Adjusting your offering in changing rental markets

Published: 27/04/2017 By Lucy Murray

Last Spring's buy-to-let rush has created a 12% increase in available rental properties compared to this time last year. However, the number of people in the rental sector did not increase so this has created a tenants' market. Coupled with tenants becoming far more savvy over the last few years (mainly down to Generation Rent and continuous media reports of the rental market) securing a suitable tenant is now harder.  This over supply has caused London rents to fall annually by 4.2% and you may be a landlord who has been affected by this.

Those who look at the glass half empty may feel that the drop in rents along with the change in tax and potential increase in costs due to the impending ban on tenant fees paints a depressing picture for landlords.

Not necessarily so.

There are opportunities in this market for those who take the bull by the horns enabling you to get the rent you want. Decide who your target audience is and tailor your property and offering to suit their needs. If you're aiming at professionals ensure your property really appeals to their needs and lifestyle. Is the kitchen modern and well equipped with all mod cons?  Many people prefer a shower so is yours up to scratch? Busy people don't have loads of time for cleaning and gardening - think of including a weekly cleaner and monthly gardener.  You could go as far as having clean bed sheets provided each week.  These are add-ons that allow for some additional profit.  Look at it like you would when purchasing a car.  Most of us are prepared to pay a little extra for sat nav, DBS radio & air con and as owners we'd prefer to have our car valeted for a tenner than do it ourselves.

If you're struggling to rent your property perhaps it's time to take a fresh look at it.  Identify what could be the stumbling block to renting it and can it be overcome?  It may be that the property is looking tired.  For a small outlay, a fresh lick of paint & a tidy up can really make the difference.  Short term outlay more often than not brings long term financial gain.

Finally be realistic.  Being a landlord is a business so put your pragmatic hat on.  It is better to have your property let than for it to be empty because the rent is not negotiable.  Rents may have dropped for now, however it is more than likely that over the long term they will rise, as will your property value so a few steps back now will turn to leaps in the future.

It's all about knowing the market and the little extra that can set your property above others to get you a better rent, faster and to adapt to harder market conditions.