Talk

Advanced search

House not renting out yet: any advice?

(32 Posts)
Louise2004 Fri 16-Oct-09 09:51:28

We'd like to rent out our house but the feedback from the viewings so far is that the house is dated. We know this and are having some work done to tidy it up but we don't want to go to the additional expense of putting in new carpets and new bathrooms etc. when there's nothing wrong them (they're just old, but the tiling isn't broken and the carpets aren't frayed or anything), as we plan to do a full renovation at a later date before we move in ourselves.

We've lowered the asking price and are prepared to negotiate down further but what else can we do - any suggestions? Our agent remains optimistic but I'm getting frustrated (maybe I'm just too impatient!).

NigellaTufnel Fri 16-Oct-09 16:13:36

The problem is that when people rent houses they tend to want to rent 'the lifestyle' or something that they can put their mark on.

That's why soul less cream goes down so well.

Is it furnished or not?

We rent, but our landlords couldn't get anyone in until they had tarted up the kitchen, and the bathroom, despite the fact that the house has many great features.

We put up with shabby carpets, and bad paintwork, and dated decor because the kitchen and bathroom are nice and inoffensive.

Louise2004 Sat 17-Oct-09 07:05:53

Thanks for your comments.

It's unfurnished but has the necessary kitchen appliances. Most of the decor is neutral (white walls, plain carpets and wood flooring etc.), apart from one bathroom, which is a bit colourful (at least for my taste but I could live with it as a tenant). The kitchen is pretty new and has things like a good new fridge etc. The bad paintwork areas have recently been re-done and patched up. There are some lovely original features like cornices and fireplaces.

Basically it's in pretty good order throughout but I understand about tenants wanting a "lifestyle" - it's just we don't want to spend more on doing it up when we plan to do our own full renovations later on (and we don't want to do this before it's rented in case the tenants trash the place a little - at the moment I think it's in an ideal state for rental, being in a generally good condition).

Fingers crossed, maybe someone like you will view it and not care too much about it being a bit dated! smile

littleducks Sat 17-Oct-09 08:15:02

Why dont you have a look at listings for other properties in the area with rent at a similar price? Then you can get an idea of the 'competition' as it were and see if you do need to update it or if its just a case of waiting a bit

We rent and the difference in places at the same price can be crazy, we had a bloke show us round a smelly house that had been bedsits previously and the second reception room door was bolted and bloked off as it had been half converted to a seperate annex that was rented seperately, so you were seperated from these other people by internal walls only! Then at the same price there were newly decorated beautifu victorian semis with fireplaces etc hmm

(not suggesting your place is like that one btw)

but as i renter i do expect more than as an owner, i wouldnt put up with dated etc as rent is 'money down the drain' whereas i would be prepared to put up with less nice decor if it was 'mine'

littleducks Sat 17-Oct-09 08:15:04

Why dont you have a look at listings for other properties in the area with rent at a similar price? Then you can get an idea of the 'competition' as it were and see if you do need to update it or if its just a case of waiting a bit

We rent and the difference in places at the same price can be crazy, we had a bloke show us round a smelly house that had been bedsits previously and the second reception room door was bolted and bloked off as it had been half converted to a seperate annex that was rented seperately, so you were seperated from these other people by internal walls only! Then at the same price there were newly decorated beautifu victorian semis with fireplaces etc hmm

(not suggesting your place is like that one btw)

but as i renter i do expect more than as an owner, i wouldnt put up with dated etc as rent is 'money down the drain' whereas i would be prepared to put up with less nice decor if it was 'mine'

Louise2004 Sat 17-Oct-09 08:31:04

Thanks, I'll check out the other listings this weekend.

Your comment about what you expect as a tenant rather than as an owner is interesting and makes sense. The only way around that for us would be to lower the rent further, I suppose (the price is negotiable but I get the feeling that some people aren't comfortable with negotiating and maybe our agents aren't making that clear).

I also know that I need to learn to be more patient! wink

starmucks Sat 17-Oct-09 08:33:03

It helps to be completely unemotional when renting out your place and view it purely as a business arrangement. Have you considered furnishing it and going for the professional sharer/student market?

scaryteacher Sat 17-Oct-09 11:49:38

When we rented ours out we had it redone in top to toe dulux white linen, and had the carpets cleaned. Since then it has been rented out bar 1 month in 3 years. We also had the tiling redone on the bathroom, laid some vinyl in the loo, replaced the toilet in the upstairs loo, and turned the pantry downstairs into a loo as well.

My house could be considered to be 'dated' as it was built in 1835, but I would call it 'period', and houses like this have advantages such as high ceilings, large rooms and a solidity not found in modern houses (I know as I rent a modern house abroad and it is not as well built as mine, the walls aren't as thick for a start).

You could replace the carpets so they are the same colour (neutral preferably) throughout. It doesn't have to be expensive; just wear well.

Good luck anyway. It cost a bit to get our stuff done (the redecoration mostly), but was worth it in the end as the place is lived in.

LilianGish Sat 17-Oct-09 12:01:31

I think you either do it up and charge top whack or leave it shabby and drop the price (even more than you already have - since obviously it's not low enough to attract anyone). I speak as a tenant and a landlord - we let our flat, but like you didn't want to spruce it up first so charged a bargain rent (remembering that every month it was empty we were losing money!). We rent a house in London and rejected all the dingy ones. I don't mind paying the market rent, but I want a nice house (especially kitchen and bathrooms) for my money.

ThingumyandBob Sat 17-Oct-09 13:23:27

Could you try another agent? If you get the right sales person in there selling the benefits of the place they might get a different result…

Broke Sat 17-Oct-09 17:09:02

The trouble with dropping the price is being honest you're looking at a different type of tenannt.

Louise2004 Sun 18-Oct-09 07:45:31

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions.

We have considered sharers but ideally we'd prefer to rent it to a family (the house is quite spacious and would make a perfect "party" house for sharers/students and, apart from the state of the house at the end of the rental, we don't want to create any problems with the neighbours!).

I'll continue the area comparison and speak with our agents this week...

LIZS Sun 18-Oct-09 07:55:54

We didn't initially want sharers but actually it was ok and opened up the marketing. In the end we had a group of air hostesses (house near major aiport) followed by company let where their IT contractors stayed as was cheaper than hotels. You can write into the contract clauses about not disturbing neighbours, parking, consideration of noise etc.

The main issue we found was wear and tear on the bathrooms. With so many bodies showering at least once a day the decor took a battering as they didn't open the window to ventilate each time and they were not that good about keeping the shower curtain inside the bath, so the floor was soaked and rotted. To minimise this , even if letting to a family, it might be worth making it a water tight environment ie fully tiled, vinyl flooring and check seals regularly and fit a strong extractor fan.

bamboobutton Sun 18-Oct-09 08:11:59

we are currently looking for a new place to rent. the things that put us off a house are:

laminate flooring in the living room and bedrooms.

tatty, stained carpets

old floral wall paper

a grotty, mouldy bathroom.

we don't mind dated looking stuff as long as its in good general repair.

ABetaDad Sun 18-Oct-09 08:37:20

Loise2004 - I have rented houses and flats for 25 years. never owned a home. The truth is that you are up against so many new or almost newly done up places in new developments that buy to let landlords are desperate to rent out that if your place is not totally spic and span you will struggle.

Here is the problem in a nutshell "as we plan to do a full renovation at a later date before we move in ourselves."

Well you clearly don't like the decor so why do you expect a tenant to do so?

People who are renting want just the same as what people want who own their own home. Just because they are tenants does not mean they want to put up with other peoples dated decor.

If you drop your price low enough you wil get a tenant but it wil be much lower than the price someone wil pay for a newly done up house/flat. Putting in a cheap new kitchen, and bathooms plus painting and simple plain new carpets and it wil fly off the shelf.

The myth of tenants being desperate people who cannot afford to 'own their own home' is long dead. Many tenants just don't want to own a house but they do still want a nice home. Being a landlord is hard work in preparing and marketing a property. You are looking for a family as a tenant and that family will be just like you and they will want just what you want.

I refuse to look at anything that is not newly done up in great condition.

starmucks Sun 18-Oct-09 08:50:50

My experience comes from becoming relunctant landlords last year. Like you we wanted a family as we thought they'd respect the place more - and we'd invested a lot emotionally and financially into the flat. Anyway, despite being a stunning flat in W1 london it remained vacant for two months. We then openned the net to sharers and furnished it. It rented immediately. They moved out in Sept and the place was spotless. We had three offers on it before they moved out, accepting one which was only 4% below asking - his time it's gone to Croatian students. Sounds like a wild gamble but we have 4.5k of their money as a deposit and they've paid 6 months rent up front. If they trash it, the deposit should cover damages. Furnishing a property also has tax advantages as you can knock off 10% of you gross rent for wear and tear before tax kicks in.

Louise2004 Sun 18-Oct-09 09:37:23

Thanks everyone - I've noted your comments for discussion with dh and our agent for, hopefully, some positive action/response... (It's great to have some neutral advice, not just listening to the agent all the time!)

skybluewinking Mon 19-Oct-09 10:12:05

HI Louise
I am an ex-letting agent,and echo the other advice you have had,there is stacks of good stuff out there,it is a v competitive market. I was in West London, which may be different, don't know where you are?
How much research did you do on your agent?
You should have a good trawl through the local agents in your area, see what they have and for how much, then get some more agents to value your house, and ask for advice. If you make it clear that you want honest opinions, they should make valuable suggestions. LISTEN to them.
I would often value somewhere, not get the instruction, see it with another agent for a lot more money, and then get called in several (lost rent) months later. We would then market at the original price, usually succesfully!
You can have it on with more than one agent, it should give the original agent a good kick up the arse, and it is not like selling, with letting, it is winning agent takes all.
Good luck

bibbitybobbityCAT Mon 19-Oct-09 10:18:14

Louise - also you have an unfurnished house that you would like a family to move into whilst at the same time being very open about the fact that you want to move in yourselves at some unspecified date in the future. It really can be a monumental pita and incredibly expensive for families to move every 12 months so I wonder if you could make your place seem more attractive by offering a longer tenancy - say 2 years - if people want it?

If I had to move into a rented house now that would be number 1 on my wishlist.

skihorse Mon 19-Oct-09 13:54:33

I'm moving next week in to an apartment with a rather "dated" kitchen and bathroom, 15 years old rather than 3. The difference in rent is 500 euros a month. That's (for me) a lot of money.

It doesn't make me a "lower class of tenant" - it just means I'd rather spend 500 euros a month on my horse or going skiing. Jolly hockey-sticks rah rah rah! wink

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 15:34:24

I don't think the OP mentioned a 'lower class of tenant' Ski; she was merely looking for advice on how she could make it more attractive to rent out. You're obviously being deliberately provocative again and looking for someone to take the bait. Are we going to see more comments on 'people living in their precious houses' as we did on the other thread?

skihorse Mon 19-Oct-09 16:01:28

By Broke on Sat 17-Oct-09 17:09:02
The trouble with dropping the price is being honest you're looking at a different type of tenannt

stuffitllllama Mon 19-Oct-09 16:09:22

I think you need to replace the carpets and update.

A void is so much more costly than a new carpet.

Tenants will definitely appreciate it and appreciate and look after the house more.

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 16:14:10

a: Not the OP
b: different does not necessarily equate to lower class of tenant - she may be looking at HIMO instead of a family as someone has described above.

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 16:15:22

Are you open to people accepting housing benefit? Many people aren't yet most people in receipt of HB are just normal people who have a low income compared to the cost of private renting.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now