How long should it take to let my property?
As a landlord you want to let your property quickly, because an empty property earns you no rental income. However, there is no scientific answer to “How long will it take?” as letting successfully is as much an art as a science. The best strategy is to put the odds in your favour by doing all you can to let your property quickly at a good rent while attracting a good tenant.
1. Reduce the barriers.
Go round the property and tackle any issues which are going to deter tenants. The fewer barriers your property presents to viewers, the quicker it will let. This is a task which many landlords struggle with as they refuse to accept that some of their property’s quirks may in fact be barriers! We have had countless (tactful and difficult) conversations with landlords explaining that the stained carpet / dirty curtains / 1950s bathroom is a problem.
2. Make the property attractive.
Rather than just reducing barriers, make a positive effort to style the property. Tenants want value. They want the most quality for the price. If your property is appealing, it will rent faster and attract better tenants. So new kitchens, new bathrooms, redecoration, neutral and modern furniture – they all make a difference, if your budget allows. We do all this for many landlords through our Building and Furnishing Divisions.
3. Be flexible about your tenants.
The narrower your brief is, the longer the property takes to let. If you say “no children, no pets”, that is your prerogative – but immediately you reduce the pool of potential tenants.
4. Get the asking rent right.
This is fundamental. If your asking rent is too bullish, you will not get any viewings. Part of our expertise is to price properties effectively to hit the top of the demand. A classic mistake made by unsuccessful landlords is to become anchored to an initial, inflated asking rent and refuse to reduce it.
So if you do all this, how long should your property take to let?
You should have enquiries in the first week. You should have viewings within the first 10-14 days. If you have not had an offer within three weeks, action is needed. When Bricks & Mortar (our Building Division) or Decorum Interiors (our Contract Furnishing Division) work on a property, our experience is that the tenant moves in immediately, once the work has finished.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.