Updated: 23 September 2022
Whether you are a new landlord preparing your first property in readiness for letting or have let for many years, it is important to bear in mind that clean and well maintained properties attract better rents, quicker lets and longer tenancies.
First impressions are important, so external presentation is just as important as how the property views internally.
Remember tenant’s desire convenience. Whilst a homeowner will happily trim a hedge and tend borders with pride, tenants will see these tasks as a chore. A tidy path and clean windows with an easily maintained garden will set a strong first impression! Gardens that are enclosed and mainly laid to lawn with low maintenance borders and a good seating area will appeal.
Larger three or four bedroom houses are likely to attract a family and families tend to be more settled and stay much longer than a group of sharers.
In contrast, smaller two bedroom houses are a popular choice for landlords as they attract a wide cross-section of tenants, ranging from young couples or sharers to more mature professionals. Based around the setting of your property think about the type of tenant you wish to attract. Outside space that is low on maintenance with secluded patio area will appeal to young professional sharers who will look forward to coming home from work to relax in a summer evening instead of thinking about gardening.
Internally cleanliness is key. Mouldy bathrooms and tatty kitchens will be poorly received. Lighting is also very important and therefore neutral tones are recommended. Tenants can be quickly put off by accommodation that is too dark, or that feels too busy. Even an unfurnished home can be improved and brightened by hanging some large mirrors which will also help smaller rooms feel larger.
When preparing for viewings it is important for the property to be as tidy as possible. This is not always achievable if a vacating tenant is still in residence but keeping the living space presentable and uncluttered will offer your future tenants a clean canvas, making it easier for them to see themselves living in the property.
A change of tenancy is also the ideal time to review the condition of your portfolio and don’t forget to ask your letting agent for advice. As a rule of thumb, landlords should consider redecorating their properties at five yearly intervals with carpets replaced after eight to ten years. This period can be extended quite significantly if good quality and considerate tenants are attracted in the first place.
Our experience suggest that those tenants who find in the right environment for their needs will not only better enjoy their experience but are very likely to stay longer and ultimately will pay a premium for the privilege.