As winter approaches and the nights become darker, landlords need to protect their homes. Wall to wall, each metre of property will have a better chance of survival the warmer it can be kept.
But for landlords, the colder weather doesn’t just mean a drop in temperature – it also means a decline in potential tenants.
In 2018, November saw a 23% drop in the demand for rental properties, with December stooping an additional 9%. Both the icy conditions and winter rental market are far from ideal, however, certain situations – such as a tenant serving their notice – can leave landlords with no choice but to advertise their lettings in winter.
Advertising lettings in winter
Whilst finding an ideal tenant in the winter can be tricky, it’s certainly not impossible. Here’s some tips on how to tackle the frosty months.
Don’t scrimp on repairs – If you’ve got a loose cupboard door or withering garden fence – now is the time to fix it.
Get that picture-perfect shot – Taking top-notch photos is an essential part of letting your home. Make sure your pictures are high-quality, well-lit and showcase your property in all its glory. If you’re unsure about taking them yourself, you can always get a professional to do it for you.
Stand up to the competition – Don’t let your property blend into the crowd. Draw attention to your home by highlighting its best features and making the most out of your written description. Advertising in winter is already a challenge, so average and generic won’t cut it!
Expand your marketplace – Advertising your property on multiple platforms will increase your chances of securing a tenant during the colder months. Here at Letting a Property, we’ll advertise your property on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation as well as our own website.
Warm up your price –When looking for a tenant in the winter, an adjustment in the rental price is worth considering to keeping clear of those dreadful void periods.
Dont leave your property out in the cold
Whilst you’re searching for a tenant, you may be faced with a gap between tenancies that leaves your property empty. In the colder months, its crucial to take extra care of their vacant homes in order to avoid any winter damage being overlooked.
According to Propertymark, the average void period between tenancies in December can be 4 weeks – a whole week longer than the 3-week average of July 2019. So, don’t leave your home to fend for itself. To protect your property from the elements, you should:
Keep it warm – Keeping the heating on a low setting will prevent your pipes from freezing. Alternatively, you can set it to come on for a few hours in the morning and again at night to keep the warm air circulating around the house.
Be wary of damp – Warming your property will also combat any damp, condensation or mould. If the house will be empty for a while, it’s wise to stop by every couple of days to ensure there’s nothing nasty growing inside…
Protect the piping – Covering exposed pipes with insulation tubes is an easy way to reduce the chance of freezing. Opening cupboards that house water pipes whilst the heating is on will also keep them warm.
Check on taps – Dripping water will freeze quickly so make sure all your taps are securely switched off. Don’t forget about outside taps too – protect external taps with an insulated cover and disconnect any hose pipes.
Successful lettings in winter
Once your tenant has moved in its important to stay on top of the defensive work by keeping your boiler serviced, bleed the radiators and clear the roof of debris.
To inform your tenants that Winter is Here, download our handy letter template below.