Despite a raft of legislation aimed at deterring buy-to-let investors, would-be landlords are still being attracted to the sector. Investment in bricks and mortar has outperformed asset classes such as stocks and shares for a considerable period.
With a growing number of people being priced out of owning their own home, demand for rental accommodation continues to soar. As a result, there are usually a number of renters vying for one property.
As a buy-to-let investor, it would be easy for you to hurry unsuitable tenants into your property and think about rental yields. There are however some measures that you can take to attract more desirable tenants and keep them satisfied and paying rent for a longer period.
So just what do the tenants of 2017 want from their landlord and rental accommodation? Ryan Weston, of Just Landlords Insurance Services, explains:
A good Internet connection-‘It is now unthinkable for many people to exist without the Internet. In fact, a recent survey suggested the majority of tenants would go without heating in favour of a strong broadband connection! As such, providing a fast, secure connection is imperative. This is particularly so for those tenants requiring the Internet for work purposes, such as young professionals.
Longer-term tenancy agreements-With demand for rental accommodation overshadowing supply, tenants are seeking security. You can provide them with assurance by offering longer-term tenancies. This will give your renters chance to plan their future, for example looking at schools for their children. What’s more, you will be safe in the knowledge you will be receiving rent for longer.
All-inclusive payments-A number of tenants are favouring all-inclusive bills-these being one straightforward rental payment per month including the total cost of all utilities. These kinds of bills are more common in student properties but will attract renters who want minimal fuss in managing their finances. You could also find that this method could actually save you money, as your tenants might not use as much energy or electricity as you initially forecasted.
Fully-furnished properties-Another feature that is sure to lure tenants is a fully-furnished property, with a series of mod-cons. You could consider providing a dishwasher, or even a flat-screen television. These appliances need not break the bank and you could well find that you attract your desired tenants as a result of including them.
Think about allowing pets-Although it is true that allowing pets into a property can lead to increased issues, the reality is that the majority of domesticated pets will pose only small risks. It could certainly be a major draw should you allow would-be renters to bring their beloved animals with them into your accommodation. Should you take this decision, be sure to outline clear rules around who is responsible to fund any potential damage caused by pets.
Be Flexible-Think about allowing your tenants some room for flexibility throughout their agreement. Of course, these shouldn’t be wholesale alterations, but allow them freedom to put pictures up to give the property a homely feel. This will make you come across as a caring landlord and will more than likely entice your tenants to stay put for longer.’