Spring cleaning your rental property will not only help it let quicker to new tenants, but it will also justify any increase in rents you’d like to make.
You could be making more profit from your rental property, and it all starts with a spot of spring cleaning. When considering an increase in rent, spruce up your property and ensure it’s safe for your tenants.
A recent study by property and construction consultants McBains Cooper shows that four in ten tenants expect to be renting for up to a decade. By making minor improvements to your property, either between tenancies or while your current tenants are away, you are likely to increase the desirability of your property and justify a rise in rents.
Industry guidelines suggest that landlords should redecorate their properties every three to five years. It is important that you stick to this advice, and regularly refresh both the interior and exterior décor.
When viewing a property, prospective tenants will look at the quality of the décor, and will focus on all areas, including the windows, walls, locks, door handles, curtains and blinds.
The Lettings Managing Director of Romans, Michael Cook, advises: “Don’t try and over-decorate; this is not your home, it is an investment property. We suggest sticking to neutral colours to ensure the property appeals to all tenants and paint will be easy to touch up during the tenancy.”
Many people overlook the exterior and focus on the interior. However, kerb appeal is key. Ensure the exterior of the property looks just as cared for and clean as the interior. Simple touches such as adding hanging baskets or window boxes can boost the property’s appeal to long-term tenants seeking a permanent home.
Keeping up to date with lettings law and energy efficiency standards will ensure your property is safe to live in, and will help tenants keep their costs down. With penalties for non-compliance becoming harsher and fines increasing, it is more important than ever for landlords to stick to the law.
Recent changes to energy efficiency legislation means that tenants can now request improvements on their property, and the landlord is legally obliged to consent if the request is reasonable.
More changes surrounding Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), coming in from April 2018, will also make it illegal for landlords to grant new tenancies on homes with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings below E.
Therefore, it’s vital that landlords get their properties up to standard sooner rather than later.
Before considering putting your rent up or re-letting the property to new tenants, go around the property and check if everything works.
Replacing broken objects will not only increase the property’s value, but will also ensure tenants take care of it.
Make sure that all the white goods are serviced regularly, as it’s far more expensive to replace a washing machine or boiler than it is to undertake regular maintenance and repairs. Budgeting for regular services is much less of a strain on your profit margins than paying out for unexpected replacements.
For those seeking new tenants, it’s important to view the property objectively and prepare for viewings. Be sure to show off the property in its best light, and don’t rely on your existing tenants to do this for you. Head to the property before the viewing and ensure all the best features are highlighted.
Let in as much natural light as possible by opening windows and doors, which will also make sure the property smells fresh.
And remember, the exterior is just as important as the interior. After all, this is the first thing that potential tenants will see. Make sure the grass, hedges and plants are cut back, and the entryway to the property is clear and tidy.
Spring cleaning the garden will make the whole place look well maintained, which will attract long-term tenants.
If you do decide to put your rents up, either for existing tenants or new renters, be aware that you may face a higher risk of rent arrears. It is incredibly easy to protect your pocket, by covering your rental income with Rent Guarantee Insurance.
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