It can be a frustrating and stressful time for a landlord when they have their vacant rental property on the market.  We are currently riding the wave of a strong market in the professional lettings sector however this does not mean that every rental property will fly out and have new tenants banging down the door. There is a lot of competition on the market and so we encourage our landlords to get ahead of this. Every landlord should consider the following….

Does my property have a good 1st impression?

Ideally applicants want to walk into a property which is warm and welcoming as the heating has been put on, inviting as the landlord has left dressing items to show the property as a loved home, and smelling fresh from well positioned air fresheners (or even better fresh flowers). These things make the world of difference. A property can soon look & feel unloved and applicants can become nervous when they see a property like this as it makes them question how reactive the landlord will be during their tenancy if they haven’t taken the time to make the property look inviting when it is vacant.

Are you receiving the same feedback from every viewing?

A good quality managing agent will give you honest feedback from each viewing appointment along with their own thoughts. If you are continually receiving negative comments about the same issues i.e dated furnishings, dirty carpets or overgrown gardens, then the best advice I can give you is to get these things sorted. Playing the waiting game in the hope of finding tenants that don’t mind such things will leave you with an empty property making you no money. It is always best to be proactive so if people are commenting on something negative then try and improve it.

Having lots of viewings, with no negative feedback but no applications?

This is usually the best indication that the price is wrong. Valuing a rental property is never an exact science and its sometimes worth testing the market to see if you can push through the price ceiling. However, if the property has been viewed multiple times over several weeks and is not getting interest then the price is too high and competitors will be scooping up all of your potential tenants. Usually only a small tweak to the rent is needed in rentals to seriously increase interest levels. Haggling over £25pcm can soon become fruitless when you realise what a 2 month void will cost you overall – remember you have to pay the utilities during the void too!

Tempted to take any application just to get the property tenanted?

DON’T DO IT! Never “panic let” your property. If an application doesn’t sound right then chances are it isn’t right (either now or further down the line). Don’t panic reduce the rent to a really low figure just to let it – all this will do is attract a lower calibre of tenant which could prove costly at the end when you have issues with rent arrears and damage.  The best thing to do is seek advice from your agent and then try and invest money into the property to make it worth its market rent value. If your available income is restricted, then invest your time into making the property feel more loved – little things can make the world of difference.

Good tenants are always out there so take the time to make sure your property is ship shape and then your investment will start paying you back.