The easiest way for a landlord to maximise a furnished property’s rental potential is to make it feel like home. The more a tenant feels like they could move in the same day with nothing to worry about the more they will be willing to pay.
There’s a school of thought that it’s best to give a rental property as much of a “blank canvas” feel as possible, but this can be a counterproductive when you are trying to rent a furnished apartment – no one wants to move into a white-walled Ikea prison. The trick with accessorising a house is to make the space feel homely without it feeling like someone else’s home. Any signs of personal clutter, including toiletries and family photos, need to go.
But there no need to leave the place feeling empty. Take a look at our quick guide for making a rental feel like it’s loved.
First impressions matter – spruce up your property’s outside space to put prospective tenants in a positive frame of mind when they first lay eyes on it. There’s no need to go overboard here, but a quick scrub of the front step and a fresh welcome mat will set a positive tone for viewings. Hide the fag butt jar the previous tenant kept by the front door.
The living room is the heart of the house – if you don’t nail a homely vibe here it will mess with the balance of the rest of the property. Fortunately, there’s one sure-fire way to make prospective tenants fall in love with it: get the sofa right. To do this the sofa needs to have two qualities: it needs to (a) look stylish and (b) look like you could fall asleep on it.
The more the bedrooms look like a luxury hotel the better. Dress beds in black, white or slate grey, making sure to include throws and cushions. Furnishing the bedside table with reading lights and a classic hardback novel, and making sure there’s a full-length mirror, will do more to sway someone into signing on the dotted line than any amount of extra wardrobe space. Placing mints on the pillows might be going too far though. A bit creepy, to be honest.
Dressing a kitchen for viewings is a balancing act. On the one hand, you don’t want it to look sterile and empty, while on the other you don’t want it to look like someone just baked a casserole using every available utensil. There’s one simple trick to solving this problem: remove all foodstuffs from the kitchen apart from a fully-stocked spice rack. It will make the kitchen feel like it’s ready to cook in without making it feel like it’s just been cooked in. A neatly stacked set of teapot and cups on the side wouldn’t go amiss either.
There’s no need to worry about sprucing up the bathrooms with accessories; there’s only one thing potential tenants care about: that the bathroom is spotlessly clean. By simply installing a new toilet seat, re-grouting the tiles and replacing any sealant you will increase the rooms appeal immeasurably. The newer the bathroom looks, the better.
Giving a property a fresh lick of paint is an essential part of making it feel clean and ready to move into, but choosing colours is a landlord’s worst decorating job. You need the colour scheme to appeal to as may people as possible without creating a nightmare in magnolia. Stick with a simple palette of two neutral colours. Avoid reds, yellows and be wary even of blues: some people don’t like them. Also, don’t forget that a fresh coat of glossy white paint on the door frames and skirting boards will make your property stand out from the crowd.
This is a tricky one to get right. At one end of the scale, you’ve got your cheap canvas prints of Audrey Hepburn. At the other end, twee charity shop oil paintings. You need to find a happy medium between these two extremes. Large prints of a local photographer’s work are a safe bet. Rumour has it that a wealthy ex-banker turned “artist” landlord in London furnishes his portfolio of luxury apartments with his own vivid paintings of eye surgeries. But, you know. Don’t be that guy.