Aside from the essentials, like hot water, here are 5 things that tenants can’t live without. Oh okay, they might be able to survive without all the things on this list, but having them will help you let your property faster.
Tenants need this like you need air to breathe and if they’re under 30 it’s one of the first things they’ll ask about. You don’t necessarily need to have an internet connection already installed, unless you’re renting rooms individually (in which case tenants will pretty much insist on having reliable wi-fi available from day one), but your property must be in an area with fast broadband if you want to let it easily.
If you are intending to install and pay for the service yourself, I’ve found that TalkTalk is one of the cheapest providers, where it’s available. Granted, it’s slow to set up – allow for several weeks – but once it’s up and running, like childbirth, you’ll forget about the pain.
Again, if you’re providing an internet connection in your name, stick a clause in the tenancy agreement stating that the tenant must not use it to download/upload any illegal connect, otherwise you might be held responsible.
No one wants to schlep to the laundrette these days (though I can’t think why, there’s nowhere I’d rather spend my Sunday mornings), so you absolutely have to provide a washing machine, in my opinion. You don’t need to provide a clothes dryer, but if you do it might stop tenants from drying their undies on the radiators, creating damp and mould.
If your property isn’t within a mile of public transport, you’re going to struggle to let it. Nothing you can do about that now if you already own it, but you can research the nearest options to present to tenants who might not have sussed out what’s available. Other than that, you could suggest they download the Uber app!
You might get away with electric radiators or storage heaters in a cheap rental, but most tenants want a centrally -heated property. If you don’t have it already, I’d say it’s worth the investment, if only because a properly heated property is less likely to suffer from damp and mould.
Double beds…and comfy mattresses
If you’re renting a property to sharers, rather than a family or a couple, then bear in mind that they generally prefer double beds in all the rooms, presumably to avoid arguments about who has to squeeze their boyfriend/girlfriend into a single. Even if the room is tiny, they’ll still prefer you to squash a double bed in there. However, to avoid the room looking too cramped, go for a small (4ft) double, they won’t miss the extra six inches.
Don’t be a skinflint and buy cheap flimsy mattresses, they don’t last and the comfier you make your tenants, the longer they’re likely to stay. Spend a bit more on a quality mattress, provide a cover or mattress protector and write into the tenancy agreement that the tenant has to pay for steam cleaning at the end and you’ll save money in the long run.
Now, here are 5 things tenants don’t need, don’t want or should provide themselves:
Unless you’re letting a large family home or a top-end property, I wouldn’t bother providing a dishwasher. It’s one more thing you’ll have to replace when it breaks and most tenants renting low to mid-priced properties don’t expect them.
If your tenants want one, let them buy it themselves. They cost peanuts but they break down/blow up often – especially when tenants stick in tin foil or metal forks (trust us, they WILL) – and you don’t want to have to deal with the fallout of a messy explosion. If they’ve provided the microwave, they’re responsible for it. End of.
Not just TVs but also lamps, vacuum cleaners, kettles, toasters, in fact, anything with a plug on it that isn’t an oven, fridge or washing machine.
As you’ll be responsible for any portable electrical items you provide, you ought to get them tested by a qualified electrician at least every couple of years to make sure they’re safe, which will add to your costs and create additional hassle. Avoid this by not providing any in the first place and if they’re in your property already, take them out.
Most tenants don’t expect landlords to provide small electrical items, even in furnished properties, unless it’s a short-term let or a high-end rental.
Having paintings hanging on the walls might make it easier to market your property but tenants are unlikely to want to live with your taste so unless they specifically say they’d like you to leave them behind I’d strip everything out and let the tenants hang their own art.
No one wants them, no-one needs them, save your money and don’t buy them.