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  • Property-a-holics

    10 turn off's for tenants!

    As Landlords, we want to avoid the voids at all costs.

    So it's important to ensure that your property is "fit for viewing" when a tenancy is coming to the end.

    Here are my top ten turn off's that will make a prospective tenant scarper:


    Smells are one of the first thing someone notices when they enter a new space. An overflowing cat litter tray, stale curry, cigarette smoke, or "fug" will put someone off straight away.

    Loads of pairs of shoes in the hallway

    There's nothing worse that endless pairs of shoes cluttering up the hallway. Not only are they a trip hazard, but they also give the impression that there is no storage space in the property.

    Unmade beds

    These make any property look messy and student-y.


    A dirty property with dirty and smelly bathrooms is a major turn off.


    Be truthful in your descriptions of the property. There's nothing worse than a tenant thinking it is 5 minutes walk to the station, when, in fact it is 15 mins.

    Poor maintenance

    There's no excuse for cupboards hanging off, broken bannister rails, or broken windows. These are signs of a Landlord who doesn't care.

    Dead plants

    Whether inside or outside, dead plants give an uncared for impression. If a plant has died, remove it.

    Poor lighting

    Both inside and outside lighting is important. Outside it gives a feeling of security. Inside, a dimly lit property does not feel inviting. Make sure blown lightbulbs are replace, and all downlighters are workinig.

    Stained carpets

    Strange stains can spoil a room and attract attention for all the wrong reasons. Steam cleaning carpets between tenancies is important to keep carpets fresh and clean.

    Mould in the bathroom

    A real turn off and so easy to fix.

    Lack of storage space and fridge space are also turn off's.

    When a tenancy is coming to an end, how do you work with the tenant to ensure the property is fit for viewing?

    I instruct lettings agents to get there early and ensure that the above are taken care of.

    I've made beds on occasion if I am doing the viewing!
    I agree that avoiding the void is vital for all of us but landlords have to be very careful when entering a tenants home to show a prospective tenant. We have no right to "touch" a tenants belongings and therefore we need to visit the property while the tenant is at home and talk to the tenant about any issues that we think could prevent us from letting - this needs to be done respectfully, no one likes their lifestyle to be criticised. I often say things like "I know that you are very busy but can I help in any way" "I know that you are preparing to move but it would help me if the house was in good order when I am showing new tenants". Most tenants have been very understanding but I would never insist that they do anything. I have offered to send in cleaners at my own expense which will "save me time and avoid taking money from your deposit after you have left"

    On occassions I have just taken a void because I know that people will not take the property until the tenant has left and I have put it back in good order. Smells are the biggest problem, BO, stale washing and cooking being the worse culprits and a landlord cannot charge to remove this type of smell - how would you provide evidence to the deposit protection people?

    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    Thanks for commenting Mary with those important points.

    Do you carry round a little kit of cleaning materials, air freshener, Febreze, lightbulbs etc?

    A property can show better for rental once it is empty and sometimes we just have to accept that.

    I think this highlights how, if you have cultivated a positive relationships with your tenants throughout the tenancy, they may be more inclined to co-operate with you with regards to the viewings, and making sure the property is in a reasonable condition.
    (09-08-2012 11:09 AM)vanessa warwick Wrote:  Thanks for commenting Mary with those important points.

    Do you carry round a little kit of cleaning materials, air freshener, Febreze, lightbulbs etc?

    A property can show better for rental once it is empty and sometimes we just have to accept that.

    I think this highlights how, if you have cultivated a positive relationships with your tenants throughout the tenancy, they may be more inclined to co-operate with you with regards to the viewings, and making sure the property is in a reasonable condition.

    I agree Vanessa when landlords are petty tenants can do "pay back time" if I turn a blind eye to something I often "joke" that they owe me one.

    I carry a tool kit, spares and cleaning kit and I pop a bleach block into the cistern when I use the toilet - naughty but not one has ever complained and it makes such a nice smell. I always carry a bottle of Coke which is a quick fix for blocked pipes and drains, dirty toilet and stained sinks and taps. Bi carb in a dish will remove smells from fridges and ovens and good old Shake and Vac spinkled and left on the carpets works wonders. Every woman has a bottle of perfume that she doesn't like and I use mine as an air spray just before a viewing.

    When a property is very untidy I tell the viewer that I don't interfer with the lifestyle of my tenants and they need to look past the tenants belongings - this is a good message to a new tenant who will realise that I won't be breathing down their neck or inspecting constantly.

    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
    According to The Guardian, when it comes to buying a property, these are the major turn-offs, but these could also apply just as easily to rental properties:

    Buyer Turn Off's

    With homeowners struggling to sell in many parts of the country, it's a buyer's market out there. Vendors therefore need to make sure they do everything they can to secure a sale.

    We asked industry experts to give us the current top turn-offs for would-be buyers, and what sellers could do to avoid deterring people.

    While some were fairly specific – one estate agent mentioned a room full of dolls and doll heads at one property, while another talked about "arty nude pictures of the owners on display" – other complaints cropped up again and again:

    Transport noise

    "One of the most common instructions from my clients is that they don't want to be able to hear any noise from aeroplanes or trains," says Gabby Adler, a buying agent for clients around London. "If your home is blighted by noise pollution, the obvious and hugely effective solution is double or even triple glazing."

    This, of course, does not come cheap – reckon on spending between £700 and £900 for each window – and it doesn't solve the problem of noise outside the property.

    Dirty bathrooms and kitchens

    Research by Rightmove among 4,000 buyers found that dirty kitchens and bathrooms were the biggest turn-offs, with more than half of respondents selecting these from a list of gripes which included dated decor and unkempt gardens.

    "Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most personal and well-used areas of the home," says Rightmove's Miles Shipside. "Many potential buyers will try to imagine themselves living in the property during a viewing, and having their senses offended by a lack of cleanliness or hygiene can be a real barrier."

    As Shipside points out, this is pretty easy to remedy – get the Mr Muscle out before every viewing.

    Odd looking plants in the garden

    "Although buyers pay more attention to the condition of the house than the garden, strange looking plants can send warning signals," says Robert Lazarus, sales director at north London estate agents Paramount Properties. "If a buyer can't recognise a plant they fear it could be Japanese knotweed."

    This is described by the Environment Agency as "indisputably the UK's most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant" and can destroy the foundations of buildings.

    Sellers who show you round

    "There is nothing more off-putting than the vendor doing the viewings with the potential buyer," Adler reckons. She says this is happening increasingly as sellers attempt to save money by using online estate agents.

    "It makes the buyer uncomfortable so they can't view the property properly. It's hard to say how much this would 'cost' you, but it will certainly take longer to sell your home: it could take six to nine months, for example, as opposed to three months. At the very least, ask a trusted friend to show potential buyers round to take some of the pressure off."


    "Clutter is a killer," says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, which owns estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains. As well as proving a distraction for buyers, having too much stuff around could give them the impression that there is a lack of adequate storage.

    If you can't bring yourself to throw things out, consider putting things in storage. Don't just store the big things; your home will look more modern if you pack away any ornaments and trinkets that usually sit on shelves, and would-be buyers will find it easier to imagine their own things in situ.

    Storage costs from £15 a week for 250 cubic feet (roughly the size of four fridge freezers). Safestore's site includes a useful tool to help you estimate how much storage space you need.

    Coloured bathroom suites

    "Wildly coloured bathroom suites were regarded as the ultimate in taste in the 1980s, but can look pretty hideous to modern eyes," Newnes says. He claims such a fitting could knock up to £8,000 off the value of your property.

    But it's relatively cheap to sort it out yourself: a white suite can be bought for less than £300, and if you use it simply to replace the existing fittings rather than reconfiguring the room you can get it fitted for a few hundred pounds.

    Bad smells

    Property finder Sophia Mose-van Woensel thinks a house that smells bad triggers the strongest negative reaction in buyers.

    "They might not even notice it all that much at the time of viewing, while they're concentrating on the layout and state of the house, but the thing with bad odours is that they create a subconscious bad impression that lingers. It gives them an overall 'bad feeling' about the house," she says. "That is disastrous, as you can't reason with that kind of sentiment."

    Make sure you put your bins out before any viewing and perhaps banish any old trainers to the shed.

    Untidy communal areas in flats

    Uncared for and messy communal areas both inside and outside a property put a question mark over how actively the freeholder manages it, according to Simon Bray, sales director at estate agents Hudsons Property.

    These are also often the first parts of the property buyers will see, and according to Rightmove people often make a decision to buy in the hallway. "Always keep them vacuumed and clear of post – sometimes it might even be worth painting it at your expense," Bray says.

    Awkward layouts

    "With older properties, especially terraced houses, it is quite common to find the bathroom is either on the ground floor past the kitchen, or accessed via a bedroom which is not always ideal for young children or when guests come to stay," says Karen Seagrave of estate agents Barnes Kingsnorth. "Other layout issues include dining rooms being set away from the kitchen so food has to be carried through another room before reaching the table."

    You cannot alter some of these issues easily, so instead make sure the property looks as good as possible and remember that you saw through those issues when you bought it, so someone else will probably do the same.


    Knowing someone has recently died in a property can immediately put some people off, as can any signs of dead animals.

    Mose-van Woensel recently viewed a property that had been empty for two years. "I walked over to the pool and saw 12 dead pigeons floating in it, in various stages of decomposition. It was an awful sight and I couldn't imagine anyone ever wanting to swim in it. A pool can be cleaned and dead animals removed, but that kind of thing is certain to put off buyers and definitely won't give them the sensation that the house 'feels right'."

    Several agents also mentioned the number four, saying they had met Chinese buyers who were unprepared to look at properties with this house number because of its association with death.

    Houses with lots of cats

    However much a buyer likes animals, they may still recoil if you have a property full of moggies.

    "This is especially off-putting in a family home when potential buyers worry about kids with allergies or asthma suffering due to previous feline residents," says David Warren, sales negotiator at Paramount Properties. "Buyers also worry the cats might return when the owner moves away."

    The full source article can be found >>> here.
    I thought the below issues could also apply to rental property:

    Noisy neighbours are the single most off putting factor for new home buyers in the UK, (according to new research published on Monday 19 August).

    Some 55% of buyers say that they would be put off buying a house with neighbours from hell, the research from mortgage and secured loan broker Ocean Finance shows.

    Mouldy rooms is the next most off putting factor, with 49% saying it would stop them buying a particular home, followed by the property being in a poor state of repair with 43% citing it as a factor.

    No central heating puts off 30% and an untidy garden next door affects 28%.

    Unpleasant smells from animals or smokers puts off 27% and 16% would be affected by badly kept communal areas in flats or shared houses.

    No double glazing puts off 14% of prospective buyers while 8% wouldn’t want partially completed decorating or building work. Stone cladding is regard as a no no by 7% and 4% would say no to a brown or green bathroom suite. Some 4% would be put off by an untidy or over grown garden and 2% would be affected by decorating that it not to their taste.

    Read the full story >>> here.

    Find out how to deal with noisy neighbours >>> here.

    [Image: house.png]More on this topic:

    Bad neighbours are a big turn off for property buyers ... but what about in rental property?

    Interesting article, old appliances was a big turn off for us when viewing!

    New research by online estate agent easyProperty has revealed the most unexpected and unusual things that turn people off when viewing a property.

    The study, involving a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, asked participants about the things that would make them lose interest in an otherwise suitable property they were viewing, aside from the condition of the property itself.

    Full/source story 

    Related content:

    My property won't let!  6 tips to get it let!


    An interesting new list of turn off's for people buying a property, but I would imagine it would be similar for those renting:

    1.       Poor/slow broadband connections - 88%

    2.       Above average levels of crime- 81%

    3.       A lack of local transport links/motorway access - 73%

    4.       A lack of nightlife/shops - 64%

    5.       A lack of local nurseries/schools - 58%

    Full/source article


    These would suggest that there is a good choice of accomodation available - if it wasn't then people would be more focused on the main issues.


    The biggest problem as a landlord is that people are really turned off by other peoples' clutter, mess and general dirt but are then quite happy with their own.

    I have to admit that on occasions when showing HMO rooms during the day (with the current tenant's permission) I have actually taken photos,  a black bag to clear up quickly and then later put everything back where it was.  I know I won't let a room with an unmade bed, dirty washing all over the floor etc so if I don't do that I am wasting my time even doing the viewing.

    Really messy tenants will cost you a void.