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My Top 5 Tops for Maximising Your Rental Income

Guest Blog from Angela Westgarth of The Personal Property ShopAngela Westgarth

With big changes taking place in the buy to let industry, and the big shock of the new 3% stamp duty surcharge in 2016, many landlords are deciding to hold off adding to their portfolio. Especially in the south of England where prices are higher, stamp duty costs have now sky rocketed, and with the proposed interest rate relief changes, it’s more important than ever that you are achieving the maximum rent possible from your existing properties. Here are my top tips for maximising the income from your portfolio:

1. Presentation

Avoiding void periods or at least minimising them, is an obvious way of maximising your rental income. Ask yourself this question honestly, “would I live in this property?” I imagine that the answer may well be no! Think about improving the presentation of the property, to attract better quality tenants and a higher rental figure. Of course the main point is, a better presented property will let quicker too. This might involve redecorating, or you may consider upgrading the property with a new kitchen or bathroom – although this is an initial expense, for a long term investment you’ll earn your money back several times over. It may just be a simple case of staging the property before the photos are taken and before viewings. This could be tricky if you have a tenant in place, but if the property is empty, consider ‘home staging’. This is something we provide free of charge, if you’d like some more advice then please get in touch.

2. Finding the right tenants

Troublesome tenants are often the ones that cost you money! Finding good quality tenants, who pay the rent on time, look after the property and will stay long term is a big advantage. So how do you find the best tenants? My first point about the presentation of the property is a key point, but my second would be in finding the right letting agent to let the property. A top letting agent will 1. Help you stage the property and offer advice on what you can do to maximise the presentation, 2. Produce exceptional marketing materials, high quality photos, a well written description and a floor plan – rather than just ‘chucking it on Rightmove’ which will attract better tenants and more of them for you to choose from and 3. Will use the right strategy for your particular property. We quite often use ‘Viewing Days’ as a great way to select the best tenants. We typically organise 10 to 15 viewings on the one day, and normally have a selection of applications to choose from. We can then select the best fit and then put them through full referencing – this helps find the best possible tenant for your property.

3. Look after your existing tenants to avoid void periods

Of course, once you’ve found a great tenant then looking after them well will mean you minimise problems and means they’re more likely to stay long term. Sorry if that seems obvious! One of the biggest complaints of tenants is that problems are not resolved quickly, things become an annoyance and they begin to look elsewhere. Again, an obvious point but getting repairs seen to quickly, communicating well and listening to your tenants (within reason of course) will keep them happy and make them more likely to look after the property too. Of course, a good letting agent will do this for you, which once again comes back to my point of choosing the right agent to manage your property – one that offers a more personal service.

4. Consider a HMO

Would your property work as a house of multiple occupation? Could you let individual rooms? Depending of course on the property type and location, this may be an option, and typically you’ll be able to achieve a far higher rental income per month. Speak to your letting agent about this (or us!) and they should be able to guide you on whether this would be a good move for your particular property. Of course there are more regulations to think about it, but again a good letting agent will deal with this for you.

5. Pick the right letting agent

As mentioned a couple of times already, a good letting agent will work for you to help you avoid void periods, find good quality tenants and keep your tenants happy and in place. Do your research; check them out on google, have they got reviews you can check out? Ask your friends or family for their experience, have a thorough look at their website and see who you get on with and you get a good feel from.

The Personal Property Shop (www.personalpropertyshop.co.uk) are letting agents in Bishop’s Stortford – offering a more personal service to landlords and tenants. They’re sharing their top tips on how to maximise your rental income. With many changes to the buy to let industry, particularly the new 3% stamp duty surcharge it’s more important than ever for landlords to achieve as much as possible from their current stock.

For more advice please visit www.personalpropertyshop.co.uk/blog or contact Angela and her team on 01279 719193 or info@personalpropertyshop.co.uk.

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