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10 tips to secure the best tenants and maximise rental yield

Fri 09 Mar 2018

Professionals and established families often make ideal tenants, and are discerning in their searches for the ‘right’ property. So, it goes without saying that presenting a rental property in its best light will attract higher calibre tenants, who will pay the best market rate for your investment. 

Below are the 10 biggest property turn-offs, according to renters, that we encourage landlords to consider in preparation for marketing their property, in order to secure the best tenants and maximise rental yield.

1. Take preventative measures to remove mould, damp and dirt

Regent Canalside, NW143% of tenants were put off a property by damp and 49% by dirt. An easy fix? Pay particular attention to common areas such as bathrooms: apply an anti-fungal wash to surfaces and use a specialist paint to stop it from coming back.

Those pesky dark stains around bathroom sealants? A mould spray will help to eliminate this, and replacing silicone seals (particularly if broken) will help prevent future issues and give the room an instant facelift.

To Let: Regent Canalside, NW1
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2. Carry out regular inspections and fix outstanding maintenance issues 

Lavender Hill, SW11Visible signs of poor property maintenance give tenants the impression that this is a sign of how things will continue, so if the kitchen cupboard door is hanging off and doors are sticking, prospective tenants won’t be reaching for the application form to put in an offer.

If your property is already tenanted, arrange an interim inspection before re-marketing, to identify any issues that current occupants have not raised, and tidy up odd jobs.

To Let: Lavender Hill, SW11 
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3. Ensure the property smells pleasant and fresh

St George's Square, SW1VTenants are already on high alert for reasons to not rent a property. Indeed, our sense of smell is directly linked to our ‘emotional behaviour and memory’ and 46% wouldn’t rent a property if it smelled damp or musty. Ensure ventilation is apt, invest in diffusers, plug-in air fresheners or scented candles and, if possible, dress the house with fresh-smelling flowers such as lilies.

To Let: St. George’s Square, SW1V
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4. Update a tired or old-fashioned interior

Tottenham Road, N1Property buyers can envision making changes to a property to really ‘make it their own’. But for tenants this isn’t an option, so they’re looking for a home that already ticks all the boxes. 48% of tenants would be put off by an old-fashioned kitchen, and 47% by an outdated bathroom. So, if your property is looking a little tired and still features a lovely burgandy paisley wallpaper, consider making some updates and replacing outdated furnishings – this will go a long way to attracting the right tenant.

To Let: Tottenham Road, N1
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5. Ensure fixtures are working and outside areas are well lit 

Kensington Church Street, W8Especially true in the winter months, proper lighting inside and outside is a must. Faulty or non-existent exterior lights can make prospective tenants feel unsafe; consider installing one or fix any broken lights so tenants light up when they come for a viewing. Inside can feel cold and unwelcoming if lighting is broken or dim and, as most viewings take place after work when it is dark, something as simple as a broken light in the kitchen could make or break a deal.

To Let: Kensington Church Street, W8
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6. Keep it neutral 

Pottery Lane, W11Whilst technicolour rooms make for great Instagram content, tenants will most likely prefer not to live among them. 27% wouldn’t rent a property with brightly coloured walls and 26% said the same about bright or patterned carpets. Scandinavian style is more popular than ever at the moment, so opt for neutral colours when decorating. As the saying goes, ‘white is often right’, but you can use (up to 50…) shades of grey to brighten a room and opt for wooden flooring or neutral carpets to complement these colours.

To Let: Pottery Lane, W11
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7. Install storage solutions to minimise clutter

Addison Road, W14Space is at a premium for London properties, so suitable storage options can often be a deciding factor for tenants. If a prospective tenant sees endless pairs of shoes or suitcases tucked under the stairs, it makes a property seem much smaller than it is. For currently tenanted properties where this may be an issue, request they take some time to store things away so the property is presentable and, if it’s clear that storage is lacking, now may be the time to invest in those wardrobes.

To Let: Addison Road, W14
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8. Have carpets professionally cleaned to remove stains

Lysias Road, SW12In the same way that bad smells can put tenants off, carpet stains (even if ‘clean’) instil a feeling of un-cleanliness. First, avoid installing pale carpets in rental properties as they’re easily marked and harder to clean. For small stains, have the carpet professionally cleaned and usually they will disappear. If the situation is much worse, an investment in having them replaced will often be paid back in the form of a better rental return. Many tenants also prefer wood or laminate flooring, which is usually easier to maintain and often cheaper to replace.

To Let: Lysias Road, SW12
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9. Request tenants tidy and declutter before viewings 

Riverwalk Apartments, SW6Ask tenants to keep their home neat and tidy throughout the viewing process. The sensible rationale being that the nicer the property looks, the quicker it’s likely to be let, which means fewer viewing encroaching on the currant tenant’s time.

To Let: Riverwalk Apartments, SW6
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10. Ensure external areas and gardens are maintained and tidy 

The Crescent, SW13If your property has a garden, ensure that it’s maintained and tidy. For low maintenance options, paving or AstroTurf are a great solution as they last for years. If tenants smoke or have pets, ask them to dispose of cigarette properly and to clean up after their pet. Apply weed killer to the front of the property if it’s covered in weeds, to ensure the exterior matches the tidy interior.

To Let: The Crescent, SW13
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Following these ten tips will help showcase your property in the best light as, in the incredibly competitive London property market, it’s important that your property stands out. For further advice on how to best present your property, speak to our expert teams across London or book a valuation

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