Review your rental income
It might sound very simple, but you should review your rental income on a regular basis. If you haven’t done this for some time, don’t delay. You will need to look at the rental figures for similar size / style properties in the local market, and make sure that your property is competitively priced. If not, you may need to increase the rent.
Renovate your property
Renovating your property could allow you to increase the rent and reduce the length of time with nobody resident. Renters are also more likely to pay a premium for an attractive, comfortable property compared to an average or basic property.
Lower property expenses
Lower your property expenses. How? By investing in low-maintenance fittings and fixtures for properties held, and by investing in new-build properties for future additions to your portfolio. For example, consider low-cost, low-maintenance hard flooring like laminate flooring or linoleum, as opposed to light-coloured carpets requiring regular cleaning. New-build properties will tend to have fewer costly maintenance issues. Another way to lower expenses is to update your property’s security. By adding an alarm system and ensuring secure locks on doors and windows, you can reduce insurance costs.
Invest in a specialist accountant
Make use of an accountant who specializes in property tax. They will be able to advise you on the best ways to reclaim tax and will make sure you take advantage of all tax relief available to you.
Invest in the right locations
Invest in properties in up-and-coming locations. If you do your research, you’ll be able to pick out areas with lower house prices now, but which will most likely be more popular in the near future to allow for higher rents.
Consider allowing occupants to have pets, in return for a price of course. Because most properties don’t allow pets, you can easily increase your rental yield by charging a premium, which prospective occupants will usually be more than happy to pay if it means that they can keep Spot the dog!
Keep tenants happy
Once you have found the perfect tenants, if you trust them to be reliable and to care for your property, considering being flexible to keep them happy. You could allow for minor decoration or alterations to the property. This could ensure that they remain in the property for longer, reducing the risk of having to advertise every six or twelve months, and also increasing the possibility of occupants agreeing to rent increases.
Need more ideas? Your letting agent will be able to provide further areas for improvement in order to raise your rental yield. Be patient and remember that you may need a long-term strategy as well as immediate actions and that the rental yield may increase over a longer period of time, not instantly.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer, Oakfield Estate Agents