Our friends at Citylets recently shared a survey carried out by a popular Home furnishing retailer highlighting the main reasons a prospective tenant would be put off renting.

The top 5 interior design put offs were:

  1. An old-fashioned kitchen (48%)
  2. An old-fashioned bathroom (47%)
  3. An old-fashioned bedroom (28%)
  4. Brightly coloured walls (27%)
  5. Bright or patterned carpets (26%)

The top 5 things that puts tenants off

  1. The house being dirty (49%)
  2. Bad smells (46%)
  3. Damp (43%)
  4. Unkempt garden (37%)
  5. Property was badly decorated (35%)

While a new bathroom or kitchen could give a rental property the WOW-factor to maximise rents, there are loads of other things that can be done to increase the property’s tenant-appeal without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for getting a property ready to rent;

  1. Professional clean – It’s worth getting a property professionally cleaned prior to letting. This will ensure it’s looking it’s best for viewings with prospective tenants. It also sets the bar high for when they move in and sets the expectation with tenants as to how the property should be kept. Generally, the better condition the property is in at the start of the tenancy, the more likely the tenants are to take good care of it. If the property is professionally cleaned at the start of the tenancy and the landlord retains the invoice then they can apply to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to cover end of tenancy cleaning costs, should cleaning be required.
  2. Decoration – 35% of tenants would be put off by a badly decorated property so it’s worth taking care of this before marketing. As with cleaning, decorating the property before the first let sets the bar high and makes it clear who is responsible for any marks on the walls or chipped woodwork when the tenants move out. Rental properties are best decorated with neutral coloured walls and woodwork and please, please, please, steer clear of Magnolia – it’s all about light greys these days!
  3. Flooring – we recommend going for clean, neutral carpets. This will attract the highest rent and make sure standards are maintained as any damage or markings that occur during a tenancy are easy to spot.
  4. Furnishing – I’m surprised that this didn’t make the top 5 as, in my experience, furnishings can make a big difference. If the property is furnished then a good standard of furnishings will reflect the quality of the property. Depending on the target tenants, it’s usually a safe bet to aim for ‘IKEA quality or above’ quality of furniture. A trip out to IKEA is a good idea if you enjoy a bit of furniture-building or you can go for a complete furniture pack from a number of suppliers including GetFullyFurnished who will supply, deliver and install furnishings. It’s best to declutter a property as much as possible before letting; just leave the bare-bones of furnishings so that tenants can make it feel like their home by bringing in their own personal affects. Its worth making sure there’s a nice, neat set of all kitchen cutlery/crockery/kitchenware and you can pick up a kitchen/utility starter pack from the larger supermarkets or furniture suppliers for around £50.
  5. Appliances – tenants within a furnished property will expect all white goods (these are expected in unfurnished properties too) and essential items like a kettle, toaster and lamps should be provided too. A microwave is a bonus (but not essential) and it’s worth removing televisions and other audio-visual appliances as it’s just another thing to replace if they stop working during the tenancy.

Before letting a property, it’s worth setting the bar nice and high in terms of cleanliness, decoration and furnishing. This will maximise the chance of getting the highest rent from the best tenants and it makes it straightforward to maintain these standards going forward.