Published on 9th May 2017

Keeping rental properties in demand

Amidst the ongoing market uncertainty following Brexit, one point is clear: well-kept and well-run properties will always be popular.

Rental properties without tenants are bad news all round. Property investors and landlords miss out on valuable income. Vacant (or void) properties are at risk of being neglected. The country also loses out at a time when the UK faces a significant housing shortage.

Five tips to maximise property investments

1. Do the sums

Price and location are key factors. Rents must be competitive for the area. That said, every property really is different. At Gateway, our team of nationwide Property Managers are experts in market conditions and rent levels across the UK for a wide range of residential properties, from apartment blocks to individual homes. If you need any advice, just ask.

2. Take care of your tenants

Good tenants are worth keeping, which means resolving any issues swiftly and professionally. A proactive approach to maintenance is essential and the reason why we have our own Gateway Facilities Management team. Tenants can simply pick up the phone to us, knowing that we’ll take the appropriate action. Besides happy tenants, in our experience fixing a small problem quickly stops it becoming a bigger, costly issue later. Best maintenance practices also help enormously in catching potential issues which are not in view. Simply unblocking gutters regularly is a case in point.

3. Make presentation count

To realise the best premiums, rental properties need to be in prime condition. Besides timely maintenance and expertise in planning and overseeing major works when required, Gateway also offers a dedicated residential Property Upgrade Service. If your rental property needs refurbishment, we can assist with everything, from managing the project to arranging competitive renovation quotes through our extensive network of tradespeople. We can even help furnish your property. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially important to tenants. The décor and furnishings should be carried out to the right level, based on the property’s rental value; meet current health and safety legislation; and be hard-wearing. We’d also advise installing practical light fittings and appliances.

4. Know what’s going on

A good property management company will take the complexity out of renting property, while keep you informed at key times. We believe that scheduled property visits, planned for the year ahead, and regular property inspections are fundamental to keeping property in the best condition. You should expect regular balance sheets and timely service charge budgets and year end accounts for review. You should also receive updates on all the independent health and safety checks required by law. Make sure you know every detail is in safe hands and your investment remains sound.

5. Think long term

Be wary of below-market rates charged by property management companies and make sure you use an ARLA licenced agent (the Association of Residential Letting Agents is the professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK). If a property is void for a period of time, the year’s figures will go out of the window and minimal management fees are no consolation. Gateway charges a highly competitive, fixed annual fee for our day-to-day property management service, covering all the essential areas for ease of budgeting.

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