As a landlord, you’ll never really welcome having a vacant property; but this can be a particular challenge in winter, as less tenants are looking to move than in summer and the weather can make even the prettiest property look dull and unappealing.
So we’ve come up with some simple tips for you to get the most out of viewings in winter, keeping vacant periods to a minimum and helping you persuade prospective tenants to choose your property over the competition.
Let in some light
It may seem excessive to put all the lights on, but a fully-lit house will be much more welcoming than one that’s dark and gloomy.
Even if you just open all curtains and blinds, and bring a few table lamps from home to create a cosy glow, extra light will make the world of difference.
Remember, the natural light won’t be up to much in winter, so make sure you give it a hand to show off your property at its best.
Another thing about winter light is that it’s totally unforgiving and will show up the smallest smudge or smear.
Give the windows a good clean, inside and out, and you’ll notice the difference it makes to the light in the room, as well as how smart the property looks.
Make sure you switch the heating on an hour or two before the tenants are due to arrive. An empty property can seem cold at the best of times, so not having the heating on will just make matters worse.
Not only will a bit of extra warmth help clear any lingering condensation, it’ll create a cosy atmosphere and make the property feel more like a home.
Just before the tenants are due to arrive, give the path or driveway a quick sweep to get rid of any leaves. If it’s been snowing or is particularly icy, make sure you get the shovel out and lay some grit or salt down too.
This will give a much better first impression and will prevent any unfortunate accidents on the walk up to the house.
Make sure the lawn’s been mowed before the autumn, leaves have been raked and beds have been weeded.
And, although there won’t be much natural colour in the garden, you could add some bright pots of winter blooms or a string of solar fairy lights to make it look less stark.
Help your tenants imagine themselves living in the property at Christmas. A few bowls of potpourri, a winter room spray or a spicy scented candle will give the property a festive feel and make it seem warmer and cleaner. Don’t go overboard though, you don’t want to overwhelm them!
If the house has been empty and the heating has been off, there may be a bit of condensation on the windows. Give them a quick wipe down with a microfiber cloth before the tenants arrive, or they’ll worry that the property could be prone to damp and mould.
You could also use this as an opportunity to give the windows and sills a clean – winter light can be quite unforgiving when it comes to smudges and smears.
Save your floors and carpets and put down some new doormats.
Tenants won’t necessarily want to take off their shoes when they arrive, so you’ll need to prevent the spread of wet leaves, mud and dirt through your property.
A neutral, basic doormat can be bought from the pound shop, and can be left for the tenants to use when they move in.
Spread some festive cheer
Why not pop a Christmas wreath on the front door for December viewings?
Ok, so this one might be pushing it a bit – but could it be just enough to sway a tenant’s decision to move in quickly, if they think their new landlord seems friendly and accommodating?