Winter is great for snow and Christmas markets and getting cosy by the fire, but it isn’t so good if you’re trying to let a property. Typically the rental market slows down at this time of year as people hunker down for winter and Christmas, so what can you do if you’re trying to find tenants during this tricky time? Here are some tips on how to deal with letting a property over winter.
Set the scene
When it’s cold and wet outside, everybody wants to be indoors, so you have a golden opportunity to show off your property as a haven of warmth and cosiness. If you’re conducting property viewings, make the place feel welcoming by turning on the heating a couple of hours before it’s due to start, clearing the front path of fallen leaves, and adding a few soft furnishings around the property – whatever you can do to make the viewers feel relaxed and warm as soon as they step through the door.
If you’re finding it difficult to get your property off the market, you might consider offering an incentive to people who are able to move sooner rather than later. You could offer lower rent for the first month, throw in some extra furniture, or put some money towards a removals van. An incentive like these could mean the difference between finding tenants for your property, or it standing empty during the winter months.
Prepare for the property to be empty
Just in case you don’t find anybody to move in, it’s important that you take care of your rental while it’s unoccupied. Make sure the heating is on for a short period each day to stop the pipes from freezing, and check that windows and doors are sealed effectively against the worsening weather. You should also check the gutters to keep them free of blockages, and you could even arrange for things like repairs and electrical tests to be carried out while there is nobody living there. By taking care of the property over winter, you’ll be ready to let the place out as soon as the new year rolls around.
Don’t go against your gut
When your property has been standing unoccupied for a while, it can be tempting to take the first offer that comes along, but if you aren’t sure about the tenant, you don’t have to take the risk. It might be worth hanging on for a better tenant when the market picks up again in January. You can protect yourself against this kind of decision in future by timing your rental agreements to end during peak times (i.e. spring or summer).
If you have a rental property to let in Bristol this winter, contact Gough Quarters today for assistance.
All images courtesy of Pixabay