Four mistakes of landlords who love their properties too much…
By Carl Agar
This week, I couldn’t help but be reminded about the dangers of landlords falling in love… with their properties!
Admittedly, when you’re spending your hard-earned money to buy a property, especially if doing this for the first time, it can be difficult to hold yourself back from getting emotionally involved. But contain those feelings you must. Experience has shown time and again that landlords who fall in love with their property tend not to make much money - and cause themselves emotional distress that has no place in a property business.
They choose the wrong property type in a location they like
Chances are it’s one that offers a similar lifestyle to the one they have now eg. nice restaurants, not too far from the centre of town, plenty of amenities such as gyms, a cinema etc to attend at evenings and weekends, but it’s a three to four bed property better suited as a family home and better located near schools and parks etc – the type of thing parents are going to look for when they rent a property.
They add too much colour
As a landlord it can be tempting to add some eye catching paint to the walls or a flamboyant feature wall to make your property memorable to prospective tenants. But actually, you’d be doing yourself a dis-service. What tenants really want is a blank canvas on which they can portray their own personality and that means keeping the colour scheme and the fabric (if it’s a furnished property) as neutral as possible. Beige, creams, whites and oatmeal is the order of the day. If you want to push the boat out colour-wise, then opt for light grey or white with a touch of colour.
The fittings are OTT
Not only might your tenants hate those fancy bathroom taps and the elaborate curtains you’ve bought, but the cost is coming out of your profit. Far better to stick to a budget and buy plain fittings. If the tenants want fancier taps, door handles etc, then let them purchase them! (Just ensure anything they install is done correctly and adding value).
They don’t give the tenants peace
If you love your property too much, you’ll be thinking about it too much and wondering how it’s being looked after. That means you’ll be visiting too often – to the extent your tenants may start to feel a bit put out and even harassed. Checking the property every six months is fine; every month is over the top and would be a breach of the tenants right to peaceful enjoyment.
So, if there’s someone who is going to fall in love with your property – doesn’t it make far more sense for it to be the tenant? Stay detached, and stay profitable.