You just bought your first rental property and it’s all very exciting, but nerve wracking too. Where to start?
As a company with seventeen years of experience in the field of property management, we’ve got some useful advice to hand down onto any of you petrified new –to-lets.
First things first: presentation. Clean it from top to bottom, keeping an especially close eye out for problems such as damp or infestations. These are things sure to put off potential tenants!
Next make sure that the furniture is kept minimalist, but is still tailored to the kind of occupants you’re hoping for. If you want to keep your options open to a range of tenants, try not to get too creative with the decor. Simple usually works best as it allows those viewing to see the room as more of a blank canvas.
Then there are repairs. These are vital to sort out before anyone moves in; otherwise any pre-existing damages to the property could worsen and cost you more in the long run. You’re also likely to get a lot of complaints from unhappy tenants if any significant maintenance issues aren’t resolved initially.
Once all of the above has been checked you can then go about interviewing for tenants. This is a process that should be extremely carefully carried out, with emphasis on not just background checks and references, but also on communication with the tenants you’re showing around.
Where many landlords go wrong is that they don’t try to build a relationship with their tenants. This is so important, because it can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding the downfalls of property letting, such as rent arrears and void periods.
A well kept property should help in attracting your target tenants too, though ultimately, the more you chat to them and try and get a feel for whether they seem trustworthy is the best way to gain confidence in your final decision. Being inquisitive and friendly will also allow the tenant to feel more trust towards you, which in turn could make them more likely to want to live in your property.
Make sure you’re legally protected too through a bond or clause; though get these checked for authenticity and effectiveness.
Lastly, perhaps consider a property management service * cough * like us * cough *. These can take all the stress of the job and handle it for you, including paperwork, safety checks, maintenance and dealing with tenants. There’s also the biggest selling point, which is that you’ll get your rent paid every month in advance, hence avoiding the financial impact of rent arrears or void periods.
It’s good to be cautious when choosing a property management service, and some do include hidden costs such as commission fees. To make sure that you get an honest and truly helpful assured rent service research thoroughly those on offer. Not that we’re biased or anything, but we’re a pretty good one to check out if you want experienced, professional property management with none of the scams!
Enough about us though. If you’re organised, honest and communicative with your tenants then your start in the buy-to-let world is sure to lead to a successful future. Good luck!