First impressions are critical when a prospective tenant inspects your property.
First, decide what sort of tenant you are targeting. There are tenants who want to save money and are happy to live in a property that is not in first class condition.
There are others, such as professional people, who are happy to pay top rent, but expect the property to present at its absolute best.
There is no doubt that well presented properties achieve top rents and usually attract the best quality tenants. That adds up to a higher investment return, together with fewer and shorter vacancy periods.
Here are some valuable property presentation tips
1. Tend the gardens, mow the lawns and clean the windows, paths, gutters and outside paintwork. These are all things seen from the street, and you don't want prospective tenants to dismiss the property before getting to the front door.
2. Repair or replace leaking taps, sticking doors, broken light fittings, loose door handles, rotten floor boards, leaky gutters and torn flyscreens.
3. If you are thinking about painting, only paint those areas that really need it unless you plan on doing the lot. New paint may only make those areas left unpainted look even shabbier. Use light, neutral colours as strong colours may not be to the tenant’s taste. If paint is generally in good condition, touch up the scruffy bits.
4. If your property is in a noisy area (such as on a main road) inspection times should occur when the noise is at its lowest.
5. Get rid of odours that you may not notice but prospective tenants will, such as cigarette or pet smells. It may be worth having the carpets and curtains cleaned, neither of which is very expensive.
6. Open the curtains and blinds to let the sun and the view inside. Nobody likes a dark house, and the view will make the rooms feel bigger.
7. Have the property clean, tidy and uncluttered at inspection times.
8. If your property has a pool, ensure the pool and the surrounds are sparkling clean. You want the prospective tenants to think it is an asset, not a burden. If the filter or the pool needs professional repairs, it is better to do it now rather than putting it off. The repairs are usually tax deductible.
9. Ensure that all electrical wiring and power points are safe. This includes any electrical appliances to be included with the property.
10. Take out comprehensive insurance cover on the property (including public liability). You don’t want to be sued by a prospective tenant who accidentally injures themselves while inspecting the property.
11. It is mandatory to install working smoke detectors in all properties – make sure this is up to date before your tenants move in.