Is your property adequately equipped and rental-ready for 2017? The experts at Belvoir reveal what your tenants are looking for.
While rental accommodation provides often only a temporary living solution for most, any tenant renting your property will still want to feel at home during their stay.
Long gone are the days of tenants putting up with negligent landlords, basic bedsits and poorly equipped properties. Along with rising rental prices have come escalating expectations and many of today’s tenants have a detailed checklist of demands…
Contemporary and clean
“Without doubt today’s tenants are a lot more discerning than they used to be and the standard of accommodation that they’re looking for is very high,” says owner of Belvoir Evesham Melanie Carter.
“Most of the tenants we deal with are looking for modern and up-to-date properties, with contemporary bathrooms and kitchens. Of course, some will prefer older style properties but they will still expect high standards – there’s a big difference between a good quality character property and one that is tired and run down.
“It goes without saying that the property needs to be clean too,” she continues. “Tenants expect a property to be spotless at the start of their tenancy, including the bathroom, kitchen and in-built appliances, such as cookers.
“In order to achieve a pristine property, some landlords choose to commission a professional cleaning company between tenancies.”
Wear and tear
“Tenants will also want to see that the property has been looked after by previous occupiers, with minimum wear and tear,” says Melanie. “The rental return will be reflective of its condition and good presentation will help maximise your property’s profit potential and appeal.
“We sometimes find that tenants desire the freedom to re-decorate the property themselves with the landlord’s approval. Not all landlords will agree to this but it can work out well and be mutually beneficial to both parties if managed carefully.”
“A tenant will also want to know that you are willing to preserve the condition of the property and troubleshoot maintenance issues at speed during their tenancy,” continues Melanie. “This becomes particularly pertinent if an issue occurs involving heating or water – understandably they won’t wait.
“Regular inspections will help you assess maintenance needs so preventative measures can be taken, plus make sure your tenant understands that they should make you aware of any issues arising between your visits too.”
Save your energy
“How eco-conscious are you? And how environmentally-friendly and economical is your property to run?” asks Melanie.
“Tenants are always keen to know how much a property is going to cost them and most are eager to keep utility costs low.
“The EPC will give you a guide about what can be done to improve the energy efficiency of your property.
“Popular ways to keep a property’s temperature up and costs down include adding double glazing, updating the heating system, installing room thermostats and programmers, plus introducing loft and cavity wall...
“At our office in Evesham we find that many tenants will want a small amount of low maintenance outside space with a property. Additionally, most will insist on parking too,” says Melanie. “These requirements may, of course, differ based on the property’s location and your target tenant.
“Always assess what is important for tenants looking for rental properties in your area and invest with their needs in mind.”
Safe as houses
“Most tenants will want to feel safe and secure in their new home so make sure you’re safety aware,” says Melanie.
“Has your property got secure locks on all doors and windows, a burglar alarm, double glazing, outside security lighting, sufficient smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector?
“Some security additions may be more necessary in certain areas than others so it’s wise to tailor the level of security features to the property’s location and its needs. Be aware, however, that certain safety measures, including an annual gas safety check, smoke alarms on all floors and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with solid fuel appliances, are required by law.”
“Besides all the fundamental essentials, today’s tenants will also want a property adapted to modern living, perhaps with some added extras,” says Melanie. “A telephone line is a must, as is internet access. In fact, most will ask about the internet speed they can expect before committing to a property.
“Some tenants will want other added luxuries too and are often impressed if a property offers Sky TV, under-floor heating, a dishwasher or other modern gadgets and appliances.”
Accessible and approachable
“As well as the property itself, your tenants will have expectations of you as a landlord,” says Melanie. “They will want you to be fair plus proactive, proving that you care about the infrastructure of the property and their level of comfort during their stay.
“False promises, untimely repairs and limited communication will not make for a good landlord/tenant relationship.
“Make sure you are accessible and approachable and that you deliver a high standard of service in order to ensure your tenant feels happy and at home in your property in 2017.”
To find your nearest Belvoir office, visit their website at www.belvoir.co.uk©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies primarily to England and is not a definitive statement of the law; always seek professional advice. Legislation changes, so check dates on these articles. If you have questions go to the LandlordZONE® Forums