More than four million properties are privately rented in the UK – so if you’re a landlord, that’s a lot of potential competition.
But by taking steps to help your property stand out, you can add to its value and increase its appeal in the eyes of potential tenants.
How to maximise your rental income
By making your property stand out from other similar rental properties in your area, you’ll be able to maximise your rental income and attract the best tenants.
Here are 10 things you can do to add value to your rental property, ensure you keep happy tenants and maximise those returns…
1. Employ a professional cleaner
Of course, all tenants would expect their new rental property to be clean and tidy when they move in, so a between-tenancy professional clean should be something all landlords consider.
However, if you really want to go the extra mile and make your property stand out, why not consider hiring a cleaner for a few hours each week during your tenants’ fixed term?
You may be able to charge a slightly higher rent than other properties in the area and having a cleaner as part of the tenancy agreement would certainly appeal to many tenants.
2. Invest in areas that are important to tenants
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has seen all of us consider more closely what we need from our homes.
For renters, space has become one of the must-have aspects of any rental property.
So, you should be thinking how you can make your rental property’s space work better for the kinds of tenants you’re looking to attract.
You could consider:
- A new, open-plan kitchen space
- A home office, either in the property or as part of the garden
- More bedrooms, or larger bedroom spaces with en-suites
- Improved bathroom spaces
- A multi-functional garden space for entertaining
If you have a budget to spend on improvements at your rental property, try to focus on the areas that are important to your potential tenants.
This will help attract the right kinds of renters to your property, while improvements like a new kitchen or bathroom space could also add value in the long term.
3. Be a sustainable and eco-friendly landlord
With so much focus on climate change and how we can all contribute to looking after the planet in a more sustainable way, many tenants will look for landlords and properties boasting eco-friendly credentials.
That could mean considering:
- Sustainable heating, such as a ground or air source heat pump
- Energy efficiency improvements, such as insulation, new windows
- Installing energy efficient light bulbs throughout
You should also advise and encourage tenants to be proactive with recycling and waste usage.
4. Use some budget on more storage
Adequate storage is another thing many tenants will be looking for when taking on a new rental property.
Consider ways you can boost the amount of storage your property offers, without eating into valuable floor space.
That could mean:
- Installing fitted wardrobes in ‘dead space’
- Make use of a room’s height by adding shelving
- Utilising loft space or empty space in eaves
5. Enhance your outdoor space
The post-pandemic ‘race for space’ is continuing at pace, with more and more tenants demanding a great outdoor space with their next property.
Research from Zoopla revealed ‘garden’ was the most popular search term for rental properties after the onset of Covid-19.
So, if your rental property has a garden, one great way to add value would be by turning it into a useable, multi-functional outdoor space.
That might include:
- Adding a large decked or patio area for barbecues
- Including outdoor furniture and seating with the property
- Installing a shed for additional storage
- Improving planting and foliage for increased privacy
6. Go the extra mile with tech
Modern renters are extremely tech savvy.
So, by offering them convenient and life-enhancing technology, your rental property is almost certain to stand out from the competition.
You could consider offering:
- Superfast WiFi included in the rent
- A voice activated assistant, such as Alexa or a Google Nest
- A Smart TV, with a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix included in the rent
- Smart plugs, enabling items like kettles and other appliances to be activated via a mobile phone
- A Smart heating system which can be controlled by a mobile phone
7. Create an en-suite
‘En-suite’ was the eighth most popular renter search term in Zoopla’s research, proving that private bath and shower room spaces are high on tenants’ wish lists.
If your rental property’s bedrooms have space for en-suite bathrooms, this could be a great way of adding additional value and appeal.
8. Add additional security features
Whether renting or buying, security is always an important feature in any home.
By adding additional security features (with a technological approach where possible), you’ll be adding value to your property while also showing potential tenants that you take their safety and wellbeing seriously.
You could consider adding:
- A video doorbell
- CCTV cameras that link to your tenants’ mobile phones
- An alarm system
- Improved locks on doors and garden gates
- Timers to lights, to make the property look occupied even when tenants are out
9. Decorate for mass appeal
Traditionally, decorating your rental property for mass appeal would have meant covering every wall in Magnolia emulsion.
However, it’s possible to add a sense of style to your rental property with a bolder décor, while also appealing to most potential tenants.
If your rental property is a period home, try to retain original features and decorate in a style associated with the era.
And don’t be afraid to add some colour to internal walls – pale blues, greens and more modern off-whites are always great places to start.
10. Consider furnishing your property
Depending who your target tenant is, the decision on whether to offer your rental property furnished or unfurnished could be a key – and certainly one that adds value and appeal.
If your target market is families, an unfurnished approach may be better, as it’s likely older renters with children will have many of their own things.
However, if your property appeals to young couples or single tenants, offering it furnished could be exactly what they’re looking for.