Q. My managing Agent that looks after my rental investments has suggested that as my current tenants are leaving I should consider giving the apartment a bit of uplift and replace some of the worn furniture. How important do you think it is for a Landlord to maintain property for rentals, do I really need to spend this money, surely the place will rent anyway, it always has till now?
A. Personally as a guideline when helping investors to find the right property to Buy to Let I always advise them to choose something that they themselves would be happy to live in, so maybe ask yourself that question now, would you be happy to live in your investment property as it is today? I have a feeling it may be a definite ‘no’. The only reason why your managing agent would suggest an uplift is because they must be having negative feedback from the viewings or perhaps the current tenants are vacating because they don’t feel the property is being maintained as it should be. Rentals are a competitive market these days and for every tired rental property on the market there will a brand new shiny one just winking at the applicants for a few pounds more a week. Letting your property go downhill will only affect your bank balance in the long run. You will find that you can’t get the rental yield for the place that you did previously, and that you are having void period between each tenancy. As a rule, well presented rental properties that are clean and well looked after walk out the door when they become available to rent again, whereas, shabby, tied old properties sit around for ages and will of course eventually go but for far less than their neighbours property just because of the condition. Whilst your tenant is vacating this is a great opportunity to get the place repainted, iron out any issues, replace some of the worn furniture so that you can continue to complete with all the new developments that keep flooding the market. Remember they are called investment properties for a reason; don’t let your investment run into the ground, you wouldn’t allow a cash investment sitting in the bank to dwindle away would you? So treat your property with the respect it deserves and spend a little of the rental yield to gain a healthy return for the next few years and keep your investment for the future safe.