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Has your rental property been on the market longer than you'd like? Are you struggling to work out why people are viewing your property but then deciding not to take it? Well here are a few helpful tips and advice that might just make the difference in finding a quality tenant.

1. First Impressions count. Has your property got the right curb appeal or wow factors from the outside. Even if its the type of property that cannot neccesarily carry a wow factor then could the exterior be improved? Windows, doors, gardens, masonry, fascias, fencing and so on can all make a difference to the first impression your property gives when trying to attract a tenant. Are you finding many appointments that you make subsequently don't turn up? If so ask yourself are people doing a 'drive-by' and deciding not to then turn up. We think a little investment to the frontage of your property can go a long way to improving viewings and is money well spent. Perhaps employ a gardener to give the front garden an overhaul or a decorator to renew the paintwork to any stonework and so on. Little features such as hanging baskets, weeding the driveway or renewing rusty door handles or door knockers can pay great dividends. Remember the first taste is always with the eye.

1 in 3 tenants will not make an appointment if there is no external picture given when advertising online. Furthermore, 1 in 3 viewings made from newspaper adverts fail to show given they have time to research the property after they have received the address. With google streetview now able to display the front of your property to anyone make sure its looking its best.

2. Description. We find that the more information you provide in your description the better. Adverts with just one line of text fair much worse against properties that have a full description. Think about what prospective tenants might be interested in and also describe anything specific to your property or your requirements. Explain how much bond you require, whether you accept smokers, pets, children or benefits, detail new items such as carpet decor or white goods. The more information you can supply the better as it arms the tenant with all they need. It helps to prevent confusion, have you ever had someone term up to a viewing expecting to view a ground floor flat when your flat is on the first floor? Frustrating and avoidable with a full description. Tell people the council tax band, water rates and so on as too much information is never enough.

3. Photographs. Much like item one, the first impression counts, and often this is through the photographs you choose to upload. You don't need an expensive camera and you don't need to be David Bailey to get good quality marketing pictures. If you are not confident in writing a description good detailed pictures can help to answer questions that potential viewers may have. Crucial things are an external picture of the front, kitchens and lounges too. For more help view our Photography Guide for landlords page.

4. Asking Price. This might sound obvious but the core triangle of a property listing is price, picture, description. Many visitors to the site will scroll through the listings and do a very quick 'reckoner' of the listing based on those 3 points. If one of them doesn't look or feel right they move on. Ask yourself is the price consistent with others in the area, do some research on comparables. If there are 3 houses for rent on the street and yours is the most expensive, chances are it will be last to be rented. Consider that its make more financial sense to have a consistent rent roll at a lower amount than if your property is void for long periods or tenants continually move out when they see cheaper property around them coming onto the market. Do you homework on what local housing benefit levels are set at for your type of property and use it as a benchmark. Ask tenants that are viewing what their budget is and if they've viewed any other properties. We've known property sat on the market for 2 or 3 months and then when the price is dropped £5 it be rented it a week. Sometimes the market can be that sensitive.

5. Interior condition. Clearly you need to make sure that the interior is as good as it can be. If your budget can't stretch to new carpets or decor then maybe just bringing in a carpet cleaning firm or painting walls that really need it. Its important that your home feels light and spacious. De-clutter wherever you can, ensure that all the rooms have working lightbulbs (if your property is on prepay electricity meters ensure their is some credit on). Consider employing a professional cleaning company if not dust away cobwebs, renew silicon around baths, sinks and showers, fix any loose handles. Ensure all windows can open and that you have keys for them if appropriate. Invest in some plug in air fresheners and get to your appointment well in advance of the tenant so you can get the place feeling bright and inviting before they get there. Remove any old post from behind the door, ensure you have a back door key and have any certificates and paperwork available to hand. Crucial is to ensure kitchens and bathrooms are sparkling wherever possible.

6. Certificates and Paperwork. Following from above make sure you have information to hand that might just be asked for whilst undertaking a viewing. Gas Safety certificates, periodic electrical certificates, energy perforrmance certificates, warranties and so on. Whilst they might not be asked for on a first viewing there is nothing worse than being caught out if asked for. It can also display to a tenant that you are an organised and competent landlord which can be  abig influencing factor for many tenants.

Whilst even doing all the above cannot guarantee a tenant it can certainly set yourself and your property apart from others and so should maximise the chances of getting it let!

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