Most people have probably stayed in a flat or share house at some point that they could not wait to escape from. Maybe there was a mould issue or another member of the household blared out loud music well into the early hours.
There are many reasons why tenants quickly move on after the six month or one year minimum period is up; some could even have legal grounds to leave earlier if there are any health and safety risks at play.
Ultimately, landlords want tenants to stay as long as possible in their properties and not run at the first opportunity. That’s why investing in keeping your tenants happy is much more beneficial for you in the long-term.
For landlords wanting to avoid having empty properties left, right and centre, here are some things to consider, both before and after launching or extending your business.
How to attract tenants
Choose the right location
When picking out properties to develop, the most important aspect to consider is of course who you are targeting. If you are all set on attracting students, it is important to find locations close to the universities or that at the very least have good public transport links. They like to feel part of all the action.
Families will want to be near schools and generally prefer safer community-orientated areas in the suburbs, while business owners ideally aim for city centres and commercial districts.
The first step in finding potential tenants is to secure viewings.
Wherever you advertise, making sure a high-quality visual is presented is the key. So many adverts on estate agency websites and free listing sites are accompanied by awful pictures or sometimes no images at all.
Make sure your properties are well presented and take photographs that will make people want to see more. Putting in this effort during the initial stages will result in more viewings and better quality tenants. Repaint the walls, replace worn furniture and add a few stylish accents to make it look like an attractive home for prospective tenants.
How to keep tenants
Having properties filled with tenants all or most of the time is every landlord’s dream. After all, empty properties means money lost.
The hardest part though is not finding tenants, it is holding on to them. If you want happy renters, keeping on top of maintenance is vital. While carrying out regular work and footing the bill for emergency repairs is expensive, the financial fallout of having empty properties is much more damaging in the long run.
Having a comprehensive landlords’ insurance plan in place is integral in managing these costs and being prepared for unforeseen circumstances. You can cover contents for both repair and replacement and be protected financially from loss of rent if a property is empty due to damages or claims made against you. Additional covers such as Landlord Home Emergency Solutions which provides round the clock response to emergencies at your property or properties.
While you might carry out the basic credit checks and compile references from previous landlords to ensure tenants can afford to pay rent and have not caused major problems in their past residences, it is also important to make sure they are a good fit for the property.
If it is a share house, for example, you will want everybody to be on the same wavelength. So mixing 18-year-old partygoers with professionals in their late 20s could be a recipe for disaster. Getting the current housemates involved in the process, letting them meet potential tenants and choose their favourites, helps promote a happy household where people are more likely to stay longer.