The lockdown period has enforced a state of calm and inactivity. For landlords, this can’t feel ideal, but inactive periods are an excellent opportunity to get on with essential tasks. With lockdown rules easing and some industries being encouraged back to work, landlords can start to make more than essential repairs to their properties.
PIP Estate Agents recommend that landlords make the most of this time to get up to date with their essential paperwork and admin. When running a busy property portfolio, some less-than-urgent paperwork can be easily put aside.
‘Whilst we’re not suggesting that you Marie Kondo your entire office and filing systems, now is as good a time as any to get on top of those little jobs to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running with new tenants.’
As a landlord, you have many key responsibilities, so now is an ideal time to ensure that you’re fully up to date and legally compliant. PIP Estate Agents recommend ‘having a regular slot in your calendar to make sure you’re up to date with all your paperwork so you’re operating safely and efficiently.’
- Are tenants’ information and contracts up to date?
- Is your landlord and building insurance costing you too much? Could you find a better deal?
- Are your EPCs up to date?
- Are the gas and electrics safe and working in empty properties?
Whilst a fall in income may make landlords want to avoid spending money on improvements to properties, a new kitchen or bathroom in an empty rental property is worth considering as part of your long-term strategy. In the meantime, here are some low-cost suggestions to make the most of downtime in empty properties:
- Check for damp and ensure it’s dealt with quickly
- Ensure all drains are in working order
- Upcycle any furniture for your properties (look at places such as Facebook Market Place for low cost finds)
- Give rooms a fresh coat of paint in neutral colours, white, or off-white to allow tenants to put their own stamp on the property
- Consider new hard-wearing carpets to freshen up a room
- Retile any tiled bathrooms and hide pipework
Improve Kerb Appeal
Clean the windows and front door and consider a touch-up of external paint to maximise kerb appeal. Tidy up any neglected outdoor areas and consider low-maintenance options such as paving.
‘Making properties more attractive to future tenants will help you stand out and also help to conserve the value of your property, so long as you are sensible with the return on value,’ PIP Estate Agents advise. ‘Employing local tradesmen is also going to help boost the local economy and word of mouth is a powerful form of marketing for landlords. Make use of online marketplaces such as Trust a Trader or Rated People to procure quality reputable tradespeople. If the property is empty, repairs and changes can go ahead as long as all the people working within the building are adhering to social distancing guidelines.’