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Property spec and location tips

PROPERTY SPEC AND LOCATION TIPS FOR PROSPECTIVE OWNERS

Many factors and combinations of factors affect the ‘lettability’ of a property so that it is not possible to provide a template for success. However, the following points represent some key features which are important in our experience.

Location

• City centre locations are very desirable: studio apartments, one and two bedroom apartments in a central location are at a premium.
• Other good  locations  include Jericho and Summertown followed by Iffley,  South Oxford and West Oxford, Wolvercote, Headington and Marston.
• Less popular areas of Oxford and out-of-town locations can still get good occupancy but require a rental rate which clearly represents good value.
• Three-bedroom (and also two-bedroom) properties which offer  very good value when calculated on a per person per night basis (although the property is always charged at a weekly rate) can achieve high occupancy.
• Attractive town/village locations outside Oxford but within commuting distance – e.g. Woodstock – can achieve good occupancy as they attract both holiday visitors and corporate guests.
• The following features are all desirable: safe, quiet residential area, nice view, nearby shops and buses.

Property spec

• The property must be very well-presented and well-equipped in a way that makes an immediate good impression on guests who expect executive-level standards. If the property in any way falls below tip-top condition, this must be clearly reflected in the rental.
• It must be well-decorated, inside and out.
• The furniture must be of good quality, also the flooring, curtains, lighting etc.
• There must be a good heating system and good water pressure in the property.
• There should be pictures and mirrors on the walls.
• A good quality fitted kitchen is required with all the features and appliances necessary for self-catering guests including adequate cupboard storage, microwave, oven and hob, fridge with freezer compartment, washing machine with tumble dryer (or other system for clothes drying) etc. A dishwasher is recommended but not absolutely essential. Crockery and cutlery should be good quality, durable and dishwasher safe.
• The bathroom should be of good quality. Separate shower with shower cubicle is preferable to bath with shower over and a power shower is a bonus as is an en-suite second bathroom for two-bedroom properties.
• The living/dining area requires smart, comfortable seating with sofa and/or armchairs for the full occupancy of the apartment, plus a good quality dining table plus chairs for the full occupancy plus one or two guests if possible. Coffee table, lamps, bookshelves etc are required, depending on space available, to make this area welcoming and homelike.
• The bedrooms require very good quality, comfortable beds and bedding  plus adequate storage space including hanging space, a full-length mirror, bedside tables and reading lamps.
• The property must have Wi-Fi Internet connection unless this is impossible for some reason, and an up-to-date TV/DVD with Freeview. Cable/Satellite TV is a bonus.
• The property requires a utility cupboard with ironing board, vacuum cleaner and drying rack.
• Outdoor areas such as a courtyard garden, private or communal, are a bonus and must be well-maintained. If there is a garden, this should contain garden furniture for outdoor eating.
• A telephone at the property is not essential as everyone now has a mobile phone.
• A parking space is a bonus.