1. Take advice from a letting agent. Your market research should always include talking to a local letting agent. Simply ask "what type of properties are you always short of?" to find out the properties and areas that will give you the best yield.
2. Invest in kitchens and bathrooms - it costs relatively little to tile a bathroom (and it’s cheaper to over-tile than to strip off and replace the existing tiling), alternatively, fit the now freely available shower walls which minimise the need for sealant and grout thereby preventing future issues when grout discolours or starts coming away. Provide clean and hygienic new worktops in kitchens. A bathroom with both a bath and shower will be the most popular.
3. Install a hardwearing/plain decor. Keep practical and functional. Properties with a
plain colour scheme will be more favourable.
4. Providing an allocated parking space, especially with a town centre apartment. A flat with a parking space will let long before all the other flats in the block and will achieve a price premium.
5. Review rent regularly, particularly when the same tenant stays in the property.
Allowing rent levels to fall behind the market rate can significantly impact your yield.
6. Do not instruct too many agents or none at all to get the property let. One or
two agents working to let the property is best and the landlord should expect weekly
progress reports. If you instruct one agent agree a timescale of three weeks in which
you will expect a tenant to be found or you will bring in a competing agent. If you have
more than two agents working on it, they each decide they only have a reduced chance
of securing the tenant and give it lower priority to their sole agency instructions. This
may involve a longer wait or having to accept a lower rent.
7. Ensure identity and independent credit checks are carried out on tenants and Right to Rent checks if necessary. The most credible looking tenant may have CCJ’s and a record of exploiting the unwary landlord. With regards to Right to Rent checks the fines to both Landlord and Agent are significant as these are not done correctly.
8. Take out rent guarantee and legal costs insurance. In the current market this is
9. Keep on top of tenancy expiry dates. Ask tenants in ample time whether they
intend to stay. This is one of the most effective ways to eliminate void periods and needs
10. Ensure tenancies do not end just before Christmas. It will be hard to find
another tenant. Set tenancies in June to last for 7 or 8 months to end in late
January/February when there is generally a shortage of properties available.
For more advice, please give us a call or pop in to our Bridge Street offices.