Investing in a buy-to-let property is a popular choice with many people considering property to be a very good place to put your money. But attracting tenants can be a challenge. There’s a lot of competition out there, and landlords need to make sure their properties are standing out from the crowd.
To help landlords maximise the chances of attracting tenants, it’s important to take the time to prepare the property. From making sure the property is well-presented to ensuring that it has all the necessary features, there are many things landlords can do to make sure their buy-to-let is ready for tenants.
Making the right investments in your buy-to-let property can have a big impact on its appeal. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when preparing your buy-to-let to attract tenants.
Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or just starting out, you’ll find plenty of useful information and tips to help you get the most out of your investment. From making sure your property is well-maintained to ensuring that it’s equipped with all the latest features, we’ll show you how to make your buy-to-let as attractive as possible to potential tenants.
Maintenance and upkeep
When it comes to renting a property, it is the little details that matter. More so than anything else, tenants want to see that they are moving into a property that is well-looked after, and that you as a landlord don’t mind putting in the effort to ensure that the property remains at a high standard of maintenance.
You might not think too much about the window that doesn’t really open properly, or the door that sticks. But for tenants, this is the sign of a property that is going to cause them problems.
It’s a small detail – but make sure that every room is well lit. Rooms without good light can look dingy and unappealing. And it is such an easy fix that there really is no excuse to let this be a problem for your ability to attract tenants.
The importance of great imagery cannot be understated when it comes to making your property look attractive. Too many buy-to-let landlords take the approach of “it will do” when it comes to their photography – snapping a few photos with a smartphone camera. But if you want to attract tenants you need to be doing things more effectively.
If you are taking the photos yourself, it is really important you understand how to compose and take property photographs. For example, you might have a high quality camera, but if you have never looked at the different types of visual you can get from lens filters, you could be missing out on the ways to really maximise the appeal of your property via well composed imagery.
It can always make sense to work with a professional property photographer who can help you get more from your images.
The most important room in the house
If you are looking to update any room in a property in order to attract tenants, the obvious choice is the kitchen. A kitchen is always considered the focal point of the house and it is well known that from a selling perspective, the kitchen is the most important room in the home. The same goes for tenants, who want a great space to be able to cook and spend quality time in.
It can be a really good idea to invest money in the kitchen, as this is something that the vast majority of potential tenants will consider important to them.
Update the bathroom
Probably the next most important place to invest your money in a buy-to-let property is the bathroom. Once again, this is something that can really put off tenants – if they don’t like the bathroom. A big difference can often be made with a new coat of paint, a change of toilet seat and a new shower head.
Get the relevant certificates
There are a number of certificates that are a legal requirement for buy-to-let properties in the UK. Of course, it is the case that you must have these in place if you wish to charge rent to tenants. These certifications include:
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
- Gas Safety Record (GSR)
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a rating of A-E – (note that properties with an F or G rating cannot be let)
- HETAS Certificate if the property has a working fireplace or heating appliance
These are legal requirements and they must be updated after a number of years. However, it is often a good idea to get re-checked and certified more frequently than the legal requirement. Just because you have a GSR in place that is valid for another 6 months doesn’t mean tenants will feel more secure if it is as up to date as possible.
Clean the carpets
It might seem like a small detail, but when a property has nice carpets, it really makes a difference to how a potential tenant feels about it. Remember that tenants are going to be walking on this carpet all day, so how it feels (and how they feel about it) can make a big difference to their perception of the property.
When a carpet is well-maintained it can last ten years or more. And it is not necessarily a requirement that you replace the carpets, which would come at a significant cost. Instead it can make sense simply to have your carpets deep cleaned. This can actually restore older carpets to a semblance of their former glory.
Ultimately, there are many things that buy-to-let landlords can do to make their property more attractive to tenants. Perhaps the most important aspect of this is really getting to understand your target market, and then planning any changes to the property so that they suit the audience in mind.
However, all of the tips above will be useful to virtually any landlord, as they apply to the vast majority of tenants.