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Hello, and welcome to my first blog, the first of many covering all aspects of the residential lettings market: The general ‘DOs and DON’Ts’, the legal bits, taxation etc.

Done right it can be an enjoyable experience, with very few little hick ups.

There are generally two types of landlords in the market place: the accidental landlords and the buy-to-let investor landlords.

black work top with light wood kitchen units
ACCIDENTAL LANDLORDS, like myself are people that rent out their current main residence for a variety of reasons, either can’t or don’t want to sell the property at this moment in time but need to move to a bigger property, for job relocation, or due to a new relationship etc. For these people, they are purely governed by the asset they currently have to present to the market place. However, ensuring that the property is presented in good decorative order, all the ‘niggling’ little jobs have been completed, and that the property is competitively priced will secure a good tenant who will look after your investment, until the time to sell is right for you.

BUY TO LET INVESTOR LANDLORDS, these are the mainstream landlords in the market place at the moment. Buying properties to invest money in for the future: children’s school fees, enhance pension funds and income etc. For these types of landlords market research is essential. The rental market has changed considerably over the years, being a tenant no longer has the same stigma attached, as we are becoming more in line with Europe. Understandably, tenants are looking for better quality properties and this is only fair.

picture of a typical rental property
FINDING THE RIGHT PROPERTY- Right time to ignore your heart – listen to your head, this is a business purchase and whether you like the house or not, you are not going to be living there. When viewing properties pay careful attention to things such as: boilers (age/style), windows, quality of kitchens / bathrooms. You want to find a property that needs as little work as possible to get it earning you money as quickly as possible after you become the legal owner. Ideally, if time and money permit, it is worth looking at giving the property a fresh lick of paint. This will show potential tenants that you take pride in your properties and also presents a good bench mark for inventories and handing over to tenants on move in days. A good modern kitchen and white bathroom suite with a shower are also on the ‘want list’ of many tenants.

WHAT IS YOUR TARGET MARKET? Think who you are aiming to attract as your tenants, with our extensive market knowledge, we could help you with this. Look at your competition in the local area. High spec apartments in town locations will offer kitchens with integrated appliances, if you want to attract the same quality tenants, you may have to look at white goods being included in your kitchen (however, you would be responsible for future maintenance of these). If it is a family home look at school catchment areas.

new modern bathroom
MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE- Properties are just like our bodies, the older they get the more they require some TLC. Once you have found a property, it is worth setting up a maintenance schedule to keep you home in the best condition possible. External paintwork is essential to protect the materials from weather damage. It may prove advantageous to have a short void period at some stage between tenancies to give the property a freshen up. This will enhance your standing as a landlord; attract better tenants willing to pay good money. Tired, dated properties generally hang about and are the slowest to go, unless the rent asked reflects its condition.

For any further assistance in finding a property suitable for renting out, or to discuss our marketing package, please do not hesitate to call me, Simon Smith – Lettings Manager for Malcolms Huntingdon  01480 447457 or email me:


Simon Smith

Lettings Manager at Malcolms Estate Agents
My series of blogs on the lettings market are designed to provide interesting and useful information to both well established landlords and people looking to enter the market for the first time. The legislation regarding lettings is often extensive and constantly changing, but I hope my blogs will make it easier to understand and keep you updated.

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