As prospective renters return to the market, it’s time for landlords to think about how they can improve their returns
There’s some good news for landlords in Chiswick. According to industry experts ARLA Propertymark, prospective tenant numbers are now at an all-time high.
A number of landlords had to accept lesser rental sums over the past year to avoid a period with no rental income at all. While others may have chosen not to review the rent at the time when it was due for review. Or for some it might simply be that a tenant has recently given notice after several years and you’re now wondering how you can maximise your returns.
Looking for new tenants – but what needs to be fixed?
If you’ve had one tenant in your Chiswick rental property for several years it’s highly likely that there has been some wear and tear, and that it’s time to update the property – though this needn’t be drastic or costly.
Renting property, even if you have just the one buy-to-let, should be approached as you would running a business. Namely, if you’re spending on your property you should be confident that there will be a return on your investment.
It is also sometimes the case that a property requires updating to maintain a certain rental figure. If you’ve recently been told you won’t achieve a rental figure you previously had, it might be time to pick up the paintbrush and bring your investment up to standard.
Tenants are typically viewing a potential home with just a year or two stay in mind, rarely do tenants in the UK seek a home for a five or 10-year period. Prospective tenants are usually seeking a property that is modern, functional and convenient. That doesn’t mean it needs to look contemporary, just that everything should be in good working order and ready to comfortably live in without issue.
Cheap improvements that have a big impact
With appearance and function in mind, this is a short checklist of the places you should focus your attention on if you’re hoping to increase the rent on your property in Chiswick.
- The walls. Bumps and scuff marks, personal colours, discolouration – these make a property look tired and unappealing. Filling any cracks or holes left behind, fixing woodwork and a simple lick of paint could transform a rental property.
- The kitchen. A functional, working kitchen is incredibly important to achieve a premium rent. This doesn’t mean you need to fit an entirely new kitchen. Many parts of a kitchen can be up-cycled, fix anything that’s broken and perhaps make small updates such as changing the taps. It can be inexpensive but effective.
- The bathroom. Another focus in rental properties should be the bathrooms as they quickly date a property. Refreshing a bathroom doesn’t need to be a full refurbishment, in many cases new tiles or a new power shower and some clever home decor can be enough to bring a bathroom up to date.
- The garden. If the previous tenant wasn’t green-fingered you might find the outside space has been neglected. Now more than ever tenants are valuing a garden or roof terrace so it is well worth the investment of making the outside space look as good as possible. This doesn’t need to be costly. Painting woodwork or outdoor furniture, adding some seasonal plants or simply taking care of those in situ.
This list is a brief overview of the places that usually need attention, each property is unique and our Chiswick lettings team will only be able to assess what’s needed when looking at your particular property.
Can changing your agent increase the rent?
Aesthetic is very important, especially in the fast-moving lettings market. Chiswick homes that are poorly represented by an agent will not achieve the same figures as those showcased in their very best light – put simply, a potential tenant is unlikely to even arrange to view a property that is not visually shown well online.
In a few cases, a managing agent who has a poor reputation might have a negative impact on the rental value of a property. Where possible, do try to assess if the agent is delivering a good service on your behalf to the tenants.
If your tenant has had a bad experience with the managing agent it might serve as an explanation as to why they’re not willing to pay a rental increase or have given notice.
Is it time for a review of the rent?
There are several rules surrounding rent increases and how landlords must approach these, each tenancy agreement will include details of how and when the rent can be reviewed.
The national lockdowns and restrictions may have prevented a rental review from taking place, leaving landlords unsure of how to move forward.
For an informal, no-obligation discussion surrounding your rental property in Chiswick and the unique circumstances you’re navigating as restrictions are lifted please do get in touch.
To sell or to let?
It might be that you’re pondering whether it’s time to sell or to let your property.
Landlords that are considering whether now is a good time to sell might value a conversation with seasoned Chiswick estate agent Paul, the Sales Director of the Horton and Garton Chiswick office, to establish a property’s current value.
It’s also worth considering, if you have a mortgage on your buy-to-let property, with interest rates at a historic low, whether a better mortgage rate might be available so we’d definitely encourage landlords to speak with their broker or bank to check if they could be making a saving and improve their net yield position.
Letting property in 2021
Whilst there has been negative press surrounding London’s lettings market and in some cases, landlords may have been forced to accept lesser rental sums, we’re now seeing a shift in demand – tenants are now making plans to move as Covid restrictions disappear.
Just last week we had multiple offers on several of our properties to let in Chiswick – the pace is picking up and it feels very much like normal activity is resuming.
If you’d like to learn more about the Chiswick property market, talk about the current rental climate and understand the outlook for property to let in Chiswick please do get in touch with Lettings Manager Aggie Tukendorf.