The Rental Market
Investing in rental property can be a reliable medium to long-term investment strategy, providing monthly rental income and the potential for capital growth. New investors should always research the potential of a property and its target market before purchasing it; they should also know their limitations when it comes to management of their properties. Unfortunately, due to a lack of time or experience (usually both!) they often run into trouble. This is why we have prepared a FREE downloadable PDF which explains everything you as a landlord need to know.
Location & Target Market
In a cyclical housing market, choosing the right property is essential – our experienced teams can advise you on this as necessary. Professional tenants look for low maintenance properties with good transport links and convenient access to local amenities whilst students are typically in search of well-maintained houses and flats within easy reach of university campuses that they can co-rent with friends.
Furnished Or Unfurnished?
When letting residential properties, two broad categories exist – furnished or unfurnished. Your target market will largely dictate which direction you elect to pursue – in fact, the industry standard in professional and/or student markets is furnished although demand still exists at a reasonable level for unfurnished accommodation. Larger family houses tend to be unfurnished as tenants have often been homeowners before and are therefore more likely to own furniture items.
In essence, a furnished property should be ready for immediate occupation. It should include all essential furniture items and can also include electrical appliances, kitchen utensils and other extras. All furniture, fabrics and upholstery will need to be compliant with current fire regulations and it is also important to remember that most tenants will have personal possessions which need storage/display space.
An unfurnished property usually includes carpets, curtains, and white goods in the kitchen (washing machine and fridge freezer) but excludes all other effects. It should be noted that there will be a lower rental value than a comparable furnished property.
Décor & General Presentation
Aesthetic value is often the one factor that facilitates an increase in achievable rent for your property; the more appealing your decor and furnishings are, the more interest you are likely to achieve (and at higher values too). Do not allow personal preference to sway your judgment – always remain neutral in your decision making – but try to ensure that the overall quality is high.
Tips To Increase Your Rental Income
- Keep walls and floors neutral in colour – lighter colours give the property a clean, fresh and spacious feel although take note to ensure any finishes are durable.
- Paint finishes are the easiest to maintain (can be ‘touched up’ if necessary) whereas wallpaper will need to be replaced if damaged.
- Good quality carpets, flooring and curtains are essential, especially if your property is unfurnished.
- All rooms and hallways should be adequately lit with appropriate, easy to maintain fittings.
- Kitchens should be modern and well-equipped.
- All tenants will expect bedrooms to have ample storage space for clothing – consider fitted wardrobes that make the best of available space in rooms that have small or awkward proportions.
- Don’t forget the property exterior too – windows should be clean, any paintwork or masonry should be in good order and gardens (if any) tidy and well-maintained.