Re-letting a rental property is one of the biggest pain points landlords face. Every month that a property sits vacant can eat into their profit margin, presenting a security risk and potentially leaving the place open to fall into disrepair. These six top tips for making sure your rental property is snapped up by occupiers should make useful reading for any landlord or letting agent, regardless of what stage of the rental cycle their property is in.
Adapt your offering to current market conditions
As a result of the pandemic, many occupiers are looking to use where they live as an office and a home. Make sure to adapt your property so that it can multi-function—make the most of study nooks or partitioned sections and list your maximum internet speed to appeal to homeworkers.
The devil is in the details
When it comes to information sharing, treat your rental property like a sales property. Share floorplans, lots of photos (being careful not to reveal information about the current occupiers) EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) ratings (to help occupiers gauge energy bills) council tax bands and information about the local area. The more information you provide, the more appealing your property will be.
Promote your property’s USP
What does your rental property have that makes it so attractive? Consider the type of tenant you’re trying to attract – if you’re looking to appeal to the family market, make the most of nearby parks, proximity to green spaces and school places and bathing facilities (small children need baths, not showers). If your property is more suitable for young professionals, play up local transport links and proximity to cafes, restaurants and pubs.
Style it out
If your rental property is empty, consider hiring someone to style it. Home styling is growing in popularity and with good reason. When it comes to property, you’re selling a lifestyle. Making sure the property has the right furniture and appearance to demonstrate that could be the difference between letting a property quickly or not.
First impressions count
Many prospective occupiers will have made up their minds about a property before they’ve even walked through the front door. Ensure that front lawns are well-maintained, windows and doors are clean and in good working order and don’t neglect the communal spaces. In flats, while a central hallway might not technically be your responsibility, keeping it clean and clear will have a positive impact on your letting potential.
Do not discriminate
In the past few years, cases of discrimination against DSS (Department for Social Security) occupiers have been on the rise, with landlords and letting agents vetting occupiers on housing benefit or Universal Credit before they have the opportunity to view the property. There are now cross-party moves to ban this kind of discrimination through legislation and already individual councils are taking their own stand, with Oxford the first to pledge to stamp out DSS discrimination. A landlord’s property might be his or her most valuable asset and it’s natural to want to protect it, but discriminating against occupiers on the basis of their social standing without vetting them in fairer ways is not the best way to secure a tenant.
For the latest on what legal updates landlords and letting agents should be aware of, watch our Quarterly Legal & Compliance Updates for Letting Agents webinar featuring David Smith, Partner at JMW Solicitors.