The thought of a lengthy gap between tenants is a sobering one for any landlord. After all, the bills won’t stop just because your rental income does!
At Iron Bridge, we believe the key to managing this risk is attracting stable tenants that are likely to stay at one rental property for a number of years. So, what characteristics help make rental properties appealing to those desirable long-term tenants?
Here are three factors that our property managers know will make an impact:
1. Keep the property in tip top condition
First impressions count – particularly for tenants that are eager to stay in one place for a long period. If potential tenants see a property that is clean, tidy and well-maintained, they’re more likely to be excited about living in it.
This is especially important if there are a lot of other properties available to choose from that your investment is competing with – offering a smartly presented home will set your rental apart. The added bonus of presenting an immaculate property is that prospective tenants get a clear idea of the standards you expect from them too.
Had your tenants for a while? Keeping your property well maintained is just as important. Ensuring your tenants’ home remains in good condition will encourage them to take pride in its upkeep and give them fewer reasons to consider moving on. For this reason, commit to responding quickly when advised of an issue at the property and make sure repairs are completed efficiently and to a high standard. If other commitments will make this difficult to achieve, talk to our team of expert property managers about how they could help.
2. Ask yourself ‘Would I live here?’
Before you let your rental property, ask yourself ‘Would I be happy to make this my home?’
Consider factors like:
- How warm and dry the home is.
- The condition of curtains, paintwork and carpets.
- Whether appliances are in good working order.
Even if your property isn’t modern, ensuring that it offers a healthy environment which is pleasant to live in will make it more attractive to long-term tenants.
If you’re planning to upgrade your rental property, focus on the kitchen and bathrooms first, as tenants will be particularly critical of these spaces.
3. Offer a fixed-term tenancy
Any tenant with a genuine desire to make your property a long-term home will appreciate the security a fixed-term tenancy offers. Why? Well, because this type of tenancy indicates that you currently have no intention of re-occupying the home or selling it.
From the landlord’s perspective, a fixed-term tenancy is fantastic because it enables you to manage vacancy proactively. By signing up to a fixed-term, your tenants are agreeing to stay at the property and are liable for paying the rent up until the lease end date.
The other benefit of a fixed-term tenancy is that it allows you to proactively approach your tenants prior to their lease expiring to review both the length of the next renewal, as well as the rent they are paying. This means that both you and your tenants will know each other’s plans in advance. If the tenants are planning to move out you can then advertise for new tenants well before the current tenancy comes to an end.
Implementing these three tips will significantly improve your chances of attracting stable, long-term tenants, and reduced vacancy, however there are many other factors to consider as well – from the rent you charge, to how you vet prospective tenants.
Property management is one of our key areas of experience here at Iron Bridge. If you are interested in a free rental appraisal for your property, contact one of our property managers today.
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