Landlords – reasons your property is rejected by potential tenants

Campbell & Co shop frontIs your property being overlooked by potential tenants? Do you have plenty of viewings but tenants are moving on to the next property? Here’s a few tips on what a potential tenant likes, or dislikes and how to furnish your rental property.

Tenants have a common goal – to live somewhere desirable for as little outlay as possible. In rental terms, whatever end of the financial spectrum your own property is in, there is no reason why the basics should not be right. The basics include clean floor coverings, it should be recently decorated and have fully functional, clean bathroom facilities. Without the basics in place, you should perhaps question if you should be offering the property in current condition.

Once you have the basics in place you need to consider other reasons that may affect a potential tenant decision making process when they view your property.

Here are a few reasons why your potential tenant is turned-off – fix these and you wont need an unoccupied property insurance quotation


Most tenants will be looking at the cost to heat your property and it is accepted that central heating is the most efficient way of providing this. Tenants are turned off by portable heating devices that are often inefficient and expensive to run. If you have oil central heating then consider changing it to mains gas if this is available in your area. Gas can be paid for on a monthly basis or using a meter so there is no large investment required by the tenant. Oil heating however has the big disadvantage that the tenant has to invest a sizeable amount of money to have the oil delivered to the oil tank for the property. There are costs for the tenant when moving into a property so if they are considering moving then they also have to factor the cost of a tankful of oil into the equation.

Too many stairs

Clearly you cannot do anything about the number of stairs in a property but do bear in mind the ease of moving into or out of a property that has a large number of stairs. If you are offering an unfurnished 3rd floor flat, your tenant will be concerned about the logistics of moving their furniture up the stairs and indeed whether it will fit when it goes up the staircase. In this situation it may be to your advantage to offer the property fully furnished and take the hassle away from a potential tenant (and you could collect a little more rent). You could buy good quality flat packed furniture, assemble it in the property and it can stay there for as long as is required.

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White goods

Tenants will prefer a property that doesn’t require then to buy white goods to fit. Or, they may already have a fridge / freezer for example but it won’t fit in your kitchen. It is often beneficial if you provide a fridge / freezer and other white goods which they can use during the term of the tenancy which, again, removes the decision making process from the person viewing the property. Make sure the white goods are modern, fully functional, free from fungal growth and completely clean. They WILL look in the fridge!

Curtains / blinds

Don’t underestimate the value of providing curtains / blinds at the windows. The writer of this article saw a property recently which had just been refurbished to a very good standard by a first time landlord. The property wouldn’t let, despite many viewings. The renovation process had removed all blinds and curtains and new curtain poles had been installed with no curtains. A tenant will not want to buy curtains / blinds for a property they may only live in for 6 or perhaps 12 months – a fact also overlooked by the letting agent. Curtains & blinds were subsequently installed, a fridge freezer purchased and the property was let to the very next viewer – so don’t under estimate the importance of this, everyone needs privacy!


This is a matter of personal choice of course. Carpets will attract dirt, bacteria and damp whereas wood, laminate, tiled or stone flooring can be cold and sometimes noisy. Often a compromise would be carpets in the bedrooms and other forms of flooring in other, higher traffic areas. Whatever you decide to provide for your tenants, it needs to be clean and in good condition.


Often the key to a successful let is the bathroom. It needs to be modern, clean, freshly decorated and it needs to have a shower, or shower over the bath with a decent screen. If you have anything less, many potential tenants will knock your property off the short list without even making an enquiry about seeing it.

Your personal choice of decor and furnishings

Remember, you won’t be living in your rental property so you don’t need to personalise it to your taste. A rental property needs to be furnished according to the type of tenant you are hoping to attract. In terms of décor, neutral colours are preferred by the vast majority – so don’t paint the bathroom dusky pink! Bold colours may be your thing but don’t do it in your investment property. A bright yellow leather sofa may suit you, but spare a thought for the tenants, who perhaps would prefer light brown or black!

Remember who the property is for – forget what you would want if it was your own home, get the basics right and you will vastly improve your chances of a successful letting.

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