Entering the buy-to-let market can be an extremely lucrative business when done right.

If you’re a landlord preparing to rent out flats, houses or commercial spaces, here are some essential buy-to-let tips on how to make your properties more attractive to prospective tenants.

Don’t take shortcuts with maintenance

While it can be tempting to keep costs low by doing the bare minimum, not fully dealing with maintenance issues will dramatically reduce your chances of securing a tenant.

In the long-run, you’re more likely to end up losing money if you choose to take shortcuts.

In order to find quality tenants and then keep them, properly addressing any maintenance issues rather than temporarily coating over them is imperative.

Having quality landlord insurance in place will help you keep on top of any ongoing and emergency maintenance costs that arise.

If there’s any sign of damp and mould, hiring a professional to do an intensive treatment on the area in question is much better than simply painting over the evidence.

Dodgy plumbing and electrics might get by the tenant initially, but you can bet you’re going to have to deal with the issue sooner or later and probably find yourself constantly spending time and money advertising for new tenants and having periods of empty properties that could easily have been avoided with a bit of extra work.

Create an aspirational visual

When potential tenants look round a house, flat or commercial property, they’re imagining how their lives will fit into the space.

Spending time dressing a place in an aspirational manner will definitely pay off. It’s important to keep in mind who you want the property to appeal to.

Couples and families will be looking for fresh, clean décor, modern appliances and, if it’s a fully-furnished property, quality comfortable furnishings with enough room for everybody to relax.

It’s always best to stick to neutral paint, wallpaper and carpetsand present the property with plenty of natural light streaming through. If possible, hire a professional cleaner before any viewings begin.

Besides looking unsightly, filthy homes are an indicator of poor maintenance generally which can be an instant red flag. Don’t just pay attention to the interiors.

If the façade looks tired, give it a fresh lick of paint, replace those missing roof tiles and get that massive tree that blocks out the light cut back.

Choose a reputable estate agent

Many buy-to-let landlords choose to rent out their properties through a letting agent that act as an intermediary to deal with any issues and handle the promotional side of things initially.

If this is the route you’re thinking of taking, make sure to select an estate agency with a solid reputation in customer service rather than automatically going for the cheapest deal.

Choose a local agency with an actual presence in the area where your properties are located and make sure they’ll be competent in carrying out regular checks and smoothly handling the communication between landlord and tenant.

Shop around for the best deals, read reviews online and seek advice from other buy-to-let landlords to help you make the right decision.

Keep in mind that the letting agent you choose will be representing your business so how they conduct themselves is going to reflect on you and your reputation.

When you secure a tenant, keep them happy

There’s no point putting tonnes of effort into attracting a tenant and getting them to sign a contract if you’re going to have them running a mile after six months because you’ve failed to address several maintenance complaints.

It’s obviously in your best interest to keep hold of quality tenants by being approachable and acting fast when any issues arise.

While some tenants move on due to relocating for a new job or getting on the property ladder, many hand in their notice at the first possible opportunity due to problems with a property that haven’t been addressed despite complaints.

If you’re a buy-to-let landlord seeking business insurance, contact The Insurance Octopus today for a quote.