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articles > Are You Missing Out on Professional Tenants?
Article > Are You Missing Out on Professional Tenants?

 

Article kindly supplied by Upad.co.uk


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Recently a tenant asked us a question that we’re expecting to hear more and more often. Did we have, she asked, any flats with a room suitable for a home office? She’s a single professional web designer who mostly works from home: she wants a reception room to relax, plus of course a bedroom – and another room that’s just for work. We started wondering how a landlord would advertise that sort of property: two bedrooms, or two receptions? And then we realised the obvious: the landlord should really be calling it a property with a home office!

Aiming at people working from home is a fantastic way to market “one-and-a-half bed” properties: those with a single room that’s too small for a bedroom for an adult, but which would make a perfect home office. Plenty of landlords worry about tenants with small children – indeed, at Upad we see plenty of adverts that specify “no children” - so by advertising as a home office rather than a bedroom, a landlords appeals to the professional tenants they prefer.

Get connected

Anyone working from home is going to need broadband – but then again, most tenants will want this too, whether they’re working from home or just playing on Facebook. All landlords these days should be offering broadband points as well as phone points.

If they’re not already fitted, you will be faced with a new tenant who wants to have BT or Virgin round to fit broadband, and that means drilling into or even through the walls, plus of course added expense for your tenant. It’s better to have the connection points fitted yourself; that way, you get to advertise your property as “broadband ready” – which again, will help to attract professional tenants.

If you don’t have broadband fitted yet, talk to your new tenant first: “Are you getting broadband fitted, if so I’d like to be here when BT do the job, please let me know when it is.” Too many landlords take the “thou shalt not” line, and forget that tenants actually have to live in the place. If you prove that you’re flexible and reasonable about what is not an unreasonable request, you’re more likely to have your tenants respect your property, consult you about changes, and not try to sneakily fit broadband behind your back.

If your tenant wants to get a broadband connection put in, it might be worth making sure that it meets with your approval. That’s one benefit of providing broadband in advance: you can clearly determine where the sockets are and authorise the work yourself. If tenants have the right to chop and change broadband suppliers then you could end up with a flat full of sockets and wiring all over the place after a few years.

 


Dress to impress

Dressing the room with hired or borrowed furniture means you can present it as an office, while still offering the option of use as a bedroom if that’s what your tenant prefers. You can always furnish for flexibility with a sofa bed or futon, and cupboards that conceal a computer desk and shelving. Keep your options open because not everyone will want a home office, and you may not want to effectively turn a two bedroomed property into a one bedroom.

 

The legal bits

Using a room at home as an office shouldn’t be a problem if your tenant is solely working on paperwork or the internet. However, beware of those who want to have clients and customers call at the property, who have large deliveries made or who have employees working on site. This may require planning consent to change of use, so you and your tenant should consult with your local authority before you agree to this.

One final thing to bear in mind: many people who work from home will be self-employed, so you may not be able to take a traditional reference from an employer. Instead, talk to your tenant’s accountant or someone else who knows them well in a work context: if they’re a contractor, talk to a major employer who will be able to give you some idea of how stable their prospects are. For self-employed tenants, making a comprehensive credit check will be even more important than normal.

Of course, many landlords stipulate in their AST contracts that their tenants can’t work from home. We think they’re missing a trick. So long as you’re happy that the tenant isn’t contravening planning regulations and that they’re looking after the property as they should be, this is a growing and lucrative market that all landlords with suitable property should be considering.

 

If you just need to find a tenant, Upad doesn’t make you sign up for months of expensive management contract: we just find you a tenant. We’ll list your property on more than 500 UK lettings sites, including Rightmove, Zoopla, FindaProperty as well as Gumtree and Google’s new property listings.

For a one-off fee of £69, it stays advertised until you’ve found a tenant. There are no hidden extras, no fees for tenants, just your property advertised everywhere your next tenant might be looking.

Visit www.upad.co.uk to get started.

To find your next tenant CLICK HERE

 

 

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My Property Power Team recommends Upad, the UK's largest online lettings agent.

Upad sponsors of mypropertypowerteam

Upad's Rental Property Marketing helps you find a tenant for your rental property quickly and easily, by distributing your ad to over 500 top UK property websites. To find your next tenant CLICK HERE

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* Upad.co.uk generates on average 14 enquires per listing.

* Upad.co.uk has built the largest rental property marketing distribution network in the UK

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