Attracting Tenants to Your Rental Property
Regardless of if you are a seasoned landlord with a sizable portfolio looking to update an old property or a new landlord looking to occupy their first let, attracting tenants to your rental property can set the basis for the rest of your journey as a landlord.
As the rental sector only expands it is more crucial than ever for landlords to not only be aware of the things that tenants look for in a rental property, but how their rental opportunity can leave a lasting impression amongst an increasingly competitive space
- What Do Renters Look For in a Rental?
- Attracting tenants with Property Location
- Do Pet Friendly Rentals Attract Tenants
- Safety and Security in Attracting Tenants
- Attracting tenants with Storage Space
- Does Your Rental Property Have a Garden?
- Condition of the Rental Property
- Is It Better to Let Furnished or Unfurnished?
- Fire Safety Regulations for Furniture
What Do Renters Look For in a Rental?
When asking how to attract tenants to your rental property it’s all too easy to get trapped into a linear train of thought regarding the contents of your property. However, it’s safe to say that what we all value, not just tenants, is value, something essential to keep in mind when deciding what you will set your rent at.
Of course assessing what similar rental opportunities in your local area offer, and crucially, at what price can provide landlords with a great starting point when deciding what to charge their tenants for rent. With this in mind if the demand for rental properties in your area far exceeds the amount of rental opportunities available, landlords will be able to enjoy a slightly increased rental charge; but it is essential to consider if you are putting off tenants through high upfront costs.
However, if you set your rental charge too low you risk sacrificing your rental yield, exposing yourself to buy to let mortgage repayments, property maintenance costs and the many other expenses that come with managing a rental property. By calculating the rental yield of a property a landlord is able to establish an expectation for the returns they should expect to see from their property over the duration of the rental period. To calculate the net rental yield of a property, landlords can simply subtract any costs that they expect to incur through the marketing their property, referencing tenants and remedial work from the amount they expect to receive in rent each year from the property; divide this figure by the value of the buy to let and multiply by 100. The resulting percentage will be a true indication of the profit, allowing them to more confidently adapt their rental charge, whilst understanding how this will impact their long term financial outlook.
Attracting tenants with Property Location
Whilst we have all undoubtedly heard about the significant of a properties location, it is far from a worn out cliché. A landlord with a buy to let property in the right area will be able to appeal to a far greater array of potential tenants. City centre locations have a universal appeal thanks to fantastic amenities in the surrounding neighbourhoods and dedicated public transport route that could spare tenants a lengthy commute. This convenience alone could be enough for some future tenants to overlook some of the less desirable aspects they find with the rental, and could also see landlord charge a higher rental fee.
With this being said what constitutes a “good” location will naturally vary between the types of tenants that hope to let out your property. For landlords hat intend to let out their property to full time students, an ideal location would see the rental situated close to the university campus, or a city centre location well contacted by transport facilities. A similar outlook can be had for those that wish to rent to the young professional demographic; however families are more likely to value properties on the outskirts of an area, with schools, libraries, hospitals and shops being desirable in the surrounding area.
With this in mind, there is unfortunately no one size fits all approach to location landlords should assess the lifestyle that their rental would best facilitate, making this the primary focus when trying to attract the ideal tenant.
Do Pet Friendly Rentals Attract Tenants
It goes without saying, but for renters that are searching for their next home with a fury companion; a pet friendly landlord will be a deal breaker to say the least. Recent figures have shown that despite around half of adults in the UK own pets, a dismal 7% of landlords offer pet friendly rental accommodation. It would be difficult to dismiss stereotypes of excessive damage to the property and its contents, but the new model tenancy agreement, looks to make the rental landscape more receptive for tenants with pets.
With a surge in households owning pets being witnessed over recent months, it would be no surprise if this upward trend were to continue, we are after all a nation of animal lovers. However, it could be worth keeping in mind that whilst some tenants may not be pet owners at the outset of the rental period, of they are looking to make a long term home, knowing their landlord is receptive to their furry friends could be the closer for a greatly extended tenancy period. Whilst this could be seen as a somewhat niche application, this financial security would also be seen with tenants that move in with their pets. As mentioned it is a hostile renting environment for pet owners, so finding a rental opportunity that encourages their lifestyle would make them far more reluctant to relocate in the short term, sparing themselves the ordeal of finding a new home in the slim pickings of pet friendly properties.
Highly sought after and a major selling point for many property within city centre locations, ensure to let any potential tenants know of any on street parking that comes with the property. To some this may seem trivial but the practicality and convenience of not having to commute from your car to your home cannot be understated, especially with the exorbitant fees many spaces charge.
Safety and Security in Attracting Tenants
Naturally a tenant will want to make their home in an environment that they will safe in, something they are sure to assess when looking around the rental property. Of course measures such as burglar alarms, locks on windows, gates and perhaps even external lights and cameras are all things that can contribute towards providing this level of comfort to future residents, whilst attracting tenants.
This is somewhat out of the control of landlords, but the safety of the area in which the property is situated is of a primary concern to tenants. Renters are being increasingly encourages to research the crime statistics for an area, and rightfully so, making this a critical point for many landlords.
Since these would be provided at the outset of the tenancy anyway, landlords could also offer tenant a copy of gas and electrical safety certificates when viewing the rental. This works to ensure renters that not only is their welfare a key consideration, but that the place they hope to make their home is well maintained and abides by all safety regulations.
Attracting tenants with Storage Space
Whilst this may not be of primary concern to those that let to students, tenants that take out a longer tenancy agreement will come to quickly depend on the storage space offered by the property. If letting out an unfurnished property this could be a deal breaker for many potential tenants as they will of course be looking to bring a significantly larger amount of belongings come move in day. Thankfully even in the most limiting of floor spaces there are simple steps landlords can take to dramatically increase the storage space their rental opportunity offers. By assessing if the existing storage spaces in areas such as the kitchen, adding storage solutions such as shelves, cupboards and draws to appropriate spaces, or even clearing out the attic, these initiatives could offer tenants a more versatile, practical living space.
Does Your Rental Property Have a Garden?
Regardless of if this is a small patio, balcony or sizable garden; an outdoor space will certainly help in attracting tenants. This may be of lesser concern to those seeking city centre locations, but those with families and small children will view this outdoor space as a deal breaker.
Condition of the Rental Property
Although the internal décor and aesthetic appeal of a rental property will vary between viewers, all renters are in universal agreement that they do not wish to rent out a space that desperately needs cleaning. Patches of damp, mould, grime and cracks in walls are tell-tale signs of a landlord that neglects the condition of the property and will more than likely ignore requests for remedial work to be conducted.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the current generation of renters is becoming increasingly conscious of their energy usage. Providing that the rental scored a high grade on the energy efficiency assessment, presenting tenants with the most recent energy performance certificate could tip the balance in your favour, particularly with the decreased running costs that come with the rental.
Is It Better to Let Furnished or Unfurnished?
Whilst there are of course benefits to either side of this coin, with potential tax relief, longer tenancy periods and significantly higher rental yields to consider, the decision as to whether to let out your rental property furnished or unfurnished should not be taken lightly.
With this being said, the argument of is it better to le furnished or unfurnished is largely informed by the type of tenant that you wish to attract to your rental opportunity. Generally speaking, a middle ground can be found with landlords that rent to full time students as the furnishings in these properties tend to be a lesser consideration for the tenants, making it a far less expensive endeavour for the landlord.
This is not to say that tenants that choose to find a new home in an unfurnished property should expect to be greeted by a completely baron property on their move in day. Even when choosing to let an unfurnished property landlords are still obliged to provide their tenants with basic furnishings such as carpets, blinds and a bed alongside kitchen appliances and white goods.
Fire Safety Regulations for Furniture
If a landlord choose to let out their rental property in a furnished condition they must ensure that all of the contents comply with the measures established by the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988.
The regulations dictate that pieces of upholstery and furnishings throughout the property such as sofas, curtains, chairs and in some cases even garden furniture must adhere to a minimum level of ignition and fire resistance. Rental property owners will also be required to keep any records or documentation that proves the applicable contents of the property meet these regulations. If a landlord chooses to let out their property to tenants regardless of these measures, neglecting to ensure their furnishings are compliant could be treated as a criminal procedure, leaving the landlord with a £5,000 fine per item that was found to be insufficiently resistant.
Of course, this will not be of concern to landlords that let out their property in an unfurnished condition; however it is worth keeping in mind that the landlord is only legally responsible for their own belongings. Any furnishings or contents that are brought into the rental by its occupants will not be the responsibility of the landlord, and they will therefore not be held accountable if these items are found to fall short of current fire safety standards.
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February 12, 2021
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