One of the most common questions landlords often ask of us is “I can’t find tenants – please can you help me rent my property?” or “what do we need to do to rent my property quickly?”.
Often we are shown the property of landlords who are struggling to find tenants, yet on many occasions we can tell within minutes of walking through the door, why they have had little interest. Usually with just a little bit of work, these properties can be made more rentable, without having to commit a large budget.
Some tenant find principles
Most tenants will view five or six properties before choosing one to rent; and will often make up their mind based on a single viewing. After considering the type of tenant you want to attract, you need to help them choose your property over the others.
To successfully rent my property it is essential you know your market. The location and type of property you have to rent will in most cases dictate the type of tenant you should try and attract. Which ever category of tenant you are after, it makes commercial sense to attract the best tenants you can. If you want professionals in your property then you need make your property appeal to the expectations of that type of tenant. If you are after students, LHA or house share; then your property needs to attract tenants who look for something different.
So if “how do I rent my property” is a question on your mind, here are some key pointers to help you rent your property quickly.
Rent My Property – Our Top Tips
1) First impressions: The tenants’ first view of your property is made as they walk up road or up the drive. How does your property compare with others on the street? How does it look through the windows (often the first things prospective tenants see are the backs of curtains and blinds)? Outside; a tidy garden, clear path, freshly cut lawn, clean walls and paint work, have greater tenant appeal.
2) Clear the clutter: If your current tenants are messy, consider waiting until they have left until you show prospective tenants round. New tenants often cannot see past the clutter and therefore struggle to see themselves living there. If previous tenants have gone and left clutter inside or out – get rid of it.
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3) Re-fresh and fix: The decoration and presentation of your property will affect the speed of letting and the rent you will achieve. Pay special attention to the paint on the walls (plain paint is often best); the carpets and the floors. Clean and repaint where necessary; fixing any broken door or drawer handles and taps. You are setting a standard so you should refresh according to how you would like your property to be looked after (and grubby properties attract grubby tenants).
4) Focus on the kitchen: Many tenants look at the kitchen more than any other room in the property. If you are to spend money on any room in the house, make this the one you look at first. If your kitchen looks “tired” then a repaint and new cupboard handles can make a major difference for a minimal cost. Any loose doors need to be fixed or replaced. Appliances do not have to be new but they should be clean – especially ovens and hobs.
5) Do not worry about “white goods”: Your property should supply a cooker as a minimum; other appliances are beneficial but not essential. If there are not any “white goods” in your property then you may be best waiting until tenants view the property before deciding whether to supply them (you have to maintain them if you do). Some tenants already have their own. You can always state to viewers that you will supply if required.
6) The bathroom: The second most important room in the house is the bathroom. A “tired” bathroom will put many tenants off. It does not need to be new but it should be clean and clear of clutter. All units and bath sides should be firmly fixed; taps and showers should work smoothly. Showers are now a modern day necessity so if your property does not have one, consider installing an electric shower over the bath as your property will rent quicker if you have one.
7) Carpets and floors: If your property has old or worn carpets, with heavy patterns or dark colours; consider replacing them with more modern, plain carpets. A good choice of colour can brighten up a room and make it feel more spacious. An important room to look at is the living room. If your budget is restricted, this is the room to look at first. With the right choice you will recover the cost with the extra rent you will likely achieve.
8) Windows and views: You can never let too much light shine into your property. Make sure all windows are clean and any curtains are open when tenants are shown round; and remove any old net curtains. You should supply curtain rails but curtains are not essential as tenants often prefer to provide their own to personalise the property. If your property has good natural light then use it and if at all possible conduct viewings during daylight hours.
9) Lamps and shades: It is possible to improve the appearance of a room with new lights and/or shades. In many properties for rent these are old or have never been cleaned, contributing to a grubby feel. New shades can add that finishing touch. Subtle is best as anything unusual runs the risk of not appealing to the tenants taste.
10) Furniture: There is little difference in rent values for furnished and unfurnished properties. Smaller furnished properties can appeal to younger tenants; the recently separated; or students. Larger properties generally attract families who tend to bring more furniture with them. If you are willing to supply some furniture, don’t rush out and buy it in advance. Prospective tenants may not have the same taste as you and involving the tenant in the buying decision can be a plus point for your property over others.
11) The final clean: The last yet most important action to rent my property is the thorough clean. This means doing more than just going round your property with a vacuum cleaner. A full professional clean can transform your property from average to desirable. For less than a week’s rent, it will make your property stand out and attract a better quality tenant.
Rent My Property – Final Thoughts
All landlords hate to have an empty property but rushing to rent my property without investing time to refresh and prepare it, can mean your property is empty for longer. It is better to adopt the principle that you are competing with other landlords and you want to attract the best tenants you can in your target market.
When competing to rent my property, you are usually better to refresh your property as above – even if it takes a week or two to complete and comes with a small cost. It will help you rent your property to a better tenant, who is prepared to pay more rent. Your property may ultimately rent faster.
Mike Dawson is a Director of Woo Properties Ltd who provide a more personal letting and property management service for landlords in and around Nottingham. Woo Properties have more information on other property management topics like How to Rent My Property. Get in touch for more on Woo Properties.