Updating The Classics: Getting An Older Property Ready For Tenants
When you’re a landlord, one of the most surprising things that you might find is just how picky a lot of potential tenants can be. The current state of the housing market means that there are more people than ever trying to find rental properties, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve become any less discerning. Of course, any landlord worth their salt will know that it’s crucial to make a property as pleasant and accommodating for potential tenants as possible. However, a lot of them tend to forget about the kinds of housing trends that have a big impact on the kinds of properties people are looking for.
One of the most enduring trends among potential renters is the desire for period properties. People are now renting for much longer periods of time than they were before and it becomes harder and harder to get a foot on the property ladder. This means that they are much more likely to want a rental home with personality and charm. For many people, that’s something that you simply can’t get with a newer property. Older properties with a sense of history about them are often snatched up incredibly quickly.
Older properties also have the benefit of often being a little cheaper as well. As long as you’re willing to put in some work, you can get some truly fantastic bargains on older properties. The key is to make sure that you’re able to offer tenants that period charm, while still providing all of the modern conveniences that they’ve come to expect. With that in mind, here are some ways to get an older property ready for new tenants.
Make sure it’s safe
If there’s one thing that you can pretty much guarantee about newer homes, it’s that they are going to be safe and up to code. Older properties have a lot going for them, but they often can’t offer the same level of safety as newer ones. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make those improvements fairly easily! It’s fairly easy to check for things like structural damp, and there’s a chance that if it’s extensive, you may want to pass on that property altogether. Make sure that you check if the property is liveable before you buy. Some things can be fixed without too much trouble, but others can end up costing more money and time than they’re worth. Don’t worry about doing it yourself either. When it comes to tasks like pest control or removing lead paint, there are companies who can do that for you easily. However important it might be to attract tenants with a beautiful house, it’s not going to be worth anything if they aren’t safe when they move in.
Update the appliances
One of the strange things about many people’s desire for an older property is that they don’t actually want it to be that old. Sure, they want to aesthetic, decor, and charm of an older house. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person who wants to use a stovetop kettle or wash their clothes by hand in a bucket. The key is to strike a balance between all of the modern conveniences that tenants are used to and combine them with the classic style of the property itself. Luckily, many companies make appliances specifically designed to fit into a vintage style of decor. That way your tenants can continue to feel as though they’re living in some sort of idyllic past without ever having to deal with any of the inconveniences that would come with it in reality. You should also make sure that all of the locks are new and that you install double glazing into the windows. An older property is nice but not when it turns into a block of ice in the winter or the doors won’t’ shut properly.
Keep the decor consistent
Nothing is more disappointing to many potential tenants than to see a beautiful period property that, from the outside, looks perfect, only to step through the door and see that it’s been stripped of much of its charm. Many people are tempted to give older homes a modern makeover, but the issue with that is that the styles people choose are usually based on new trends, meaning they’ll be dated very quickly. Home styles from the seventies and eighties look laughably bad to modern eyes. The best thing that you can do is to keep the decor consistent with the period that the house is from. For one thing, the house was designed for that, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to fit rather well, and it’s that much more likely to sell tenants on the fantasy that they have in their head of the kind of home that they want.
Be ready to conduct maintenance
This is where we come to the only major downside of an older property as a landlord. Unless you’ve done a huge overhaul of the entire property, updating absolutely everything, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to have to do some occasional maintenance on the place. Of course, this shouldn’t really be news to any landlord since that’s something that you probably already do for your other properties. But it’s important that you’re aware that you’ll probably need to be a little more hands-on with an older property. Whether it’s the wiring or the plumbing, the older a property is, the more likely something is to go wrong. This is obviously going to mean that you’ll have to invest a decent amount of time and money into the maintenance of your property, so you should balance what you’re able to afford before you invest in an older home.
Whatever faults might occasionally come along with them, period properties are some of the most consistently popular on the rental market. If you follow this advice, then there’s a very good chance that you’ll have prospective tenants champing at the bit to rent it from you.