The English Housing Survey in 2018 found that tenants in privately-rented accommodation remain residents for an average of 4.1 years, meaning residents aren’t as temporary as they once were. People want their place of residence to be a more long term home as opposed to a “place to stay”.
To satisfy this demand and maximise the amount of rent you can earn from your property to let, there are a number of steps you can take. Here’s our advice for making the most of your property to let.
Freshen up the place
Improvements don’t have to be elaborate or expensive; sometimes small touches here and there are all that’s needed to attract higher-paying tenants. Regularly painting the walls of your property is a simple way to increase the vibrancy of the entire property and show that you take care of it.
A little consideration for interior design also goes a long way. For example, choosing bolder or warmer colours can increase the property’s implied value. Plain, simple colours like beige are fairly commonplace in rented properties because they’re often cheap and easy to pair with other furnishings.
However, simply putting more thought (and a little more money) into the colour you paint the walls can transform the property from a temporary residence into a home. Personality and creative design can fetch a higher price than standard, functional colours.
While you’re taking care of the colour of the walls, tackle any issues such as damp that may be showing. We don’t mean simply painting over it – deal with the root cause now to save it becoming a more expensive problem later on. It could significantly reduce the appeal and uptake on your tenancies.
Upgrade fittings and furnishings
Outdated appliances can be a hindrance to a tenants quality of life. A shower that’s temperamental or a washing machine that shakes a lot can take the shine off of a property, and tenants are likely to demand cheaper rent prices as a result. Upgrading these fittings, even marginally, makes the entire property feel more modern and run more smoothly, and will therefore allow you to charge a higher price. By taking care of the tenants, they’ll take care of you.
Similarly, soft furnishings, such as rugs and lamps, can increase the value of your property and make it feel more homely. When you’re creating a home for someone, it’s important to include the things that homes have; mirrors, plants, picture frames and other items like these will add character and allow tenants to personalise their living space. The same goes for door handles, worktops, and light fixtures. Taking care of these things is a fairly inexpensive way to increase the rent that you can demand for your property.
Install en suite bathrooms
Privacy is something we all need and respect, and people are willing to pay extra for private bathrooms. Having to share a bathroom (especially with “strangers”) is a common complaint amongst tenants, and after a while, many look to move elsewhere to accommodation where they have their own bathroom.
By installing en suite bathrooms (where possible), you attract tenants who are willing to pay higher rent fees and reduce your tenant turnover rate. En suite bathrooms can add as much as 5% to the overall value of a property, and you can reflect this in the rent you charge. The result is more money long-term and less hassle seeking new tenants.
Add an extension
This is a more serious investment, but if you’ve got the capital (and space), then adding an extension to your property can prove extremely lucrative. For one, adding an extension will increase the value of your property overall. More importantly, an extension will allow more tenants to live in your property, increasing your monthly return significantly.
Turning a two-bedroom property into a three-bedroom property means a potential earnings increase of 33%. It won’t be long before you earn back the money you’ve spent on the extension. If you’re able to, adding an extension can be a wise investment, adding up to 20% to the value of a property.
For more advice on buy-to-let properties, get in touch with us online or call us on 020 8876 7222. We’re one of South-West London’s foremost estate agents with decades of experience in the property market.