Attracting tenants to your buy to let
Thursday 10th May 2012
If you have been marketing your buy to let and not getting any tenants, ask yourself one question: would you want to live there?
In the same way that owner occupiers may give the outsides of their properties a lick of paint before they put a house on the market, the same kerb appeal principles apply to buy to lets.
There is one area of differentiation: gardens. You may have a couple of weeks of pleasant flowers with new plants you use to brighten up the place, but putting in plants that need lots of watering may leave you with an unsightly pot full of twigs a few weeks later if your tenants are not keen gardeners.
By keeping the décor of your buy to let property neutral, you may attract a wider range of potential tenants.
A standard residential tenancy may contain a clause that prevents the tenants from causing any damage to the decoration or changing the colours of the walls. This is a clause that is worth enforcing because if your student tenants decide to paint the walls orange, for example, this might put the families market off! Likewise, by keeping the same colour throughout it means that you can bulk buy paint and keep a central stock that suits all of your properties.
Location, location, location!
As with owner occupied properties, location is key when it comes to buy to lets. The same issues concern tenants as they do owners, namely:
- Transport links;
- Good schools;
- Proximity to shops and local amenities.
Choosing a property in a “nice” area may also have the advantage of landlord property cover that may be affordable, as let property insurance may be based on the same cost signifiers (crime and flooding) as regular buildings insurance.
Targeting a particular market?
If you are knowledgeable about a particular sector, it may make sense to have a target market for your buy to let. However, this may depend on the nature of your property. If, for instance, you are leaving the country for work and want to let out your family home, you may prefer the house to be occupied by another family rather than a handful of students who like to party.
If you do have the student market in your sights, you may wish to keep an eye on the plans of the local colleges and universities in your area. A college that is expanding courses and increasing places may be able to find you fresh tenants in a matter of weeks.
Editorial Contact Details - Rosalind Renshaw