Get The Best Out Of Your Rental Property In Belfast
Posted on 10 June 2016
There's an adage which insists that the three most important words on deciding where to live – regardless of whether the property is rented or owned – are location, location, location. As guidelines go, it’s not bad advice. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s far too simplistic, way too general and it fails to acknowledge other important factors. In plain language, would you consider the postcode more important than your actual living conditions? Would you settle for sub-standard accommodation in order to have an address in a ‘desirable area’? Thankfully it doesn’t have to be a case of either or; you can have both – the right property for you in the right part of town. That’s what Aria aim to provide, courtesy of offering first-class treatment to the property owner and the tenant. Treating landlords and tenants as being equally important is key to their approach as estate agents. That is crucial in that landlords, tenants and estate agents exist in an inter-dependent triangle. Tenants and landlords have wants and needs in the transaction. But they also have rights and responsibilities. A good landlord and a lousy tenant isn’t going to work. Ditto a conscientious tenant and a uncaring landlord. But a good landlord and a good tenant brought together by a good estate agent is a recipe for success. Renting in Belfast is commonplace these days and here Aria have considerable experience. As a result of that, they know what works for tenants and landlords alike. Aria also know what shows a property off in its best light, making it an attractive proposition. Experience has taught them that attention to detail produces results. Again it’s a case of the landlord being valued as much as the tenant and vice-versa. Houses for rent in Belfast currently are plentiful, with prices varying greatly in accordance with the size of the property, what it offers and where it is located. Aria’s landlords’ rents range from £400 to £2,000 per month. With that sort of scope, matching the right tenant with the right landlord and property is crucial. Aria deal with a vast range of homes. Short-term rental periods may vary from as little as a week or two weeks up to three or six months. They facilitate young professionals, families – either as units or single-parent situations – and people on benefits right up to corporate entities. When it comes to renting in Belfast, all types of people in all manner of situations are represented. That is why there is such a diversity of rental property – and why there is such a demand for it. The process of renting begins when, having contacted Aria, the would-be tenant is shown the house/flat/apartment in which he/she/they have expressed an interest. Following that their application is processed. If there is any work to be done to the property, that will be agreed in advance of the tenant moving in. On move-in day, Aria’s agent will meet the tenant at the rental property and together they will undertake a full walk-round and complete a detailed inventory of what’s what. Again that safeguards both resident and landlord. Based on what experience has taught Aria, that walk-round also entails an explanation of where fuse-boxes, trip-switches and stop-cocks for example are located. Hopefully you will never need to prove the value of having been given those details, but if ever you do you find yourself with a burst pipe or without electricity at 2 o’clock some morning, you probably will be glad to have been told in advance! And while being shown how to operate the heating system and where the immersion heater switch is situated may seem obvious enough things to include on the itinerary, the truth is that not all estate agents are as thorough and professional as Aria. Some just hand you the keys and expect you to get on with it. Aria tenants also are issued with a moving-in pack, inside which are all the required legal documents – rent book, statement of Tenancy Terms, information on how their deposit is securely held in a dedicated, registered account in keeping with recently-introduced legislation and, finally, a copy of the Tenant’s Charter. That’s a sizeable document put together by Aria to explain the landlord’s responsibilities, the tenant’s responsibilities and what to do in the case of an emergency. A significant feature of Aria’s commitment to excellence is the inclusion of a 24-7 back-up service which means that, outside normal office hours, they operate a call centre overspill 365 days a year. This means that in an emergency a message is forwarded to an Aria staff member who will get things sorted. It’s further proof of Aria’s undertaking to value the tenant the same as the landlord. The bottom line is that if tenants are kept happy, the landlord is kept happy, too. And that’s a vital double for Aria, not least because they don’t get paid if either party is dissatisfied.
Another vital part of Aria’s service is to ensure that landlords are advised on how to maximise their property’s potential. That means giving sound advice of how and where value can be added, as well as advising what level of rent is viable for the accommodation in question. That, of course, comes down to in-depth knowledge of the market and what is being paid for comparable property in the same location. For property to be in demand it has to be in a good decorative state – inside and out – to attract the right tenant. Here, too, Aria are proactive, ensuring that landlords complete any work they have undertaken to do. Changing a carpet, painting a room a more appropriate or acceptable colour, getting a paved area power-washed or making sure the garage is cleared out can make all the difference to a possible tenant accepting or rejecting the chance to move in.
To that end, Aria have short-notice access to a host of workers who can tend to all manner of indoor and outdoor jobs. A quick coat of paint, a lawn trim, an electrical repair, a general tidy-up? They will arrange it. Small changes can make a lot of difference. A spruce-up, a fresh look, neutral colours, a clean smell, no clutter, nothing broken – simple things like that create the right impression. The opposite also is true, however. In the world of rented property, time is money. The longer a property remains vacant, the more money it continues to lose. And that is counter-productive to everything a landlord wants; void periods during which that house or flat lies vacant are anathema to him or her. It’s a simple enough equation: good property = good rental income from good tenants. Aria’s aim is to provide all three.