A Nottingham letting agent has some great tips for landlords hoping to maximise their investment returns. Adam Kingswood, director of a large letting agency in one of the UK’s top university cities, says the key to success is to provide a safe, nice property that tenants can treat like a home.
This probably sounds basic stuff, but he says many landlords overlook the obvious when preparing a rental property for tenants. They either don’t do enough or they go overboard and personalise the property too much.
Budget for Repairs
Kingswood advises landlords to have a budget for annual repairs, so they can keep their property in good order. With so many rogue landlords doing virtually nothing to maintain their properties, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s easy to get away with such practices. Unfortunately, new legislation means that tenants now have the right to sue their landlord if they are living in a cold and/or damp property. Therefore, it is important that you keep on top of maintenance issues!
Making sure rental properties are well-maintained is sure to keep tenants happy and loyal. It also makes it easier to attract new tenants when the old ones decide to move on. In addition, failing to maintain a property will lead to it losing capital value in the long-term, which is hardly a good outcome for a property developer.
Don’t Overdo the Renovations
Kingswood advises landlords “Careful research should be undertaken before hammers are taken to walls”. He recommends that landlords are careful not to spend more on refurbishments than the property is worth. Adding a high-spec kitchen might seem like a good idea, but it’s not good value for money if the only tenants you can attract are likely to trash the place.
Have a target market in mind when you refurbish a property. Try to leave your personal tastes out of the equation. Just because you are madly in love with pastel carpets and bling lighting, it doesn’t mean the average tenant will be. But, if you want to attract an upmarket tenant, you’ll need to go the extra mile with high-quality fixtures and fittings.
Finally, Kingswood recommends that landlords plan and prioritise the most essential work, so void periods are minimised where possible. For example, if a property is in need of a new kitchen, wait until the existing tenant leaves before starting the work, so you can minimise disruption and get the job done faster.
The main areas that have the most impact on a tenant are flooring, décor, fixtures and fittings, heating and windows. And if you are hoping to attract families, put some work into the garden.
Do you have any more useful tips for newbie landlords? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!
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