The rental market is a highly competitive one at the moment, both between prospective landlords and tenants. The market is more active than ever, as inflation and high rates of interest continue to make property investment a prohibitive expense for millions of households, even as property values begin to cool for the first time in years.
As a landlord, you will naturally want the best price for your property. But there are more factors at play than the list rent you advertise with your letting agents – some of which can serve to effectively ‘devalue’ your rental property altogether. What are these factors, and how might you address them to justify the rent rates your property deserves?
First and foremost, the external presentation of your property is vital to the impressions visiting tenants get of the rental opportunity as a whole. A messy front garden cracked render job or even peeling house paintwork can all lead viewers to make several negative conclusions – on the state of the home, and your capacity as a landlord.
This might seem not to require mentioning, but the interior of your property should be in good condition and up to code before viewings start to take place. The condition of the property is a significant part of what tenants think of themselves as paying for, so any drabness or damage will have an impact on how much they are willing to pay.
Of course, the condition is often out of your hands, particularly if your property has already been part of the rental market for some time. Landlord insurance is an essential provision for this reason, covering as it does certain costs relating to accidental damage and repairs. By and large, your properties should be receiving regular checks from yourself or your agent to ensure they are not shy of their potential value.
In a wider sense, the way your property looks overall can also serve to switch tenants off the idea of your property as a valuable rental. Poor decoration decisions can be uninspiring or even somewhat offensive to viewers, especially when it comes to ‘loud’ colours and brash décor schemes. A basic, generic approach to decoration is preferable for promoting a sense of uniformity and cleanliness – though your properties should not feel altogether too sterile either.
While this is not a tangible means of property devaluation, it is a facet of ‘selling’ rental properties that you should nonetheless be addressed. Your manner regarding winning over speculative buyers, or handling problems as they arise, could feed into the willingness of potential tenants to sign with you. If you start to garner a reputation as an unreliable landlord, you become less favourable in the market – with impacts on the rent prices you can command.
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