September and October are two of the busiest months of the housing calendar. The kids are back at school, the weather is cooling down and students are leaving home for the first time to pursue degrees around the country.
Landlords have a great opportunity to get their rental properties noticed by families and students alike, so use these tips to ensure you are minimising those void periods and getting the best tenants in town.
Whether it is online, in an agent's window or a newspaper ad, first impressions count. Invest in professional images for your property to attract tenants to make a call or send an email. A letting agent usually has access to an experienced property photographer, so make an enquiry before you market the property.
It's what's inside that counts
Once a prospective tenant has made contact, you need to ensure that the property is fit for use. Again, investing in cleaners and sprucing up old paint jobs will give people the extra confidence in the property itself and you as a landlord.
There is no point in having a well-maintained property if nobody can see it. Get in touch with a letting agent and ask them to market the property on their website and the property portals like Rightmove, they should offer this for free - and you should only pay a fee if they find a tenant for you.
Use the void
If your property is empty for more than a week at a time, use it as an opportunity to scout it out. Pay a visit, open the windows, bleed the radiators, replace old or worn decorations and bring in some air fresheners - it will save you some time and effort when it comes to having a prospective tenant over to view the property.
Furthermore, a letting agent will help you stay on top of any legal requirements you need to abide by.
Staying in Touch
The pace of the property cycle is an important part of its success - if either party stays quiet for too long, deals can fall apart very quickly. Responding to tenant enquiries and calls from your letting agent will usually result in a happy tenant, a happy agent, and a shorter void period.
Tenants may want to redecorate a bedroom, bring in a pet or keep their bicycle in the living room. You may be a landlord or landlady of principal, but keep in mind the compromises you are willing to make to get the right tenants on board. If you give them want they most desperately want, you'll usually receive a well-maintained property in return.
By being flexible in this way, you'll also open up your property to different demographics - a family is more likely to rent your property if they know they can redecorate a child's room, for example - so stay open-minded about what is in the best interest for you and your property. Again, a letting agent may be able to advise on how to approach this, so let them know as soon as possible.
Know your Stuff
Landlord legislation is a minefield at the best of times, and tenants will appreciate it if you know what you're talking about, where each party's responsibilities lie, and how these affect things such as deposits and tenancy renewals. Keep up-to-date with law changes, and you'll run a tight ship with fewer headaches. Your letting agent should be able to help you out, too.
The big day
Once you have agreed to let your property to a tenant, keep on top of your to-do list. Cleaning the property, making up an inventory, letting your tenants know when to pay the bills, bin days and getting all the other minute details correct will get your tenancy off to the best start - you may just win a life-long tenant from it.
Use a letting agent
If you haven't already used a letting agent to get to this stage of your portfolio growth, or simply have questions about how to get the most from your rental property, contact your local CJ Hole office
Alternatively, see our landlord
page for further information, or take a look at ourrecent market intelligence reports
to learn more about your local area.
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