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Well maintained and well presented?

If good properties attract good tenants, what can you expect to attract if you have a pest problem?

I’m a Virgo so I love lists, from daily to-do lists to holiday checklists to bucket lists. Recently I came across a Tenant Viewing Checklist and was very excited!

I started reading – Is the house safe? Does it have kerb appeal? Does it have enough bedrooms? Is it close to good schools? Does it need decorating internally? Are there signs of pests – droppings and slug trails? Erm, sorry - slug trails?!

I was a little surprised as I'd have thought an absence of pests is a pre-requisite so do slugs really need to appear on a viewing checklist? I can't imagine considering making a compromise between a dishwasher and sharing with mice!

Now that may be a really simplistic view and if you do come across slug trails it may be that the landlord is already dealing with the problem, but in general not only would I be walking away from a property with obvious mouse droppings but I’d be giving that landlord/ agent a pretty wide berth too!

It reminded me of when I was carrying out some research before setting up Belvoir Enfield. I went to a few viewings with landlords and agents, and on one particular afternoon I went out with an agent to view four properties.

The first was 20 minutes’ walk from Enfield Town station - I’d asked for no more than 10 minutes, the second was nice but was part furnished - I needed unfurnished, the third was very, very small and the fourth was horrible. The sight and smell of the kitchen had me heading for the door without seeing the rest of the flat. ‘Was any work going to be carried out?’ I asked. ‘Painting, cleaning, rubbish removal?’ Nope, that was it, it would be let as seen.

What struck me was not how many other boxes the flat ticked but rather that I never wanted to deal with that agent again. She hadn’t listened to what I wanted and had no qualms about offering me something that was really quite disgusting!

More importantly for tenants though, if a landlord or agent is offering you a dirty and poorly maintained property, how seriously are they going to treat their ongoing duty of care towards you?

And for landlords, well maintained properties attract good tenants. If you don't care about your property then why should your tenant?

For more hints and tips on successfully letting your property please see other articles in the Enfield Property Blog.

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