You can improve the odds of achieving a quick let of your Barbican flat at the best rent.
Nicola gives you some suggestions, distilled from over 20 years’ experience of letting flats in the Barbican estate.
Q: What is your first tip for letting a Barbican flat?
‘Fresh and white’ rents a Barbican property quickly! The whole flat must look fresh and clean. So you should have the flat professionally cleaned. That is the absolute minimum to achieve a good letting of a Barbican flat.
Q: You said that was the minimum; what else would you recommend to assist with letting a Barbican flat?
It would be better if the flat could be painted white including the woodwork. It is one of the most effective things you can do to attract tenants in the Barbican.
Q: Anything else in terms of sprucing the flat up?
Remove any mildew on the silicone around the bath and on the grout between the tiles in your bathroom. It’s often a problem with original Barbican bathrooms particularly. That really puts tenants off. You must get that cleaned away completely and it is simple to do.
Q: What about carpets?
It depends on their state. If they are worn or stained, it would probably be a good investment to re-carpet your Barbican flat in a fashionable plain colour – pale grey, is a popular colour at the moment.
Q: Do you have to do anything to comply with legal requirements in the Barbican Estate?
There are legal requirements which apply to lettings anywhere, not just the Barbican Estate. These are some examples. You have to have working smoke alarms in all principal rooms. You must make sure that any furniture you provide complies with the latest legal requirements for fire safety. Acceptable items of furniture must have a special tags to certify that they meet the necessary standards.
Q: How far should you go in removing things? Personal possessions obviously …
Yes, definitely. You have to remove all your personal belongings. You’d expect to do that; but you may not be too clear where to draw the line if you are letting a Barbican flat partially furnished. Basically, you should take away all textiles – cushions, towels, and bed linen stored in wardrobes and cupboards. One exception though – leaving a mattress protector is a good idea.
Q: Anything you should specifically leave in your Barbican flat?
Even if a Barbican flat is let completely unfurnished, leave a toilet brush and a vacuum cleaner to encourage cleanliness. And one other thing, a small thing. Even if you take down pictures, leave a few picture hooks in place to avoid the tenants knocking new holes in the walls.
Q: Are there any additional precautions you would advise to make sure the letting of your Barbican flat goes smoothly?
I would recommend having an inventory clerk prepare a detailed inventory of what is being left in your Barbican flat and a schedule of condition of all the rooms. This will be very useful at the end of the tenancy if you have to argue with the tenant about whether you are entitled to deduct anything from the rent deposit for any damage. Since it takes both the landlord’s and the tenant’s written consent to agree any deductions from rent deposits, agreeing an inventory at the start keeps the chances of any dispute to a minimum.