Chances are folks do not care how close your rental is to Massy if it means forking out a pretty penny for a space with – among other things – a butt-ugly bathroom. What is the asking price even based on – and in these times? Maybe a realtor can chime in and help us out, but we all know the real issue is the lack of functioning rent regulations in Trinidad and Tobago. Because without it, property owners are free to charge whatever they deem fit. But dear, sweet property owners, if your unit has been sitting on the market for far too long, please understand it might be because some of us expect better. I mean, now more than ever, people need homes that are nice to be in. We barely have anywhere to go as it is. If you’re offering is not up to par, you may need to make some changes or consider lowering your asking price. Renters, chime in and let me know if you agree.
1. Nicer Bathrooms
I have seen properties both for rent and for sale that completely lost me at the bathroom. Where alyuh finding these tiles? And who tell alyuh it looking good? There are rentals with bathrooms that look germy because of the style of tile used. Who wants to clean themselves in a space that appears germy? I don’t. Steer clear of patterned tiles. Keep it simple and keep it neutral.
Another practice I find particularly unattractive is having the lower half of bathroom walls tiled. The style itself is not that bad, but it may require a bit of design expertise to get it right. Again, keep it simple by either having the entire bathroom tiled or (other than the shower area) omit tiles, altogether.
2. A Living Room
Is no living room trending? What is this idea that the kitchen is the living room? Do people actually like not having enough space to place a sofa, a TV, and perhaps a coffee table? If there’s not enough space for a living room, best make it a studio. Am I alone here?
3. The Kitchen
The kitchen is another area, potential renters pay close attention to. Ensure ample space for a refrigerator and stove. And if the unit is small, include a range hood, so people can stew their chicken without smoking up the place. You get major points if the kitchen has a double bowl or one of those large farmhouse sinks. Lastly, don’t be afraid to go old-school in the kitchen by mixing modern with an 18th-century farmhouse-style kitchen like the one pictured below. I personally am here for it.
4. Laundry Area
Ask anybody – an uncovered laundry area is not it. A modern laundry setup is preferred. Instead of the tap and utility sink setup, make better use of space by having water lines, drainage, and a dryer vent installed on a wall.
5. Natural Light
There seems to be a trend where newer buildings are being designed with fewer windows per unit. And the installed windows are way too small, leaving the space with a dark, jail-cell type of look-and-feel. The installation of numerous ceiling lights is nice and all, but it should not be used as a replacement for good, old, natural light! Natural light is a huge selling point for any home. It poses several benefits, including the reduction of stress and anxiety. Allow your tenants the opportunity to change the energy of their space with natural light.
This one is especially cringe. Please, do yourselves a favour and stop with the bright pink, purple and green walls. Keep it neutral. Neutrals appeal to a wider audience of potential renters so, you stand a better chance of getting your unit(s) off the market by sticking to neutrals. Additionally, lighter colours will have your space appear bigger and brighter. Think greys, blues, and tans for a modern look.
Make your rental functional. Provide storage in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. If there is no storage in these areas, rooms should be large enough to fit storage devices that renters will need to bring with them. A tiny room with no storage just does not make sense.
8. Electrical Outlets
The more outlets, the better. What’s with the one per room?
9. Lights, Cameras, Access
Everyone needs to feel safe, especially at home. And so, a well-lit compound, high walls, high gates, burglar proofing, and barb wire are ideals. Bonus points if there are cameras installed and tenants are provided access to said cameras.
Of course, some potential renters will not require parking. However, no parking and street parking are two off-putting phrases at a particular price point. Additionally, an electronic gate is a nice-to-have that is becoming quite common.
11. Privacy (especially if you live on the compound)
First, please don’t be a helicopter landlord. Just don’t do it. Your tenants are not your children. Allow them privacy to live and operate like adults. Second, having way too many units, on one compound, and so close, it feels like you live with the neighbours, is highly unappealing.
12. Market your Space
All that’s left to do is capture beautiful shots of your rental and get it listed on LOCAL(868).
Once your rental is off the market, the likelihood of keeping it that way is greater if you practice being a great landlord. Treat the relationship with your tenant(s) the same as you would any other client relationship. Maintain your property, ensure your tenants are comfortable and happy and success is all yours.
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Jacqui holds a Bsc in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich and is the creative director and founder of LOCAL(868). She's obsessed with anything and everything to do with information systems, startups, entrepreneurship, and branding. She also enjoys cooking, music and other areas of the creative arts.