With demand for buy-to-let property continuing to far outstrip supply, the role of an investor is even more important than ever.
Of course, rental accommodation gives only a temporary home for most renters, but tenants still deserve to feel at home in your property.
The days of poorly presented, ill-equipped rooms are a thing of the past, as spiralling rental prices have lead to heightened tenant expectations.
So just what are tenants demanding from their buy-to-let accommodation?
Clean and contemporary rooms- More tenants are searching for up-to-date properties, with all the mod-cons. Think about providing your tenants with features such as a dishwasher to try and attract more rent. It goes without saying that a property should be spotless when tenants first move in-and this stretches to all appliances too. If you are struggling to clean the property to a high standard, enlist the help of a professional cleaning company while you are between tenants.
A good state of wear and tear- Potential renters will want to know that the property has been looked after by previous inhabitants. The condition of the property will impact on rental return, so you must focus on presentation to help maximise the property’s potential. It is imperative that you and your tenants devise and sign an inventory at the start of the agreement, highlighting any issues found in both written and photographic form. This will not only help keep tabs on any damage to the accommodation, but will be vital if any disputes arise.
An eco-friendly landlord-Tenants are becoming more conscious on keeping their utility costs low, particularly their energy bills. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will give them an idea of how cost-effective the property is to run. As a landlord, you should investigate the cost of loft and cavity wall insulation and even updating your heating system. Though it will cost you to begin with, you will be rewarded with cheaper heating bills and constant rent!
Manageable outdoor spaces-For a number of renters, an outdoor space requiring minimal maintenance is key. What’s more, many are insisting on at least one parking space. This will not be universal across the board however, with young professionals requiring different amenities to a family. Be sure on your target audience when investing in a property!
Safe and secure home-You should make your tenants feel as safe and secure as possible in their rental accommodation. Ensure the property has locks on all doors and windows, a burglar alarm and security lighting. In addition, make sure carbon monoxide and fire alarms are in good working order.
Added amenities- Alongside the basics, the modern tenant will be looking for some additional extras. Think about providing a good broadband connection, which will be imperative for young professionals. Also, consider SKY TV, a flat-screen television and other gadgets. You may just secure your desired tenants-and a higher rental income!