Jan 12, 2011
Renting Guide For Landlords: Understanding Your Potential Tenants' Needs
The difficulty in preparing a residential property to win over a tenant is that every tenant has different needs and wants. Tenants who are students will most likely prefer locations which are near to their schools, while tenants who are families with young children will prefer a neighbourhood with playgrounds, parks and other amenities which would provide for a suitable environment for their children to grow up in.
There is also the issue of the term of lease. Some tenants may only be looking for a temporary place to stay as their own homes may be undergoing renovation works, or they might be in the process of moving to a new home that isn't ready.
Others may be looking for a property to reside in indefinitely. Therefore, since there is such a wide range of tenants to choose from, it is up to you as the landlord to decide what type of tenant you want.
There are five basic guidelines that landlords should keep in mind when furnishing a rental property for prospective tenants.
When you begin preparing an apartment or a house for leasing, you have to consider what your tenant will most likely need. Be prepared to fill it with basic furnishings and fittings such as kitchen cabinets, a washing machine and a gas stove.
You should also be prepared to replace things which are no longer in a suitable working condition, such as light bulbs, shower heads and doorknobs, or to install additional fittings - for example, if you think a room is too dimly lit, you should install additional light fixtures. At the very least, tenants will look for an apartment that is clean and where everything is in a satisfactory working condition.
It is important that your prospective tenants are able to imagine themselves living there. Remove any personal items from the rental property and be prepared to invest in a paint job. It is advisable to paint the apartment or house in neutral colours, as you never know what your prospective tenant's colour preferences are like.
Also, in the event that your tenant does not renew his or her term of lease, it saves you the trouble of re-painting the property for the next prospective tenant.
Be prepared to answer lots of questions. Tenants may ask questions regarding anything from bus services in the area and neighbourhood schools to how the kitchen appliances work.
While it is not recommended that you hover in the background as prospective tenants view your property, you should make sure that you are readily available to answer their questions.
Be flexible with rental home viewings. Interested tenants may visit at all times of the day, so try to be as accommodating as possible, especially if a prospective tenant visits more than once. This could be because the tenant is trying to gain a feel of the neighbourhood at different times of the day, or that the tenant has become confused after viewing several rental home options in a short period of time.
Do not object if prospective tenants take pictures of your rental property. This is to help them remember how your property looks like, more than anything else. Most tenants and buyers view plenty of homes before choosing one and it may get difficult for them to remember how a property looks like after viewing several options in one day.