How to Make Your Rental Property More Appealing
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With the recent situation around the world, investors and house buyers have been eyeing the property market to see how it reacts.
Every economic event around the country has some impact on the housing market, be it a budget, a stock-market crash or indeed the recent health crisis. Over the course of 2020, the economic landscape has suited investors far more than struggling first-time buyers, as we explored in our article Why Current Conditions Spur on Investors Over First-Time Buyers.
That means a generation of first-time buyers may be looking to move into rental accommodation for the time being, whilst they wait for the economy to settle and to once again favour them. Landlords, with housing stock to let out, need to be ahead of the game to ensure their property tempts tenants in.
What is the best way to attract a tenant? Often, aspects such as price and location are a factor which the landlord cannot influence, but here are some elements of the property that will make it stand out in a like-for-like comparison with similar housing.
Bathroom and Kitchen
When trying to sell a house, installing a new bathroom or kitchen is the obvious way to add value, and the same can be said for renting out a house. If those two rooms are in top condition, there is every chance your home could stand out from the rest.
Often, an overhaul of the kitchen will not break the bank. Changing the doors of cupboards will give the whole area a new aesthetic without tearing out units and incurring an expense. The same goes for a new worktop, easily fitted on existing units but again, giving the impression of a new, gleaming kitchen. Appliances are a delicate decision though; some landlords offer a house fully furnished, which means fridges and the like, whilst some first-time buyers may already be accumulating their own appliances. It is advisable not to outlay on white goods for fear of restricting your potential market.
Boiler and Heating
It is worth considering the heating system in the home you would like to rent out, especially as we approach winter. It might not be the glossy new kitchen a tenant is looking for, but a new boiler offers a degree of peace of mind. This might be pertinent for homes that will appeal to families, as parents can be virtually assured of continuity of service if you have fitted a new boiler. Do It Yourself suggests that the life expectancy of a boiler is 10 to 15 years, so a little outlay now will eventually reap long-term rewards.
Whilst you will likely have buildings cover, and contents cover is down to the tenant, it might be worth insuring the plumbing system against leaks and breakdowns. Expressing this to a tenant will demonstrate that you, as a landlord, have gone over and above the requirements of the law to protect them and their family. Obviously, there is an implied saving to you in the event of a leak, but also an assured remedy should the worst occur. Policies can be wide-ranging too, as explained in HomeServe’s plumbing cover comparison guide. Some come with aspects such as a boiler service, which would help extend the life of any new installation. By having the peace of mind your plumbing is covered, you will also be making your tenant’s life easier too.
This is a delicate subject and may need to have stringent rules attached, but by allowing pets you may be exploiting a weakness in the rental market. Showhouse reveals that many landlords are becoming pet-friendly to attract new tenants, and that is certainly worth considering. Maybe place a restriction on the number or type, say a maximum of two cats or two dogs, but by opening yourself up to the possibility of pets, you may find it easier to attract tenants.
Finally, consider the garden. In the winter months, it may be tempting to not bother too much about the outdoor space, but tenants will want to enjoy their home. It might be drizzly and cold now, but the warm weather will not be long in returning and a little care in the garden now will give your property a better aesthetic for the tenant. Even a little weeding and clearing of borders will make it a more presentable prospect when looking out of the window, perhaps giving you the edge over the landlord renting out a property three doors down.