Recent research has shown an unexpected boon in young people who can afford their first home – with slightly more homeowners aged 25 to 34 than private renters for the first time in seven years.
Nonetheless, the same research still shows plenty of people renting, which means that the competition for affordability, practicality and location is still immense. This means a potentially nice little money-spinner for people like you, about to let your property out for the first time.
So, while you’re going about getting your property set up, here are some tips to consider that could keep your new tenants happy from the moment they walk in.
Clean and declutter
Granted, that first one is a… given. After all, if your property isn’t clean when they move in, it’s hardly going to be any better when they move out. However, decluttering is different. Don’t be tempted to dress the property up to feel instantly homely – that’s for the tenants to do.
They’ll have their own pictures, ornaments, books and everything else to arrange when they move in, so don’t be afraid to use a blank canvas. If your loft space is currently unused, consider loft boarding by Instaloft as a cheaper, space-creating alternative to a full loft conversion – you could even keep your own everyday clutter there for later.
Don’t skimp on furniture
Naturally, there’s always the fear that a tenant, however carefully they’ve been vetted, won’t respect your property and its contents in the same way you would. However, ignore the instinct to furnish your property on the cheap regardless.
Higher-quality furniture actually encourages more care, as the new tenant won’t want to reimburse you for tarnishing a new couch, table or bed. As long as everything is itemised, and the condition of your furniture is detailed in full, they’ll have no excuses. (Although they may try to come up with one from time to time…)
Upgrade if possible
While it’s practically impossible to pick up on certain things when viewing a property, a malfunctioning fridge, dodgy locks and a boiler that doesn’t boil will soon be highlighted – and these are all things you may need to deal with sooner rather than later regardless.
So, if there’s anything in the property that you wouldn’t be pleased with were you paying someone for the privilege of living in their home, then sort it out beforehand. In an ideal world, you won’t hear from your tenants until they move out – and this is a great way of making that possible.
Know your rights – and theirs
Finally, and crucially, you must know exactly where you stand concerning any event that may arise during the tenancy. Even if you are using a letting agency, you must know what to expect from the unexpected.
Familiarise yourself with your obligations as a landlord, and address any issues inside or outside the property that could compromise your insurance – or the safety of your tenants. Ultimately, you want your investment to be protected, and the people dwelling within it to be comfortable, secure and happy for the next 6, 12 or 24 months to come.