As a landlord, the last thing you want to do is scare potential tenants off. With this mind, you’ll probably be eager to know the biggest turn-offs for renters when viewing a property so you can avoid these potential pratfalls.
The private rented sector now accounts for around 20% of all households in the UK and is said to be worth around £4.5 million. This, according to research, is set to rise to 24% of all households by 2021.
Young people, in particular, are drawn to the rental sector for the flexibility it provides, with the most recent Scottish Housing Survey revealing that there had been a dramatic increase in the proportion of 16-34 year olds privately renting, up from just 16% in 1999 to 40% in 2016.
It is, therefore, a large and ever-growing market. But research from home furnishing retailer Terry’s Fabrics has outlined the major pet peeves that are most likely to put this marketplace off renting a property.
Nearly half of prospective tenants would be deterred by a dirty home, while aesthetics and décor also have a key bearing on many renters. Some 48% would be put off by an old-fashioned kitchen, while 47% would say no to an old-fashioned bathroom – perhaps one including carpet flooring or a very 80s colour scheme.
Old-fashioned bedrooms, too, were a turn off for 28% of those surveyed, while 27% would turn their noses up at brightly coloured walls. Another major pet peeve for tenants is bright or patterned carpets.
Luckily, all these pet peeves are eminently avoidable. Most tenants will want a modern, gleaming bathroom and kitchen space that looks fit for the 21st century. While dramatic overhauls or wholesale renovations would cost a fair bit (and might not be within budget), there are smaller updates and upgrades that can be made to bring these rooms up to scratch. This includes opting for a modern colour scheme, upgrading accessories and giving your kitchen and bathroom a slick, contemporary look.
If you do want to go the whole hog and completely transform your kitchen or bathroom, it is likely to cost you around £7,000 for the former and £3,000 for the latter. While that’s quite a significant outlay, this could be recouped in the long-term as you’re able to charge slightly higher rents because your property is in such fine condition.
Meanwhile, a quick makeover of a tired, old-fashioned bedroom won’t take much time, effort or money. Opt for a neutral colour scheme, add some vibrant soft furnishings to and make sure everything looks as fresh, clean and attractive as possible. Garish, eccentric décor won’t go down well with most tenants, and bright carpets are likely to get the same reaction, so don’t limit your pool of potential renters by decorating your home in this way.
Eradicate bad smells and damp
As well as a dirty home, most tenants will also be put off by bad odours and evidence of damp. Some 46% said bad smells would deter them, while damp would give 43% big reservations about a property. Unkempt gardens (37%) and a property that was badly decorated (35%) also featured in the top five list of things that potential tenants are put off by.
Even worse, if there is visual evidence of problems like this, such as spores on bath and sink seals, or mould on walls or windows, this translates into ‘dirt’ in tenants’ minds.
Again, such issues are easily avoidable. Bad smells and damp can be eradicated or prevented from becoming an issue in the first place, shabby gardens can be spruced up with minimum cost and resources, and a poorly decorated property can be transformed with a quick, effective makeover.
The look and feel of a property will be the deciding factor for many tenants, so it’s something that needs to be right. Work with your letting agent to ensure your home is as attractive and appealing as possible. If this is the case, you should have little issue with occupying your rental homes with good, long-term tenants.
For more information about how Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, can help you, please get in touch with us on 01506 425693.
We also provide free and instant online valuations to give you a good estimate of how much your property could be worth in the current marketplace.