It's fair to say experienced landlords know the best ways to ensure their properties remain tenanted. But so-called 'accidental landlords' can sometimes struggle and, if anything, their situations can mean void periods are catastrophic for cashflow.
You may have had to move from your owned property quickly due to a change in job, making renting out your home a sound option.
But as an 'accidental landlord' you may not have the experience of a portfolio landlord. So, take a look at Martin & Co Camberley's top seven tips for ensuring your rental property is let all year round...
1 USE A GOOD LETTINGS AGENT
Of course, we would say that, wouldn't we? But it's true. A good lettings agent can worth a whole lot more than simply getting prospective tenants through your door.
They will recommend a monthly rental figure that will both satisfy your cash flow and appeal to potential tenants.
With years of local lettings experience, we screen all our landlords' tenants thoroughly at Martin & Co Camberley, providing that all-important peace of mind.
Property management services can also take the weight off the mind of an accidental landlord.
2 MAKE YOUR HOME ATTRACTIVE TO TENANTS
If you are an 'accidental landlord' then the chances are your home is very much to your taste. However, that doesn't mean potential tenants will feel the same way.
The best way to get tenants through the door and establish a long let is to make your home a blank canvas.
Use neutral colours on the walls, white if possible, and lay standard flooring or one style of carpet throughout. If you are furnishing the property to rent, make sure the fixtures and fittings and furniture are modern and tasteful.
3 PROVIDE A CLEAN PROPERTY
If you've made the effort to ensure your home is nicely presented in terms of decor, then getting it deep cleaned is a must. That means everything. Oven, shower heads and behind radiators - all the places we tend to miss as 'amateur' cleaners! Get the professionals in. For little over £100 you can ensure your property is spotless, upping its appeal to potential tenants during viewings.
4 SET THE RENT AT THE RIGHT PRICE
Make sure your monthly rent asking price is right. Setting the price just 5% too high could be the difference between bringing in a long-term tenant or remaining in that awful void period, owning an empty property with bills to pay.
This is where using a good lettings agent with sound local knowledge can pay dividends.
5 CONSIDER SOME INCENTIVES
For a relatively low cost, landlords can offer some good sweeteners to get the dotted line signed and a good, reliable tenant installed. Consider offering a free TV licence or broadband. These things matter a lot for tenants and for a monthly cost of between £10-£15, a paid-for TV licence or broadband connection could make a huge difference compared with the local competition.
6 OFFER LONG-TERM TENANCIES
A survey by English Housing showed that 40% of tenants expected to remain in their rental property for 10 years. 10 years! So why offer a six-month fixed term tenancy?
If you can, offer a long-term tenancy agreement of two, three or even four years. The demand is there and if other landlords are doing so, then you should, too.
7 BE A GOOD LANDLORD
The most important thing you can do when renting out your property is be a good landlord.
It's the best way to ensure your home remains tenanted. Happy tenants tend to stay in properties long-term. After all, moving is a stressful business.
Deal with any issues quickly and efficiently and create a good relationship with your tenant.
Consider an increase in rent very carefully. If you have a good tenant, you want to keep them as it's far easier to keep existing tenants than it is to find a new one.
And avoiding those voids is paramount!
Thinking of renting out your home? Talk to Martin & Co Camberley today to see how we can help.