The best way to get good tenants is to start out with getting your property to the right standard and finish. Here are some things you may want to consider.
It is recommended landlords start with a clean canvas then combine quality fittings and appliances with furnishings (where needed) and decor. The idea is to let the prospective tenant see themselves in the property and feel it is their home.
Bathrooms and kitchens are very, if not the most important rooms in any property so make these a priority. When it comes to your bathroom, consider the lifestyle of your target market. Tenants generally expect white suites and, whilst busy professionals favour time-saving power showers, it can be a big mistake to take the bath out of a family home as the family bathroom should be a practical space everyone can use. The room should be clean, bright and functional.
Well-equipped kitchens attract professionals and families alike. Labour saving devices like washing machines are appealing to a wide range of tenants. It’s also well worth buying a quality oven and hob and paying close attention to the finish of your kitchen. Today’s tenants tend to look for reliable brand names – and the investment is usually more cost-effective for the landlord long-term.
Many tenants favour stripped wood flooring. If you are fortunate enough to have wooden floors in your property we recommend you expose them but if you don’t, consider carpets or good quality alternatives such as laminate flooring which are easily replaced if the floor is accidentally damaged.
Fundamentally, staging and presenting your property immaculately can save you money in the long-run as tenants tend to care for quality properties better than those requiring obvious repairs or maintenance. Tenants typically favour properties that are clean, neutrally decorated and bright so there’s much you can do to improve the appearance of your property without blowing the budget.
Don’t neglect outside space outside space is as important as the interior of your property. Many tenants choose one property over another simply because of the way outside space is presented. Decking and planters tend to appeal to modern young professionals whereas families usually seek a grassed play space, sturdy fencing and secure gates to protect young children from hazards. Investing in external lighting also helps by increasing security and appealing to tenants who like to dine alfresco. Take care with any extra features you may like to add in or already have such as uncovered ponds, thorny plants or broken gates or fencing. If you have outside space, gardening arrangements must be included in your tenancy agreement.
OK so now you got your property all ready to rent out so what do you do next?
You can do it yourself by this I mean advertise the property and show prospective tenants around. Once you have chosen a prospective tenant you will need to reference them. An inventory will need to be done on your property as well as taking meter readings.
When it comes to checking them in you will need to have agreements prepared as well as copies of all necessary certificates and a copy of the inventory for the tenant to verify. Once the agreement is signed and you get the first month’s rent and bond from them you then have to hand over the keys inform the utilities and register the bond.
You get an agent to do all of this and more for you as well as making sure your property stays legal. OK so you decide to go with an agent great! But what is that language they speak???
They start talking AST getting refs doing an EPC and getting a gas cert, what does this all mean??
So to translate, this agent has said she will prepare an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement’ (AST) and carry out ‘tenant referencing’ (refs). She will then organise the statutory gas and electrical safety tests and the ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ (EPC) which is required for all rental properties in England.
Letting a property needn’t be stressful. When using the right agent it should be painless and enjoyable. We are experts in lettings, we do not offer mortgage advice or sell houses. We concentrate on getting quality tenants and managing properties to a high standard.
Hopefully if you have followed all the above advice your tenant may wish extend their tenancy. If you and your tenant wish to extend a tenancy, you have two options, offer the tenant a new fixed term as an AST or let the tenancy continue on the same terms. There are significant differences between these two routes.
If both parties wish to amend the terms of the original agreement, for example agreeing to a rent increase, or change of occupier, then a new AST should be prepared. However, when this happens, a landlord can’t gain possession within the first six months of the new tenancy. If, on the other hand, you are all happy with the status quo then you simply do nothing and the original fixed term becomes what is known as a ‘Statutory Periodic Tenancy’ and continues on the same terms as before. The ‘Statutory Periodic Tenancy’ route, however, provides flexibility as the landlord can regain possession of the property if required by serving a variation of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
On a managed service Luscombe & Co provide all of the above services and advice as well as managing your property to a high standard we can help when it comes to the Tax year end and provide you with your property tax return.