When preparing a rental property for a viewing it will, in some regards, be similar to presenting a property for sale. The property needs to be clean, outstanding repairs should be completed and freshly decorated properties may be more appealing to some tenants.
However, sometimes properties that are let fully furnished may influence the way prospective tenants make their evaluation. What is more, with some short term lets the prospective tenant may also require bed linen, towels and crockery to be included. You can find out more about this in our guide to short let rentals.
The property should meet the needs of the tenant
How you present the property will depend on the type of tenant you want to attract. Students and graduates may want a furnished property, but are not likely to expect the same quality of furnishings as that expected by young professionals, corporate and family tenants.
When marketing a property for sale, many homeowners decorate their home in neutral colours so prospective buyers are presented with a blank canvas on which they can make their mark. This may be a suitable approach for rental properties too, and whether or not you permit tenants to decorate elements of the property themselves is a decision that needs careful consideration. If tenants are permitted to decorate, the result might not be to everyone’s taste, so further decorating may be required at the end of the occupancy. If you do agree to your tenants decorating during the tenancy, then terms and conditions should be clearly set out within the terms of the tenancy agreement. On the other hand, a tenant who is permitted to decorate may feel more at home, and inclined to stay longer
If you live in the home you intend to let, you should clean the property thoroughly and remove any clutter and personal items such as children’s toys, from sight in preparation of the viewing.
If you have other tenants still in the property, you may want to consider arranging for a professional cleaner to visit, depending on how the tenants have left the property.
Redecorating and repair work
Before each letting you may wish to redecorate and replace any worn out furniture. This will often be determined by the type of tenant you expect to attract and how much you would like to maximise the return on your investment. The property must be serviceable at all times and no short cuts should be made when it comes to the plumbing, wiring and safety and general maintenance of the property, all of which must be sound. The windows and doors should be secure and the gas and electrical installations and appliances should be serviced or checked annually. You may wish to seek the guidance of a letting agent to help you decide which work is essential for you to carry out. Talk the KFH property management team for more information.
Letting agents will also be able to conduct and manage viewings. They will speak to any existing tenants and give them sufficient notice; and if you are living in the property while the viewing is taking place, it may help the prospective tenant feel more relaxed if you are absent. On the other hand, your agent may advise you to be there for viewings to meet prospective tenants in person.