It is clearly a tenants’ market today. Tenants are spoilt for choices and where possible, they want a better location, a newer place and new neighbours. And did I forget to mention, at a lower rental than what they had previously paid.
Yet, as I survey the scene, some landlords are still trapped in the “good old days” of a few years back, where they could be very selective and adopt a take it or leave it attitude.
Here are some “No, nos” I’ve observed and if you’re guilty of it, time to pull your act together.
1) Lighting without cover exposing bare bulbs. First impression counts. Your potential tenants are not scientists and are not interested to know the inner workings of your lightings. Clothes please.
2) Bare windows with no curtains. “Oh, I’ll put it up when the tenant ask for it. ” Seriously, you won’t get a second chance. Never doubt the power of curtains. Good curtains. Not the ones that look like you recycled them from your grandma’s moth bitten ones.
3) Tired looking walls. A fresh coat of paint can brighten up the whole place. Dirt streaked across and the occasional blood stain will not be interpreted as an Andy Warhol masterpiece.
4) Unfurnished. Yes, there will be the odd few tenants who demand an empty place. But by and large, furniture gives a warm fuzzy, move in feel. And no tenant will complain about free furniture, a big tv and the usual creature conforts. It’s safe to leave out the mattress as most tenants will prefer to buy their own mattresses. That said, $200 will easily get you a decent one. And don’t forget comforters and pillows for that complete “Awww” impact.
5) Toilets that look repulsive. Easily a deal breaker when everything else seem to be going fine. The smell of mothballs is revolting. You are not preseving Jurassic bones in the toilet, are you? Get rid of all visible stains. It should smell fresh. Not musky and certainly not antiseptic like a hospital.
6) Tidiness please. I’ve seen stickers on furniture, chairs arranged like the place had been used as a gambling den and toys strewn all over. Aim for that showflat look. When tenants see how “showflat-ish” the place looks, subconsciously, they get the message that this is the standard to maintain when they move in.
There’s a lot more tips but if landlords and their agents can do the above, it’s more than half the battle won in the war for tenants who will call the shots for the next 2 years at least.
Our Best, Always!