Propertymark has released its guidance on how you can prepare your rental property for the summer lettings market.
It has been a challenging year for the property market with lockdowns, restrictions on movement and our ability to view or move into new homes. The residential and student lettings market is starting to get back to normal – with a significant easing of restrictions from Monday May 17th. As a result, a significant number of people are currently seeking a new home especially those who require more inside space to accommodate home working, and more outside space as overseas holidays are still out of reach for many.
If you are advertising to rent out your property in the spring and summer months, there are some steps you can take to make your property more appealing and to mitigate any danger of having to make repairs once your tenants have moved in.
It’s essential that you have suitable insurance to protect your investment should anything happen. In Scotland in particular, we suffer from wet and damp weather that can take its toll on buildings. Check that your policy provides protection for any weather-related damage and find out if there are ways to reduce your premium such as more secure windows and locks, CCTV or a house alarm. You should also consider insurance against non-payment of rent as the economy still recovers from the pandemic.
Your best bet is to give your property a neutral décor so that they can envisage their belongings in your property and can picture themselves living in the space. Remove anything personal such as unique furniture, pictures on the wall, loud colours or patterned wallpaper. Keep the windows clean and use tie backs on curtains to maximise the natural light. Keep the décor simple, plain and tasteful so that they don’t feel they are living in someone else’s home.
Maintaining the garden
Over the last year tenants and homeowners have realised the importance of outside space as we were not only locked down in our homes but only allowed to socialise outside for a long period of time. This has led to a once-in-a-generation shift in priorities with tenants looking for homes with additional space to work from home and either a balcony or garden to enable them to enjoy the outdoors. These properties are high in demand can command higher rents. Now is the time to ensure your garden is well-maintained and that any gardening equipment is in good working order so that your tenants can continue with the upkeep. You could also consider elevating the garden space with nice furniture, lighting and a barbeque to make your property even more appealing to potential renters.
Falling leaves over the winter can cause a build-up of water in your guttering and over time cause water damage or broken gutters. Make sure they are cleared of all debris and ensure your property doesn’t have any cracks or holes in the facings or to avoid birds or squirrels nesting. Lastly make sure all of your utilities and any electrical items meet current regulations.