To make the most out of your rental property it is wise to try to keep the turnover of tenants to a minimum. Why? Well, put simply, the fewer tenants you have, the fewer void periods you will encounter. This, ultimately, will keep the rental income you receive at a steady and profitable level.
As well as covering the financial side of things, a small turnover of tenants will be less stressful for you as a landlord and will commonly mean your tenants are happy, which can only be a good thing.
Detailed in this blog is some advice on how to keep tenant turnover to a minimum, from making sure you have the right tenants for your property to ensuring that the property is in good condition and a pleasant place to live.
Firstly, when finding tenants it will be beneficial to identify what type of tenant you are looking for. Are you looking for students, families or young professionals? It’s important to be clear on this as they are all looking for very different things.
From our experience as West Lothian’s first dedicated letting agent, it seems that more often than not students prefer a blank canvas when it comes to décor, although they will require furniture and are more likely to want a desk and chair in a bedroom. Location will also be important, whereas luxury and access to a garden are perhaps traditionally less vital for this demographic.
Young professionals – although not always – may well have been students in the past so they will be expecting the above as an absolute minimum and the majority would be looking to take a step up from typical student-style accommodation.
More likely to have all of their own furniture and require a garden, families are also often on the lookout for a more complete home, where quality and space are essential.
So from your property’s credentials and features, you will need to determine what type of tenant to aim for. Then, if you are using an agent, they will be able to target their search and only take suitable tenants for viewings; the same applies if you are a DIY landlord.
Furniture essentials include beds, sofas, side tables, a cooker and bedside tables. If all of this seems like a hefty additional investment – be creative. Shop around and get the best possible deal online, or in local shops and stores. It may be that friends or relatives will have things they can provide. But don’t be tempted to put in items which are clearly past their best, or broken. Quality, which need not be expensive, is important.
Once you have decided on your tenant demographic and kitted out your rental property accordingly, hopefully it won’t be too long before your property is let. We feel that once you have filled your property, a key factor in keeping tenants happy for a long period is personal contact. It is comforting for a tenant to know they can pick up the phone to their landlord at any time.
Although it may seem like a given, presenting your property well can have such a positive impact on your tenants. If you don’t let them see it as a stopgap, they won’t treat it like a stopgap.
You may have heard this before, but that is because it is so important: inspect your rental property regularly. It will encourage your tenants to keep the property in good condition and can help to build your relationship with them. What’s more, as in any aspect of life, tackling problems early is the best way to deal with them. By handling any problem efficiently, you are showing your tenants you care and helping to keep them happy.
Now this is not an exhaustive blog, there are many other things you can do to reduce void periods, see our previous blog on maintenance for some more detailed advice on how to keep your property in shipshape. There is also plenty of informative content on the Internet.
If you require further advice on renting your property, here at Letting Solutions we would be delighted to help. Please get in touch on: 0845 520 1420. Moreover, to value your rental portfolio, our online free property valuation tool will give you an instant idea.