Five tips to reduce void periods and increase profits
As a buy-to-let landlord, you’ll know that void period is one of the costliest issues you face. The best way to overcome this problem is to have tenants who stay for a long time. The longer, the better. When a tenant leaves, you’ve got the expense of making sure your property will attract new tenants, finding and vetting those new tenants, and paying the mortgage while there is no rent coming in.
There are many reasons why tenants move on. These include that they have changed jobs, are adding to their family (or reducing it), or their circumstances have changed (e.g. marriage, separation, or divorce). You can’t do anything about any of these reasons – these things happen. But you are in complete control of one of the most common reasons why tenants leave – the condition of their home.
Here are five ways to make your buy-to-let property irresistible to long-term tenants.
1. Keep the kitchen cooking
The kitchen is the main selling point of any home. It’s where all the best parties finish! It’s one of the most used rooms in a home. All that use takes its toll. Worktops become damaged, doors get chipped, and steam and fat do not work wonders on walls and splashbacks. Kitchen appliances are all too soon past their sell-by date.
Keep on top of maintenance issues in the kitchen. Make sure you choose kitchen furniture that is durable as well as attractive. Upgrade fridges, freezers and dishwashers when they need replacing.
2. Decorate regularly
After a while, your property’s walls, skirts, doors and ceilings will become jaded. Walls suffer from dirty hands. Woodwork gets chipped by badly-steered pushchairs. It pays to decorate regularly. Neutral colours are best when you are searching for new tenants, but why not offer incumbent tenants a colour palette to choose from? It will allow them to consider your property as their home.
3. Give wardrobes and cupboards a facelift
In time, all wardrobes and cupboards become dated. You don’t need to go to the expense of replacing, though. Instead, why not refurbish with new doors or a paint job to fit in with the new colour scheme selected by your tenant when you redecorated? Consider new door furniture, too – it’s amazing what difference new handles make to a wardrobe’s appearance.
4. Don’t neglect doors and windows
One of the first things that your tenants’ visitors see is the front door and windows. Make sure that door furniture (handles and letter boxes) are both functional and attractive. Replace broken window panes, refresh paintwork, and make sure doorbells are in working order. When tenants are happy when they approach their home, they are more likely to stay there.
5. Deep clean the property once a year
Your tenants are probably decent people. They probably take pride in keeping your property clean and in good order. After all, it is their home – and keeping it clean will be among the conditions in the tenancy agreement. But carpets, floors, walls and fabrics suffer over the long term.
An annual deep clean by professional cleaners will help protect your property from damage and wear and tear and shows your tenants that you are a caring landlord who looks after your tenants and your property. They’ll be more likely to do the same.
Good landlords retain tenants for longer
Good landlords keep their tenants for longer – that’s a fact. By keeping on top of buy-to-let maintenance issues, we show your tenants that you care about your property and them. But we don’t stop there.
As investment property managers, we make sure that we work with your tenants as well as for you. We keep communication lines open and make it easy for your tenants to report maintenance and repair issues. We listen to your tenants’ concerns and treat them with empathy and compassion.
In short, we work to make sure that your property is the home your tenants don’t want to leave, and that you are the landlord your tenants want to rent from.
Contact one of the Ezytrac team today on +44 01522 503 717, and discover how Ezytrac takes the strain out of managing your buy-to-let property.
Yours in effortless property management,
Brett Alegre-Wood MARLA MNAEA