When you are looking for your first buy-to-let (BTL) there are certain items that really go a long way to ensuring you have a great rental.
I have broken these things down in this blog into 5 key features:
Great Transport Links
If you are in London you need to find somewhere within a close walk of a tube station (around 10 mins max) or overground stop. Also check out the bus routes, a night bus which runs central is really handy for tenants, especially young professionals.
Outside of London make sure that you are within easy access of the local town centre and/or there is parking.
Good Sized Bedrooms
Tenants love double beds and will pay more for this.
I have seen some places in London charge £200 less per month for a single room (good tip for renters on a tight budget – go single!).
When standing in your potential property close all windows and doors and listen. Lots of traffic noise, pedestrians passing by, trains clickity clacking, even aeroplanes flying low to land overhead could really rile a tenant up the wrong way. It’s best to choose a quieter flat.
Go and check the property out at night, if you are happy to be there and feel perfectly safe then that’s a great test of safety. But, if you have any worries then you need to have a serious think about whether potential tenants would think about it in the same way.
It’s worth doing a bit of research here!
Kitchens & bathrooms can really make a rental stand out. They don’t have to be expensive but they do have to be clean, fresh and modern. So set aside funds to do this if you aren’t buying newly re-developed (I strongly suggest you buy something that isn’t new, it will cost you less to do works yourself then it will to pay a premium on something somebody else has done for you). Items which seem to keep applicants queuing up to get a look are dishwashers and washer/dryers – these make properties stand out.
In the bathrooms ensure you have a bath with a good powerful shower above.
Furnish with comfort in mind, but remember you don’t need a lot. In the living room a sofa or sofas with enough sitting room for all of your occupants and blinds to shade the windows. In the bedroom make sure you provide a bed (with mattress protector), bedside table, chest of drawers and a wardrobe. For the window make sure you have black out blinds or curtains.
Finally remember to keep things simple and neutral, you don’t need to provide too much as your tenants will bring their contents with them. Just make sure that everything is working: test lights, radiators and all appliances.
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