Mystified as to why your property has gone un-rented for months? Amid a housing crisis, of all things? It might be time to cast a critical eye over your beloved bolthole and see if there is anything you can do to increase your chances of securing a tenant, and subsequently an income.
1. Your DIY is disastrous.
As a landlord, poor maintenance of a property is unforgivable, and amateur upkeep is no better. Bad DIY has been proven to make a severe dent in a buyer’s initial offer, taking up to 11% off the asking price. So hodge-podged light switches and hastily grouted bathroom tiles really won’t cut it if you’re looking to make money from your property.
2. The décor isn’t much better.
If the interior design scheme of your property looks like a time capsule from 1975, then you shouldn’t be surprised when tenants can’t wait to get out of there. They’re looking for modern living, not Life On Mars. Surveys (and countless daytime TV programs) have shown that updating the decor of your home can boost its value and make it more appealing as a living space.
3. You added space – by getting rid of a bedroom.
That through-lounge, master bedroom or extra bathroom probably seemed like a brilliant, value-adding idea at the time, but going ahead with big changes to a property without consulting an expert first can often come back to bite you in the behind. Families largely prioritise the number of available bedrooms, and it’s easier to fit a student tenant’s books into a box room than into the en suite loo.
4. The property makes a terrible first impression.
Any potential renters have probably already made up their minds about whether or not they like your property before they’ve even rung the doorbell. The moment they get out of the car, they’re judging the street, and more importantly, the front of your house. If the front garden resembles the Amazon rainforest with added furniture, then they are unlikely to even venture as far as the gate. Sort it out!
5. The location has lost its lustre.
Sadly, a desirable postcode doesn’t always stay that way. A residence in a good school catchment area with great transport links to business parks can find itself attracting fewer and fewer prospective renters if the school in question takes a bashing in the league tables, or if a large local employer goes under. Unfortunately, these factors are beyond your control as a landlord. If you want to secure viewings in an area that is no longer quite booming, then your best bet is to pay close attention to the first four of these points.