Landlords: Quick Wins to Boost Your Annual Returns

4 minutes

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The better your property portfolio, the greater your yield. Follow our landlord checklist for ideas of how to boost your rental value and income.

Becoming a landlord can be an effective way to increase your income. Every month, tenants pay rent that can cover any outstanding mortgage payments, so you can keep the property while it increases in value. Eventually, you can either sell it when the market’s good or continue to let it out. 
Once you’ve got one property under your belt, you might start thinking about more. Getting on the landlord ladder can be difficult and expanding your portfolio can present its own challenges too. Many of the initial issues you might have faced will happen again, from finding properties that fit within your budget to negotiating the best possible deal. 
Instead of immediately looking to grow your portfolio, you might want to boost the monthly and annual yield on your current properties instead. There are many small and inexpensive steps you can take that will increase your rental value. 

I want to increase the rent - what do I need to know? 

There are various rules in place for private renting to protect tenants’ rights. Within the tenancy agreement it should include how and when rent will be reviewed. 
There are two types of tenancy agreements: 

Fixed-term tenancy – rent can be increased only when the tenant agrees during the tenancy, or when the fixed-term ends. 
Periodic tenancy (weekly or monthly) – usually rent can’t be increased more than once a year without the tenant’s agreement.

To increase rent, it needs to be by a fair and reasonable amount (still based around the local average). At least one months’ notice must be given for a periodic tenancy, or six months’ if it’s an annual fixed term. One of the most common times to increase rent is when taking on new tenants in a property, although rates must remain competitive.
Instead of immediately looking to grow your portfolio, you might want to boost the monthly and annual yield on your current properties instead.

How can I drive growth in my portfolio?

Whether you’ve got one house or a collection of flats, you’ll always be looking for cost-effective ways to increase your income. 
Prioritising long-term tenants is one way to ensure you receive regular payments each month. It also frees up your time to update other properties or grow your portfolio.
There are lots of small actions you can take as a landlord to improve the value of your properties, increase rent and expand your portfolio.  

Regular checks and maintenance

Simply focusing on the basic upkeep of your properties can help propel growth (or at least prevent a fall in value):

Regular checks 

Schedule these in monthly and include it on the tenancy agreement so there’s full disclosure before they sign.

Bring in the professionals 

Arrange for a cleaner to go in regularly to keep your property in top condition or at least before viewings. 

Take advantage of no tenants

If you’re transitioning between tenants, simply repainting rooms and installing new carpets and appliances can increase the rental value.

Green space

A garden can add up to 20% onto the value of a property depending on its size and style. When letting somewhere, no matter how big it is, a garden is a fantastic asset. It needs to be well maintained and suitable for the space. Simply adding decking or some plants in a concrete yard can make an outdoor area much more welcoming. 

Whose responsibility it is to take care of the garden needs to be clear and included in the tenancy agreement to prevent any problems. 

Personal touches 

When transitioning between tenants, including a few bonuses can be a great way to attract high end renters. This can be done by introducing a few new commodities, including:

  • New appliances, such as a smart fridge , TV or security systems 
  • Modern art
  • Up-to-date décor
  • New furniture 

You could also include a welcome hamper of essentials like coffee and biscuits, or a bunch of flowers and a card. This instantly gets your relationship off to a good start. These extras should appeal to tenants willing to spend more and stay longer, increasing your yield. Make sure whatever you spend may be covered by rental gains though. 

Search up and coming areas

When it does come to expanding your portfolio, identifying good deals in the market is crucial and being on the hunt for the next upcoming area is a strong place to start. 

Even finding a property that needs some work can be a good investment if it’s in the right area. Usually you’ll be able to grab a bargain and quickly increase its rental value with a lick of paint and some fresh carpets. 

Why landlords need specialist insurance

Whatever quick wins you make to boost your yield, it’s important you protect the property with specialist landlord insurance . Standard home, buildings and contents insurance is not enough, as it doesn’t account for third-party risks. Plus, some insurers might refuse to pay out if this insurance is on a rented property. 

When you’ve spent time and money upgrading your rental, the best landlord insurance will ensure all your hard work is protected. Accidental and intentional damage can include many factors, such as fire, storms and floods, which are out of your control.   

Consider LV= landlord insurance to protect your rented properties and for greater peace of mind after making an adjustment. 

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All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts.