The UK rental market is enjoying a period of buoyancy thanks to the effect of the recession on the house sales and mortgage lending. As there are more properties becoming available to let, there is more choice for the prospective tenant. If you’re getting ready to add your property to the pile you’ll need to make sure it pips all those others to the post. Kate Wilde told us how she got her unfurnished two bedroom apartment ready to rent.
“I’d had tenants renting my flat before, so when they moved on after two years I wanted to make the place look fresh for viewings,” says Kate. “I started in the kitchen, cleaning out cupboards and making sure there were no bits and pieces of old food hiding away. I also made a few basic repairs to the worktop and cupboard doors where the laminate had lifted over time.” Kate’s approach is spot on. Just because you’re renting your property doesn’t mean you should neglect areas needing TLC. Remember, you’re in a very competitive market, so anything you can do to make a great impression on prospective tenants will stand you in good stead when viewings start.
Clean and Clear
Make sure you clean the windows of your property, inside and out. Shiny glass and bright white frames will convey the idea that a prospective new home is well cared for, indicating that the landlord is likely to be reliable and professional. “You won’t realise how dirty the windows are until you clean them – candle smoke made the plastic window frames pretty black in my apartment,” Kate says. “I cleaned all the window sills, too, and gave them a quick lick of crisp, white paint. It made such a difference. The only problem was that it made the rest of the place look pretty shabby in comparison!”
As Kate says, the more you clean, the more jobs you may find to do. Kate’s tenants had rented her flat for two years, so it was due a coat of paint. “It was a bit of a pain to paint the flat, but it paid dividends. The fresh paint smell gave tenants a fantastic first impression – they knew right away that the flat was loved and looked after, encouraging them to do the same.” Getting your property ready to rent might mean more than a deep clean but it does make sense to redecorate between tenancies if possible. Everyday wear and tear might be inevitable but prospective tenants won’t want to be reminded of that when they’re about to part with a sizeable monthly fee.
Kate’s apartment is neutrally decorated with a beige carpet that had naturally attracted stains and dirt over time. “The carpets did look pretty horrid. I hired someone to steam clean them and paid a bit extra for a stain resistant treatment. I’d recommend this to anyone getting a property ready to rent.” With so many rental properties on the market, covering stains with the odd rug or two won’t cut the mustard. Keep in mind that no-one wants to live in the dirt left behind by a previous tenant or owner.
In the bathrooms remove all traces of limescale and try to restore fixtures and fittings to their former glory. Kate explains, “I bought a selection of cleaning products and went all-out to make the bathrooms look fabulous. I wanted to create a beautiful blank canvas for my future tenants and I think my hard work really did the trick.” When you get your property ready to rent it’s a good idea to provide cleaning products so that your tenants will, with a bit of luck, keep up your good work.
With a few simple steps you, like Kate, can make your home looking good enough to tempt the choosiest tenant.