Keep properties clean and neutral to attract tenants

by Sarah Ashcroft

With demand for rental property so high, landlords could be forgiven for thinking that letting standards slip is less of an issue.

However, if you still want to attract a high calibre of tenant who will take care of the property and return it to your care in the same condition it was when they initially signed the tenancy agreement, certain steps need to be followed.

It is essential that a property is thoroughly cleaned, if it is vacant, when new tenants are shown around.

If they initially see the flat or house and there are stains on the carpets, limescale around the bath and peeling wallpaper, they firstly may be concerned you would not bother returning it to a more acceptable state.

But more worryingly for the landlord, they may feel that the level of cleanliness is acceptable and landlords could be left with a cycle of messy or destructive tenants.

Conversely, Lee Grandin, director at Landlord Mortgages, said that if it is a new rental property, it is also important not to go overboard with the homey touches.

"The rule is to keep the property neutral," he said.

"Do not over furnish a newly purchased buy to let.  Some landlords will wait for a potential tenant's wish list and then furnish according to the chosen tenants needs."

Most tenants will want to make a property their own and introduce some of their own belongings to help with this, but this is more difficult when they need to compete with the furniture already there.

Similarly, keep colours schemes neutral. Cream or beige walls will be considered the norm for most renters and will enable them to choose their own look for each room through their accessories.

However, cream carpets are to be avoided in most circumstances as they will probably need replacing a lot more regularly than floor coverings just a few shades darker.

For more information on renting out your property effectively and managing your tenants, read Lawpack's Residential Lettings: The Complete Guide.

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Published on: July 20, 2012

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