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5 Ways to Make Your Rental Property More Appealing to Young Professionals

If you own an HMO, you will be renting your property out to one of two groups of people; students or young professionals.

Many landlords focus on one or other type of tenants, but at Wingrove Lettings we can provide a service for both and do have some landlords who have properties in both camps/market places.

Student homes often see high demand, high returns and can cost less to furnish, they always need to be furnished and can attract higher maintenance costs but do have a natural break after each 12 month tenancy.

The professional market place often has lower maintenance costs, lower risk of complaints, longevity of tenancy and higher earning potential of young professionals can make them more appealing tenants for some landlords. Choosing professional tenants can also be a mindfield and its critical to get it right and carry out thorough references.

To help you find the tenants you want, we’ve compiled 5 ways you can make your property more appealing to young professionals.

Property Features that Attract Young Professionals 

Landlords have to initially make a decision as to whether they want to furnish a property or not. Anything inbetween can be confusing and lead to negotiation at each let as to which furniture is staying or going.

Expensive apartments for well paid professionals who desire a convenient short term let eg 6-12 months will often expect some level of furnishing. The majority of professional lets come unfurnished so if in doubt please ask to meet one of Abode’s consultants. When furnishing a rental property for young professionals, we recommend:

  • Fully furnished – with clean, modern and new furnishings. Having your rental property ready to live in will make it more appealing to young professionals.
  • Basic items of furniture, sofas and coffee table, small table and chairs, beds, wardrobe and chest of draws.
  • Clean open spaces, avoiding any personal belongings or ‘knick-knacks’.
  • Ample power sockets in each room for charging mobile phones, computers and other electrical appliances.
  • Provide essential utility appliances such as dishwasher, tumble dryer, washing machine and dishwasher.

In addition to the furnishings within the property, there are certain other property features that will appeal to young professionals such as:

  • Large kitchen area to allow more than 1 resident to cook at once.
  • Plenty of storage space.
  • More than 1 bathroom.
  • Power shower.
  • Sound insulation.
  • A-rated rated appliances.
  • Double glazed windows.
  • TV, Wi-Fi and phones set up and ready to go.
  • Smart energy meter.
  • Hard flooring, eg not old carpets

Marketing a Rental Property to Young Professionals 

Being heavy internet users, young professionals will generally ‘do their homework’ thoroughly before arranging to view a property. For this reason, it’s important that your property is listed properly in the right places – follow our checklist to ensure the basics are right:

  • Write a catchy, descriptive title.
  • Include details of any furnishings included with the property.
  • Make sure the rental price is accurate and visible.
  • Provide information about the local area.
  • Make any special terms of the tenancy agreement clear.
  • Take photographs of the entire property when at its best (Abode have invested heavily in professional camera equipment.) to ensure the best possible images on websites.

Wingrove Lettings Tip – The millennial generation that most young professionals fall into is known as a sustainably-conscious generation. Incorporating environmentally friendly aspects into your property such as energy rated appliances and LED lights can help your property stand out.

Location Is Key for Busy Tenants 

This is something to consider when investing in your first buy to let property or expanding your portfolio. Young professionals need a location that allows them to get to work easily, whilst being able to access the town’s nightlife and culture on the weekends. Here are a few desirable attributes of your properties’ location:

  • Proximity to transport links – Getting around is essential for young professionals, whether it’s their daily commute to work or their trip into town; immediacy to bus and train routes will make your property more desirable.
  • Parking facilities – a reserved parking space or driveway is more desirable than a permit area (and will warrant a higher price).
  • Noise – Young professionals value quiet areas where they can put their head down after work. Low noise in the area around your property will also make it more appealing to families and couples.
  • Broadband – Something that is often overlooked, but with most occupants of the property using the internet regularly it should be fast to avoid complaints.
  • Safety – Whilst at work, young professionals properties are left vacant. The overall safety and crime rates in the neighbourhood should be assessed before purchase.
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International Landlords – Tips for Managing UK Rental Property Abroad

Buy to let property in the UK can serve as an excellent investment for landlords who choose to live abroad, giving them a steady income stream to fund their lifestyle in another country.

But being a long-distance landlord is not without its challenges – communication can be difficult, tenants can’t be met or screened-in person and landlords may have to entrust somebody else to carry out viewings for them should a tenancy end whilst they are abroad.

For this reason, most international landlords choose to use a letting agency, who can deal with every aspect of managing their property whilst they are abroad. If you are an international landlord to be, read our top tips for making the letting process as stress-free as possible.

Understand Your Legal Obligations

If you rent a property out in the UK, you will need to pay tax on the rental income, being an international landlord does not exempt you from this. If you live abroad for 6 months or more per year, you are automatically classed as a ‘non-resident landlord’ by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Note that if you are only outside the UK temporarily (less than 6 months), you are not classed as a Non-Residential Landlord.

The tax you owe on rental income can either be paid through a Self-Assessment tax return form or by deducting a basic rate tax from the rent, this will need to be done by the tenant or by a letting agent who will provide you with a certificate at the end of each tax year. It is critical to remember that either option does not negate your responsibility of filling in a tax return. If your income is under the UK tax threshold, HMRC may not need a tax return but they will inform you of this. The Inland Revenue are extremely helpful in this regard but do visit the GOV UK website for more information.

Consider Using Skype for Tenant Screening 

One of the biggest challenges faced by landlords living abroad is that they cannot meet tenants face to face before approving their rental application. Whilst this is less of a problem when using a letting agent, determining whether a tenant is suitable for your property can be difficult and slow when relying on written communication.

For this reason, landlords may choose to use Skype or other video messaging platform to ‘meet’ their tenants face to face before approving or declining their application.

Look for Long Term Tenants 

The administrative demands of several shorter tenancies are far more significant in comparison to fewer, longer tenancies. Landlords with long-term tenants are also more likely to develop stronger relationships with their tenants, taking away any concerns about how the property is being treated.

From the tenant’s perspective, longer tenancies are also a benefit, offering them more security and a guaranteed place to rent for the duration of the agreement.

Ask Someone to Keep an Eye on the Property

Landlords may choose to ask a family member, friend or neighbour to keep an eye on the property whilst they are abroad – this way they can be informed straight away should any misbehaviour occur at the property.

Using a property management company relives family and friends of this labour, as the agent will be responsible for dealing with tenants and carrying out property inspections.

Additionally, if the property is empty, it can become an easy target for thieves. Having a friend or family member check in on the property, clear out any post, park their car on the drive and otherwise make the property look in use can be a sound deterrent for thieves.

Build Up Relationships with Tradesman 

As well as better prices, building up relationships with a local tradesman is a great way to make managing a property overseas simpler.

With the right contractor, you can give the tenant their number, meaning that any property maintenance can be rectified quickly without your input, this can also make tenants happier and feel more independent. 

Use a Property Management Company 

The best way to simplify the potential headaches of managing a property from abroad is to let someone else do it for you, many landlords who have tried to manage their property solo from abroad find the time spent is not worth it.

A property management company like ourselves can take care of everything from collecting rent to ensuring you’re paying the right amount of tax. What’s more, we aim to keep tenancy voids to a minimum of 8 days, with our expert knowledge of the area helping us attract the right tenants to your property.

For more information about our property management service for landlords, , call one of the team today on 0191 273 0419 or send an email to and we’ll get back to you.

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How to Make Your Rental Property More Energy Efficient

There are many features of a rental property that will make it appeal to different audiences, from its location to its features. Ensuring your property is suited to your target market can improve rental yields, increase tenancy periods and improve tenant satisfaction.

When renting your property to a younger market, it has been identified that making the property eco-friendly could make it more appealing, increasing the number of potential tenants interested in your property and thus allowing you to increase rental rates as appropriate.

But it’s not just landlords aiming to get younger tenants through the door that should be taking note, making your home energy efficient can increase rental yields, increase the value of the property contribute to a higher EPC rating, reduce energy bills and future proof your property for any future changes to legislation – a win-win!

Switch to Energy Efficient Appliances 

If your appliances are reaching the end of their lives and need an upgrade, make sure you choose electrical goods that are energy efficient. Due to EU regulations, the following appliance must be marked with an energy label indicating how efficient they are:

  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • TV’s
  • Ovens (electric)
  • Boilers
  • Freezers and fridges
  • Lightbulbs

The energy label rates appliances from G to A, G being the lowest in terms of energy efficiency and A being the highest. Appliances with a higher energy rating will provide the biggest savings longer term.

Install Double Glazed Windows 

A double-glazed window can be up to 20 times more efficient than a single glazed one! In addition to reducing heat loss and thus energy bills within the property, double glazed windows offer a number of benefits vs. single glazed including:

  • Noise insulation – Ideal if the property is in a busy urban area.
  • More secure – As well as being more secure against forced entry, the thickness of double-glazed windows makes them less prone to accidental internal breakages.
  • Cooler house in summer – In addition to keeping the property warm throughout winter, in the hotter months, double glazing insulates your home against the sun.
  • Reduce interior damage – Rays from the sun can discolour and damage carpets, furniture and carpets, double glazing reduces these damaging UV rays.

Replace Old Lightbulbs with Energy Efficient Ones

Did you know that lighting account for around 10-20% of a property’s energy bill? Switching to energy-saving bulbs is one of the easiest changes you can make to improve the energy efficiency of the property.

According to research from U Switch, installing five low energy light bulbs will save about £32 a year. Whilst this saving will likely be passed on to the tenant, lighting is one of the categories that is assessed when calculating the EPC rating of the property.

Insulate the Loft 

Around 25% of heat from a home leaves through the roof. Whilst it requires a fairly significant investment, the good news is that loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years so the installation costs will be paid off many times over before it needs to be done again. 

Additionally, once the loft is insulated, it can be converted into the room which can significantly increase the rental yields of your property.

Install a Smart Meter 

Under a UK Government scheme, smart meters are being rolled out across properties in the UK. These devices are free and automatically track the amount of energy you’ve used, enabling tenants to keep better track of their energy usage and use less.

Smart meters are available through most energy suppliers, they should contact you when you can get one. As well as being an added value for tenants, installing a smart meter can give you access to better energy tariffs.

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Buy to Let Jargon Buster

Letting a property can be hard enough for landlords without the added confusion of some of the industry terms used by tenants, contractors, letting agencies and other industry professionals.

To help out landlords and tenants new and old, we have pulled together a buy-to-let jargon buster, featuring a complete glossary of useful terms.

Please feel free to share this guide with your tenants, landlords that are new to the industry, friends who are about to begin renting or anyone else you feel may find it useful.

ADR – ADR stands for ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ and refers to independent adjudication services offered by Deposit Protection Schemes.

ARLA Propertymark – ARLA stands for Association of Residential Letting Agents and is the UK’s most recognised industry body for letting agents, with over 9,000 members.

Accidental Landlords – An accidental landlord is someone who became a landlord without intending to, this usually happens when a let property is inherited, or when struggling to sell a property but wanting to buy and hence leave a property let whilst moving. If you’re an accidental landlord, get advice from a letting agent to ensure you’re not doing anything that could land you in legal trouble.

Arrears – If rent is not paid, the money owed is referred to rent arrears. If a tenant is one month behind on rent, they are “one month in arrears”.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – This is the default legal category of tenancy in England and Wales. They are usually given for a period of 6 months, after this period, the landlord is able to evict the tenant if required. ASTs also benefit tenants, giving them a guaranteed tenure for the duration.

BTL – BTL stands for ‘Buy to Let’ and refers to buying a property to rent it out.

CMP – CMP stands for ‘Client Money Protection’ and refers to a scheme in which funds are protected should a letting agent misappropriate money they hold.

Council Tax Band – A council tax band indicates how much council tax will be paid; it is based on the value of the property. If you are marketing your rental property on an online platform, you should include the properties’ council tax band.

Deposit – A deposit is a lump sum taken from the tenant at the start of the tenancy which acts as a financial safety net for any deductions required when the tenancy ends, this deposit must be protected through a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.  

EICR – EICR stands for ‘Electrical Inspection Condition Report’ and should be carried out by a registered electrician once every 5 years in rental properties as a duty of care.

EPC – EPC stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ and is a certificate that measures the energy efficiency of a property on a rating scale from A – G. All privately owned properties must have a rating of at least E before they can be sold or let.

Furnished – If a rental property is furnished, then it includes everything needed to live in. There is no legal definition, but this usually includes wardrobes, dining table and chairs, sofas, TV and mattress.

Gas Safety Check – A gas safety check should be carried out annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A record of the check should be given to tenants within 28 days of completion or at the start of their tenancy.

Guarantor – More common amongst younger renters, having a someone as a guarantor means that the landlord can legally ask them to pay any rent due if the tenants fail to. There are also guarantor insurance policies now which can be used as an alternative.

HMO – HMO stands for ‘House in Multiple Occupation’. A property is classed as an HMO if there are shared facilities between members of different families. Different rules and legislation apply to HMOs across different counties within the UK.

How to Rent – How to rent is a guide produced by the Government to help tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. If you are a landlord, you need to provide tenants with an up to date version of this at the start of new tenancies.

Inventory – An inventory is a documentation of all the contents and condition of a property which is taken before a tenancy begins, this is then referenced at the end of the tenancy to document any changes in its condition. Taking a thorough inventory at the start of the tenancy and ensuring the tenant agrees with it can help avoid disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Joint Tenancy – A joint tenancy is where two or more people rent a property together & are jointly responsible for the items within the AST.

Kerb Appeal – Kerb appeal refers to how good the exterior of a property looks. This can include things like the guttering, paint, front garden and windows. A property with good kerb appeal can make a better first impression with prospective tenants.

Letting Agent – A letting agent (like us) is a third-party company that manages tenancies on a landlord’s behalf. At Abode, we offer tailored levels of service to suit any landlord, giving them the opportunity to have as much or as little involvement in managing the property as they want.

Long Let – A long let generally refers to a tenancy term that lasts longer than 6 months.

Managing Agent – Another term used to describe a letting agent or other third party responsible for the management of the property.

Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme – This is the scheme that landlords living abroad can use to pay tax when renting out a property in the UK. This tax can either be paid by a letting agent or the tenant. Take a look at some tips for managing UK rental property whilst living abroad.

Notice Period – This is the amount of time that the landlord or tenant must give the other party to end the tenancy.

Occupancy Rights – These rights are included within the tenancy agreement and give tenants the right to occupancy of the property.

PAT – PAT stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ which is an examination of electrical equipment to ensure it’s safe to use, this should be carried out by a registered electrician. Most professionals recommend that landlords have electrical equipment PAT tested annually or at a change of tenancy.

PCM – PCM stands for ‘Price per Calendar Month’ and relates to the cost of renting the property on a monthly basis.

Phone Interview – Before accepting a tenant, some landlords choose to carry out phone interviews to find out more about the person they might be renting to.

Reference Check – Before accepting a tenant, landlords or agents should check references from employers, credit agencies and previous landlords to ensure that tenants can afford the property and have been good tenants in the past.

Right To Rent – Before landlords can legally rent to a prospective tenant, they must check that they can legally rent in England, this is called their ‘right to rent’.

Section 21 – A section 21 notice is the notice a landlord must give a tenant to end the tenancy, this can only be used after the fixed tenancy term ends of if there isn’t a fixed end date. Landlords must always give tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave the property.

Short Let – A short let generally refers to a tenancy term that last 6 month’s or less.

Smart Meter – A smart meter is an energy meter that records electricity and energy usage in near real time. They are free and can benefit both landlords and tenants.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDTL) – Simply referred to as Stamp Duty, this is a tax paid on any property or land purchased over a certain price (£125,000). Visit our resources section for a free stamp duty calculator for landlords.

Sub Let – Sub-letting is where a tenant rents out the property or part of the property they are renting to another tenant. If you are a tenant, you will need approval from your landlord before you can sub-let.

TDP – TDP stands for ‘Tenancy Deposit Scheme’ and is a Government backed scheme that ensures tenants get their deposits back so long as they meet the terms of their tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property and pay the rent and bills.

Tenancy Agreement – The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document which details the terms of the rental, this should be agreed and signed to before any tenancy begins. It may also be referred to as a rental agreement.

Tenancy Void – This refers to the time in between tenancies where the property is left vacant, at Abode, we aim to keep the void between tenancies to a minimum of 8 days.

Tenant Fees Act – The Tenant Fees Act is the ban on letting agency fees that became law on 1st June 2019. Read our blog to find out more about the Tenant Fees Act.

Unfurnished – An unfurnished property will usually only include basic furnishings such as carpets, curtains and lighting. The tenant will be responsible for furnishing the property throughout their tenancy.

Valuation – A valuation is a survey or inspection of a property which gives landlord’s an estimate of how much they can rent it out for.

Viewings – Viewings are the tenant’s opportunity to come and take a look around the rental property before deciding whether or not to rent it.

Wear and Tear – Wear and tear is damage to the property caused by day to day living such as worn carpets or small scuffs on the wall. Wear and tear is not allowed to be deducted from deposits.

Young Professional – The term ‘young professional’ is generally used to describe an individual who is in their 20 – 30s working in a white-collar job.

Rightmove – Rightmove is an online platform where landlords can list their property to rent, other similar platforms include Zoopla, OpenRent and Prime Location. Letting agents also often have their own rental property list.