tenancy starts to make the property more attractive, such as re-decorating, re-grouting bathrooms or replacing taps to make the place feel fresh and new.
If you’re unsure where to start, a good letting agent should be able to advise on the condition of the property and what changes can make the biggest impact to give the best bang for your buck.
The impact of these small changes are particularly important if you’re putting the property on the market as ‘unfurnished' because the moment you remove furniture it’s easy for a property to suddenly look quite tired simply due to wear and tear.
In terms of timescales, we would recommend that a landlord considers decorating the internal walls every two or three years, hallways and living areas in particular tend to wear quicker so we recommend giving them some extra attention. Bedrooms see much less traffic so you may consider re-decorating them once every four or five years.
The best time to make these changes is generally at the end of the tenancy - re-decorating is more difficult while tenants are in situ as you’ve got to give the tenants 'quiet enjoyment'.
A good tip is to organise re-decorating the property at the end of a tenancy. You can get quotes beforehand and line up contractors to come in and complete the work as soon as the tenancy finishes while the property is empty and they can easily move about.
Re-decoration can often be a good investment even if you have long term tenants in situ. For example, if you’re renewing an existing tenancy, after the first three years it's reasonable that the property is re-decorated as part of the renewal negotiation as a way for you to secure a higher monthly rental value.
Our second essential tip to help you let your property quicker and potentially for a higher monthly price, is to make sure your garden is as well presented as possible, especially at this time of year.
In previous posts we’ve spoken about how to improve your garden, but if you are letting a property with a garden you need to consider the garden as the equivalent of an additional outside room. This is hugely attractive to tenants as it’s relatively rare to find rental properties with private outside space on the market.
Virtual Viewing appointments have been an important part of keeping our clients safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, allowing us to reduce foot traffic through properties.
Virtual tours are ideal for larger houses which are typically rented by corporate tenants from overseas – a virtual tour enables a property to be let without the tenant having to fly to the UK to do a physical viewing.
Because virtual tours are a permanent record of what’s in the property, we find they are best suited to vacant properties. Or, if you’re currently living in the property you’re about to rent out, capturing its appearance now with a virtual tour, while it’s looking its best can be used again at a later date should it come back onto the market.
While your property is on the market and your letting agent is arranging viewings, having an extra set of keys cut so they don’t need to bother you or the existing tenants will save everyone time. We also still have to take Covid-19 precautions so an extra set of keys means we don’t have to come into contact with so many people passing keys back and forth.
Once the tenancy is agreed, ensuring your letting agent has a spare set can also help get any issues or emergencies resolved quickly. For example in the event of a water leak while the tenants are on holiday it’s really important your Managing Agent can get quick access to the property.