How Landlords Can Prepare Their Buy-to-Let Homes for the Summer Months
Summer 2021 will be an important time for buy-to-let landlords. As an already booming period for the rental market (we tend to see strong demand over the summer months), we are also expecting an influx of rentals in cities, with the promise of a successful roadmap out of lockdown. In light of this, it’s essential that landlords prepare their Buy-to-Let homes effectively for this time, in order to find the most suitable tenants.
Many tenancies may be coming to an end
Although the rental market was allowed to carry on during the majority of COVID-19, we still found that many residential tenancies rolled over into periodic tenancies, as many tenants chose to stay in their properties and wait until lockdown eased to move again.
Furthermore, for the renters who did decide to move, many left the city in favour of the suburbs when lockdown hit – these renters will likely want to return when working from home is no longer so prevalent. In fact, Zoopla found that rental demand has been increasing in cities since Easter, by “26% in central Edinburgh, 12% in central Leeds, 7% in inner London and 5% in central Manchester”.
For HMO landlords, summer is an excellent time to prepare your property for the next cohort of graduates looking for a place in the city; alternatively, student lets are equally in demand. Students had a disrupted rental experience over the Covid period – many decided to live at home, and the government only allowed in-person teaching at universities to resume on 17 May. Therefore, with students now returning, they’ll likely be searching for properties to rent for the following academic year.
We have noticed that summer tends to be the strongest quarter for rental demand. Therefore, with tenancies coming to an end, many renters returning to the city, and the next academic year approaching, it’s high time to get your properties ready for the summer, to reduce the potential of void periods.
Fast referencing can reduce void periods for your Buy-to-Let properties
To reduce void periods in these upcoming months, it’s important to have all your admin as a landlord organised. This means advertising the property as soon as the tenant’s leave date becomes known, and setting a fair and competitive rent that is in line with the surrounding area.
To speed up the process once renters become interested in your properties, make sure to choose a fast and reliable referencing service. This will reduce the risk of void periods – as you won’t have to wait days to find out if they are a suitable tenant, only then to restart the searching process if they’re not. At RentProfile, we mitigate this problem with faster checks (landlords receive the referencing report within 2-3 hours from when the renter signs up), with twice as many checks compared to traditional referencing.
Reliable referencing can also help you to find good tenants and keep them, which in the long term will help to reduce void periods in your buy-to-let homes. This summer will be a particularly precarious time for renters, with furlough ending and economic prosperity banking on a successful roadmap out of lockdown; make sure to choose a referencing service that actively responds to these changes. RentProfile’s referencing takes all of the upcoming uncertainties into account in their risk scoring, which you can read more about here.
Garden maintenance and home improvements
Having a well-maintained outdoor space will attract renters, especially those returning to the city who have now become accustomed to lush greenery. So whether that’s adding some outdoor seating, keeping a well-maintained lawn, or adding some potted plants to the balcony, there are small ways to make a rental property a touch greener.
Summer is all about light – gone are the days of sunsets at 4pm. Let in the light (or at least maximise it) by hanging mirrors to create the illusion of more lighting sources. Also, small upgrades, such as security systems, smart bulbs, and upgraded showerheads can help to make your property stand out from the competition.
Although winter is more of a breeding ground for mould than summer, it’s still worth demonstrating how you intend to look after the place further down the line – whether that’s keeping leaks at bay, or by providing a dehumidifier or extractor fan for the bathroom. By building this level of trust during the viewing, renters are more likely to keep renting long into the winter months.
Video tours or virtual viewings became a necessity over the pandemic – and they’re likely here to stay. For renters who have to travel far to view the property, video tours can help to speed up the pre-tenancy process. Government guidance over the pandemic has been to only view the property at the final decision-making stage – it’s likely this will continue beyond the roadmap out of lockdown.
Landlords can speed up their pre-tenancy admin in the summer months by having a strong referencing service in place. Use this time to prepare your property for the impending influx of renters, with robust referencing helping you to find the most suitable tenants.
This guest post was provided by Amy Butterworth from RentProfile. The opinions expressed by the guest writer above and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SevenCapital or any employee thereof. SevenCapital is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer.