As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the country remains in lockdown for now, and many tenants find themselves furloughed and at risk of losing their jobs, many landlords around the country are facing unpaid rents and empty properties.
But there are ways to ensure that you continue to get the most from your rental property, even during this challenging time. The key is to ensure that your property remains occupied as much as possible during the pandemic. After all, if it’s standing empty, you’re losing money.
Here are our top tips for holding on to your tenants, attracting new ones, and getting the most for your rental property during lockdown.
Keep in touch with your tenants. Things are hard and uncertain right now, so let them know that you are available and willing to be as supportive as possible. Ask them to keep you updated on their employment and financial situation and reassure them that you want to help.
2. Support your tenants
The Government is offering support for those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. If your tenants mention that they have lost their job or are struggling financially, make sure they are aware of the help available and point them to sources of further information. Citizens Advice is always a useful source of information.
3. Discuss your pricing
The market isn’t the same as it was before the crisis. So, speak to our team of experts to ensure that your pricing is realistic. If your rent is too high, you will struggle to attract and retain tenants, leaving your property empty. This will result in you losing income.
4. Rent reductions
Reducing rent might not be the ideal solution, however, in these extreme circumstances, it may be necessary.
If you can afford to offer a rent reduction, however small, in the short term, this could really support your tenants and ensure they can keep paying their rent. Alternatively, offering a discount for a shorter period, such as three months, will be regarded as a gesture of goodwill and help you retain your tenants.
5. Update your properties
There are plenty of ways to update your properties without investing a large sum. Why not offer your tenants new soft furnishings to brighten up the space and make it more comfortable for them during lockdown?
Furnishings such as lamps, mirrors, cushions, rugs, even appliances like coffee machines, will help to make the property more appealing and give your tenants a needed boost. These items can also be easily ordered and delivered safely whilst maintaining social distancing.
6. Plan further post-lockdown improvements
Another way to keep your tenants committed to your property is to plan further, larger updates once lockdown is over and when you’re able to safely access the property again. This could be replacing an old bed or sofa, providing more storage, or even larger projects such as updating bathrooms or kitchens. Of course, it’s important to ensure that the improvements you offer are achievable – the last thing you want to do is make promises you can’t deliver.
7. Consider post-lockdown priorities
Lockdown has changed what people value most in a property. With many of us now working from home on an ongoing basis, home offices are more important to tenants than ever. Gardens and outdoor space are also now significantly more desirable, rating in the top 3 keywords of all Rightmove searches.
So, if your property is empty or you are looking to attract new tenants, think about how you could enhance the space to attract new tenants. Is it worth turning that spare box room into a well-equipped office space? Is there any scope for making better use of your outdoor space?
Why choose Gordon & Co?
If you would like to find out more about getting the most for your rental property right now, Gordon & Co. can help.
Founded in 1948, Gordon & Co. is an independent and established London property agency, with proven expertise in sales, lettings, property management, valuations and new developments.
Contact us today to discuss your rental property.