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Article > Top Property Tips if You are Renting for the Long Term


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My brother Nigel and I own over 150 properties and with over 500 properties under management you can imagine we have seen quite a lot over the years from tenants. What we thought was best when we first started has definitely changed as a result. The way we now develop our properties and the properties that we manage for landlords is now based upon these experiences. I wanted to use this article to share some of these insights so that hopefully you can get some quick wins which have taken us years to develop!

Our Top Ten Development Tips

1. Always put hard wearing matting in the entrance of your properties. This will encourage your tenants to wipe their feet when they enter. If you fit carpet in the entrance it will soon get heavily stained. If you fit laminate flooring it soon lifts up and warps when people bring water in from their foot wear.

2. The flooring in the living room and dining room generally suffers the highest wear and tear out of all the rooms in the house. This is where tenants will spend most of their time (in front of the TV) and is closest to the front door to bring in dirt from the outside. This is why we only advise to fit laminate flooring in these rooms as opposed to carpet. While laminate flooring is more expensive we have found in the long term it is a lot more cost effective.

3. Vinyl flooring is very cost effective when fitting kitchen flooring. When we first started we fitted vinyl flooring in all of our kitchens. While cheap initially you will find that it is easily ripped when a tenant moves a washing machine or fridge freezer when they move out. We now only tile kitchen floors as a result but make sure you keep spare tiles in the loft just in case any of them crack.

4. Even if you have an extractor fan in your bathroom and you tell your tenants to open a window when they have a bath or shower, a ceiling in this room is always prone to condensation marks. When a tenant moves out we were continually finding that we needed to repaint the ceiling to freshen it up. As a result we now fit plastic paneled ceilings in all of the properties that we develop. You will never have to re-decorate the ceiling again!

5. If you have any external wooden doors in your rental properties choose the colour you paint them wisely. If you paint them white you will forever be painting them after each tenancy. We paint all external wooden doors black and have eliminated the paint brush having to come out as a result.

6. Door stops- make sure you put a door stop on any doors that need them if they are hitting the wall behind. If you don`t you will be forever filling in holes and touching up walls.

If you have a shower which is over the bath, make sure you install a shower curtain which lasts. We only install glass shower curtains which are one piece units. If you go for a cheap plastic shower curtain with a pole you will find that you are forever filling in the holes around the curtain pole and refitting it when the tenant breaks it. If you fit a glass shower curtain which folds, then there are more nooks and crannies than a single piece shower curtain that can break, go missing or have mould if the tenant doesn't clean it properly.

8. If you have a tenant who is on housing benefits, get the tenant to fill out one of the government grant schemes which offers free cavity wall and loft insulation. The tenant may even qualify for a free combi boiler. We have had great success with this and make sure that all new tenants on housing benefits fill one of these in. We are now onto our tenth free combi boiler from this scheme.

9. Make sure your property is professionally cleaned before a tenant moves in and you get the tenant to sign to confirm that it is. By doing this it will make your property rent quicker, your tenants will generally look after it better and it also means the tenant has to return the property in the same condition as they found it which gives you a great starting point.

10. On all properties we develop we have to use a report which doesn't miss anything. With this in mind we have produced a report that we feel is market leading and allows us to make sure that all properties that we let have the most comprehensive property condition report available. We produce a 792 point property condition report for all our landlord properties when they become empty or when we initially take them on. This provides you as a landlord a full understanding of the liabilities of your property. While some of the issues raised from this report will be essential others may be ideal if money was not an object but could be left. We do this report for free on all of the properties that we fully manage.

If you would like to find out more please get in contact with us.




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