Gloucestershire is a hugely popular place to live and demand for rental properties is on the rise.
SoGlos spoke to estate agent Naylor Powell’s lettings manager to get some expert tips on how to choose a buy-to-let property, the jobs landlords should be doing and how to attract the very best tenants in a crowded market.
About the expert – Kate Mason, lettings manager at Naylor Powell
Kate Mason is the lettings manager for Naylor Powell, having joined the team at Gloucester Docks in 2016, and offers expert knowledge, drawing on her invaluable experience with landlords and vendors.
Naylor Powell has been trusted by buyers, sellers and landlords since 1982 and celebrated its 40th anniversary in March 2022 – with multiple generations of Gloucestershire families coming back to the business time and time again.
What is the rental market like in Gloucestershire at the moment?
The demand for rented property is always high in the county, however in recent months, supply has become a real challenge. We believe this is due to a number of factors – most
notably, tenants are not moving as much as they were due to the lack of choice available to them. This is stagnating the market somewhat.
Gloucestershire is an excellent location for investors, giving higher than national average rental yields, so we hope more properties become available to fill this gap. Figures from Rightmove show that rental prices across the south west have risen by 12.2 per cent in the past year.
Which areas of Gloucestershire have the highest demand for rental properties?
The whole county has a very healthy demand for rented property and there is a lack of supply across the board. City centre apartments to country homes are all in high demand with different tenants.
We would advise any landlords who are looking to invest in Gloucestershire to chat to us first about the type of property they are looking for and the budget they have to spend, and we can advise the most appropriate areas to focus their search.
Which kind of rental properties are most in demand?
All property types are popular; however, apartments and smaller houses will always attract a higher number of tenants. Larger homes may not see large waiting lists of potential tenants, but will demand higher rental values and potentially longer-term tenants. Gloucestershire has always been a desirable area to live in, being a commutable shire offering city living with the countryside in easy reach.
What can landlords do to get the maximum return from their rental properties? For example, which refurbishment jobs are likely to add the most value?
We believe in ‘speculate to accumulate’ and the reason for this is we find that more up-to-date properties achieve a much higher rental income and attract a more professional tenant, who treat the property as their own.
The modern tenant is willing to pay a premium for a better-quality property. Simple things like updating the decoration every three to five years; completing routine maintenance during the tenancy; and replacing floor coverings when they look tired. We all know that kitchens and bathrooms have an expiration date so we would advise replacing when needed to keep these vital parts of the house in good order.
How can landlords make sure their rental properties stand out in a crowded market?
To make sure your property stands out from the crowd, it is important to ensure your agent is offering a bespoke marketing plan and is up to date with all the technology available.
At Naylor Powell, we pride ourselves on offering a premium marketing package to our landlords. This includes professional quality photographs, detailed floorplans, and 3D virtual tours.
The presentation of the property for advertising must also be kept to a high standard, which includes maintaining outside spaces and that all-important ‘kerb appeal’.
How can landlords select the best tenants for their property? How can Naylor Powell help with this?
We treat your rental property as if it was our own, ensuring your prospective tenants are best suited. We use an external referencing company who complete comprehensive checks to include a credit check, income and a Right to Rent check. After these initial checks have been made, we will then look to take up references to check suitability.
Conversations between the agent and landlord are also vital in order to gage what type of tenancy they are looking for – short-term, long-term and so on.
Is now a good time to invest in a rental property?
Yes! With the uncertainty of stocks and shares, property is an investment you can see. The property market can, of course, also be volatile, but over an average term of ownership of say 20 years, the cycle has always proven to be positive.
What advice would you give to first-time landlords?
Don’t try and cut costs. Use an experienced agent who can guide you through the myriad of rules and regulations. Buy-to-let is not as simple as it may first seem and mistakes can be expensive or worse, fatal.
Ensure that you have a healthy balance to be able to cover the unexpected eventualities and look after your property and tenant. The happier your tenant, the longer they will stay.
When looking to buy, buy the best property in your budget. The better the property, the better the rent and the better and happier the tenant.
Naylor Powell also offers a property management service. What does this entail?
At Naylor Powell, we want to make the journey of owning an investment property as stress free as possible. We ensure all properties are compliant to the necessary regulations, as well as updating landlords with the frequent amendments to these regulations.
We complete pre-tenancy checks and complete a detailed, photographic inventory documenting all the fixtures and fittings as well as the condition of the property. During the tenancy, we would account for the rent, complete routine inspections which are covered under the management fee, and arrange any maintenance or compliance works during the tenancy.
At the end of the tenancy, we arrange the final inspection and notify you with a detailed, photographic check-out report. In this report, we also advise of any maintenance needed following the tenants vacating.