Now that things are finally opening again in the UK, landlords everywhere are gearing back up to get to work on their properties. The rental market is uncertain right now, but the more work we put into our rental homes, the better return we will see.
If you have never rented your property to tenants before, it can be a little tough to assume the perspective of a prospective renter. What are the must-haves, and what is going to drive people away? Are people looking for the same sorts of things that they did in the pre-COVID-19 era? Well, some things may have changed but there are some essentials that never fall off the must-have lists. Here are a few things that you can do, and plus points that you should advertise, to entice renters to your property.
Advertise Travel Links
Whether you are renting a property in a city or not, one of the most important things to potential renters is knowing that they are going to be able to get where they need to go. When you are making your listing for your property, emphasise accessibility for any buses, trains and other transport links. Even if you don’t drive yourself, you mustn’t forget to include details of main roads and routes into the city centre. Parking spaces are always going to be a big plus on anyone’s check list so make sure you mention them in your listing.
Offer Home Security
One of the main concerns that anyone renting a property will have is that their new home will be secure. It is well worth spending the money installing new locks on the property and getting a burglar alarm set up. Of course, much of the burden of home security will fall on the tenant actually using the systems that you have put in place, but their presence will be reassuring. If you know that you live in a safe area, don’t be embarrassed about stressing that in the listing too.
On a similar note, if you are renting a multi-bedroom property, think about what people might be looking for in terms of housemates. Could you offer a house for women only, for example?
Think About Installing New White Goods And Kitchen Appliances
The final decision about which property to rent can often come down to relatively minor things. While you’re never going to be able to do anything about the view from the bedroom window, you can make sure that all the appliances are working in your favour. Now, the cost of a new washing machine, fridge or dishwasher are never going to be particularly low, and an oven is not an insignificant investment, but they are always going to be big selling points. What’s more, paying for new machines now will almost certainly save you money further down the line in repairs and replacements.
Make Sure That All Your Checks Are Up To Date
Whenever you rent a property, you are going to need to make sure that everything is as safe as possible when it comes to your electrics. If you don’t have an up to date Electrical Safety Certificate then you could be liable for penalties, and you could be facing some serious safety issues. Checking your electrics on a regular basis will help to highlight any issues when it comes to earthing and bonding, it will identify any defects in the electrical circuits, and give you any information about electrical shock hazards. A rented home should be carrying out these tests every five years at the very least. If you want to learn more about what electrical testing entails, Trade Facilities Services offers a detailed breakdown.
Think About Whether You Can Offer An Unfurnished Space
This point may well depend on the kind of tenants you are looking for. It’s fair to say that students and younger professionals will prize the convenience of a furnished property. However, if you are looking for tenants in their late 20s and upwards, then it will be worth thinking about whether you should offer an unfurnished home.
While renting an unfurnished property may seem easier, it will obviously limit the number of people interested in it. It may also mean that the property comes in for a bit more wear and tear over the course of a tenancy as they move in all their own furniture.
Don’t Forget About Broadband
The chances are that you will want your tenants to be paying their own bills. However, the one thing that everyone will want to know is how good the broadband is in the area. Do your research before you make your listing and, if there is good broadband coverage, be sure to stress that information.
If you have decided that you will offer a “bills-included” property, then it is absolutely worth paying for an excellent broadband package as this will be very enticing to any potential renters regardless of age.
Get Those Power Points Set Up
This one might seem like a lesser priority but it’s worth keeping in mind if you are looking for the little ways to get ahead of the competition. We’ve all lived in places where the power points aren’t anywhere remotely useful. There’s a good chance that a lot of us will be working from home after the government guidelines end, so they are going to be more important than ever. If you’ve noticed that they’re not set up in ideal places, it may be worth calling in a contractor to remedy this.
Think About Buying A New Boiler
Compared to the power points, this is obviously a much bigger expense, but tenants will generally be looking for as many new appliances as possible. If you can’t commit to a full kitchen refurb before you rent your property out, a new boiler will let your tenants know that you care about the property and that you are not just going to leave them in the lurch if anything goes wrong.
Be Accessible (But Not Too Accessible)
Everyone knows that the dream landlord or landlady is only around when you need them. This may be a little harder to demonstrate when you’re going through a letting agency, but make sure that you communicate that you will be on hand to sort any problems with the property without giving the impression that you are going to be dropping in unannounced.