Prepare your property to attract tenants and eliminate void periods
We see a lot of prospective tenants, all looking for their ideal home. We’ve conducted thousands of viewings around the UK. As you can imagine, we’ve seen our fair share of tenants who take one look at a property and decide it’s not for them within a couple of minutes. In this article, you’ll learn the nine major turn-offs that ensure your buy-to-let property investment will fail. These are the reasons as told to us by tenants who have said no to a property, sometimes before they’ve even stepped inside the front door.
1. A strange layout of ‘quirky rooms’
Even the smallest of properties will find a tenant. But a small property with an odd layout or ‘quirky rooms’ is a different matter. It could sit empty for months, waiting that one tenant who wants triangle-shaped rooms, low headspace, sloped ceilings, and bedrooms that are accessed through the kitchen.
My advice here is to invest in conventional, not quirky. People have grown up with conventional layouts. They like rooms with ceilings that don’t limit storage space. They prefer bedrooms to be upstairs, and utility rooms to be next to kitchens. Furniture tends to be square or rectangular, so triangular and circular rooms have little more than a novelty appeal to most.
2. Properties with a poor outlook
When tenants wake up in the morning, stand to do the washing up in the kitchen, or sit in their lounge in the evening, they don’t want to look out the window and see the local gasworks or face a brick wall less than six feet away. You don’t have to buy a property with views of an English country garden, but make sure your buy-to-let property investment has an appealing outlook.
3. An unkempt garden
Dead plants (inside as well as outside). Overgrown lawns. Rickety gates. Peeling paintwork and broken glass in the windows. If the garden is uncared for, the prospective tenant is given the impression that you don’t care about your property. And if you don’t care about your property, you won’t care for them.
4. Bad lighting
An enclosed hallway with a low-light bulb doesn’t help to sell a property. Let as much natural light into the property as possible, and ensure that all bulbs are in working order. Outside, fit a security light, and ensure the doorway is lit. If the front door is solid, without a glass panel, fit a security peephole.
5. Signs of poor maintenance
Property in ill repair is a sign of a landlord who doesn’t care. Chipped paintwork, cupboard doors hanging off, loose floorboards, missing door handles, and so on, are all small jobs that should be repaired immediately.
6. Uncleaned carpets
Carpets that are dirty, frayed and lifting spoil any good impressions your property has made. It’s imperative that you have carpets professionally cleaned between lets.
7. Dirt and smells
Pet urine, cigarette odour, and the smell from yesterday’s Chinese takeaway invade the nose and put off great tenants on the first sniff. Finger marks on windows, handprints on walls, and muddy footprints through the kitchen are all turn-offs.
8. Bathroom and kitchen
A kitchen and bathroom can sell a property to tenants. They can also destroy any hopes of a sale. They are both potential breeding grounds for mould and mildew, and stains are easily spotted. That’s Chrome for you!
A lack of storage space in the kitchen and lack of white goods (or space for white goods) could kill a tenancy before it begins.
In the bathroom, a stained toilet bowl or bath puts tenants off. Make sure the bathroom looks as if it has only just been fitted. You wouldn’t expect anything less from a hotel – make sure you treat prospective tenants with the same respect.
9. Lack of storage
It’s likely that your prospective tenants have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. They need somewhere to put it. If your buy-to-let benefits from fitted wardrobes, that’s great. But make sure that there is space for cupboards, wardrobes, and free-standing shelf units. If your property has a garden, a shed is a seller to prospective tenants. It’s somewhere for them to keep bikes, fishing gear, and other outdoor items.
Prepare early for your next tenant
Buy-to-let investors should ensure their property is well maintained and ready for a new tenant at all times. You never know what is going to happen, or when an existing tenant may decide to move on.
When we know a tenancy is coming to an end, we’ll work with the existing tenant to prepare your property for early viewing.
You should ensure your property is professionally cleaned before viewings are conducted. Open the windows and air the property, too. Dress your property for viewing. Make sure there is no clutter, and that the property is clean. Make the beds, and close all cupboard drawers. Our property managers have even tidied shoes in a hallway and made beds before a viewing.
To make sure your property has the best chance of being let quickly, contact Ezytrac today on+44 01522 503 717. As investment property managers, we go the extra mile to make sure your buy-to-let property benefits from the very best preparation for new tenants.
Yours in effortless property management,