There might be many reasons why your property is sitting unoccupied.
However, if it’s due simply to you struggling to let it, it might be the appearance of your property that is putting off potential tenants. If you suspect that is the case, you might want to think about some of the following:
- initial external appearance. A significant number of tenants might do a drive-by inspection of your property from the outside before they even decide to ask for a viewing. If the outside looks tatty, ill-kept and run-down, then there is a fair chance that tenants will keep on driving and never bother to come back. So, invest some time and a little money in tidying up the garden, using a little paint to brighten up woodwork and perhaps investing in some modern-looking and clean curtains;
- entrance halls. Once you persuade a tenant to actually visit your property, this is typically the first internal area they will see. Make sure that it is bright, fresh-looking and with some form of decent floor covering down. What you do not want tenants to see after opening your front door for the first time is tatty carpeting, broken lino or wallpaper peeling off;
- light fittings. There is absolutely no excuse for bare light bulbs hanging from ceilings, broken lamp shades or even worse, rooms without a bulb and which cannot be illuminated. Equally, dirty, old and tatty lampshades should be quickly consigned to the bin and replaced by modern trendy-looking equivalents. These are readily available from many DIY stores for very small sums of money. Above all, make sure that your property is well-lit and all lights fully working;
- furniture – including beds. Broken, stained and past-it’s-sell-by-date furniture (particularly a bed) is a real turn-off for potential tenants. True, even modern flat-pack furniture tends to be expensive but you may be able to replace unacceptably poor quality items in your property by visiting local antique and second-hand property auctions. It is perfectly possible at such venues to pick up excellent pre-used furniture at a fraction at what you would pay for it new;
- plants and flowers. Little is more effective in generating a sense of homely attraction than internal plants and flowers. These can be picked up in markets or in garden centres for relatively small amounts of money and they may make all the difference to a viewing’s outcome.
If your property has been sitting unoccupied for some time due to letting difficulties, remember to consider an unoccupied property insurance quote.
A standard landlords’ policy typically only provides cover for unoccupied properties for up to a maximum of somewhere between 30-45 consecutive days.