The housing market in Aberystwyth has been a roller coaster ride for many landlords over the past 5-8 years, and we’re seeing another shift (for the better) in the lettings market. Of course, when letting a property was harder, this meant some landlords took the opportunity to improve their properties, which will mean they’re easier to rent on a regular basis. It’s one of the most common of questions we get from new landlords – will you honestly tell me what I need to do to improve my property?
Yes, we will. Here are some of our main pointers too though:-
- Good paint jobs – a house looks so much cleaner and well presented when woodwork and paint isn’t chipping or hasn’t splashed over the carpets. Make sure you get a good paint job, and we’d always recommend a freshen up every 2-3 years (especially in student properties).
- Splash of colour – make your house stand out from the rest by using a colour that isn’t white or magnolia (hurrah!). Now we’re not saying every room needs to be painted in a colour, but add a splash here and there just to add some life. Perhaps a head wall in each room (funky bright colours for those student properties, make the house a home), or, you could even just paint the skirtings a different colour to white (we have one house with gorgeous heritage green skirtings and cream walls – works wonders). Buy some cheap large prints to pop up on the walls – it’ll probably stop tenants sticking posters up themselves to an extent, but also makes the house feel more welcoming on viewings. It seems that comic and James Bond are very popular with the students!
- Sturdy furniture – you can tell from looking at furniture if it’s sturdy or not. Invest in good, sturdy furniture as it will last longer in the house and create a better impression.
- A pretty kitchen and bathroom – we use the term pretty quite loosely. Potential tenants are checking out the condition of the property when they view, so the more modern and fresh your kitchen and bathrooms appear, the more they’ll like it. We like to call this aesthetic vanity. A 20 year old kitchen might be wholly fully functional, but it won’t look pretty to the modern day tenant. Replace those cupboard doors (you don’t need to rip the whole thing out) with some modern styles and bam – new kitchen!
- Keep those carpets clean – we recommend a full carpet clean every 2 years. Of course if you are in residential lettings, this might be a longer time period but certainly for student properties every 2 tenancies. Once a carpet starts getting thin – get it replaced! No need to hold onto it until the threads show.
- Upgrade to doubles – this is something we urge all of our landlords to do, where a larger bed will fit, place a 3/4 or double bed rather than a single.
- Consider included bills – again, something we urge all of our landlords to think about. Students especially (and we’re seeing an increase in want from professionals too) don’t want to worry about setting up their own bills, organising who is going to pay them, chasing money from friends etc. We work closely with a company called Glide to help us with bills included, we can provide tenants with access to a link to monitor usage over the course of their tenancy, and also add a Fair Usage policy to all tenancy agreements.
Now we do also understand that the student market has been a worry for many landlords – do they want to invest on the house when students “trash” it? It’s our experience, 100%, that if you present a lovely home that they can live in and enjoy, they’ll look after it for you. Gone are the days of white walls and lino, wonky cupboards and rickety wardrobes.