Why is my house not letting?
If there isn’t much interest, what can I do?
If you are struggling to rent out your house and it is sitting lonely and unloved on the market, there is a reason for it. Either the rent you are asking is too high and / or the condition of the property is not attractive to potential tenants.
The asking rent is absolutely critical. A property is only worth (in sales and in rentals) what someone is willing to pay. So in most cases, if there is no interest, then the rent is too high and it needs to be lowered.
Of course, this is easy to say and harder to accept. It is particularly painful when the rent is near the mortgage repayment level and you risk having to top it up each month. However, the harsh reality is that some income is better than none – it is better to lower the rent, accept a 6 or 12-month tenancy and be left with 5% of the mortgage to pay rather than 100%.
The condition of the property is paramount. Tenants have high expectations. They want bright, light, clean and modern interiors; and that is why Decorum Interiors, our furnishing business, exists. Tenants will pay for the best properties and they walk away from tired homes. The properties in the poorest condition let the slowest.
You need to be realistic about the condition of your property. Often, landlords are too close to the property: they like it, so they feel that tenants must like it too.
However, you are not the tenant. You are not the target market. If properties are struggling, they need to be sorted out. At Finders Keepers that is our job. The changes we make can be minor (mowing the lawn, replacing vinyl in a bathroom) or substantial (damp-proofing a basement or re-styling the interior).
Two other factors may be at work: your soft criteria and the hard criteria.
The soft criteria are your preferences for how you let the property – whether you let furnished or unfurnished, whether you allow pets, children, etc. We have dealt with landlords who refuse to take their furniture out of their family house even though all of the potential applicants for that property have their own furniture.
The hard criteria are issues such as parking and availability dates. If the property is only available for six months, that makes it harder to let. If there is no parking available, it makes it even harder.
Conclusion: Listen to the feedback from the viewings and take action. The more flexible and decisive you are, the more successful your letting will be.