Landlords – Your BVI Real Estate COVID-19 Questions Answered

By Megan McCann | Published July 13, 2020

Smiths Gore have been operating in the BVI for over fifty years. Our resilience and knowledge enables us to adapt to the changing world & ensure we are continuously delivering the same trusted service to our community.

Covid-19 is reconfiguring many aspects of our lives and it is not easy to keep pace with the trajectory of the pandemic’s impact on the economy and real estate sector. The long-term rental market faces a number of obvious challenges. Demand will decrease with no new arrivals for a while and supply will increase with a number of vacation/short term rental properties entering the marketplace. That said, there are still tenants looking to move, whether by choice or necessity and landlords need to adapt and rise up to engage in a meaningful way with this increasingly competitive market.

We hope you find our top tips below useful.

Hygiene and cleanliness will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now so make sure your place is sparkling. There is no better time to give your property a really deep clean.  Ensure all appliances are spotless, windows are shining and floors, fixtures and fittings are scrubbed and polished.

It is easy for a property to get stuffy and first impressions count. If tenants are choosing to spend long hours at home, a fresh atmosphere is imperative. Open the windows and let the trade winds in.

This goes a long way! A coat of neutral paint can make a world of difference. It will make the property look newer, cleaner and can also increase the perception of space.

Make sure the hot water pressure, light bulbs & batteries in the remotes all work. When tenants view a property, they turn things on and test it out. This is their first impression of you as a landlord and you want to impress!

With economic changes on the horizon, including fixed rate services such as cable TV, WiFi or weekly maid service, will be a very attractive option. Avoiding contracts and the set up process is also a huge bonus for tenants. It may not increase your profit margins, but it will increase your potential to rent your property.

With tenants spending extended periods at home, you want to present the property as a blank canvas. Personal decorations, family photos & trinkets can be distracting for them as they will want to visualize where they will put their belongings. Hanging mirrors are a great way to add the feeling of light and space.

Many tenants may want to social distance for some time to come. Create a handbook with instructions for your appliances and property quirks.  It’s also helpful to provide a list of local amenities (restaurants, sports clubs, day care, shops, car mechanic etc). This will present you as being an organized, thoughtful and reputable landlord.

This may prove to be needed or desired more and more going forwards so if you can create a space in your property for a work station and furnish with a deck and chair that will have appeal.

If tenants chose to spend evenings and weekends at home they will want to sit quietly and relax on the deck or in the garden. Make sure external spaces are well maintained with the grass cut and grounds are tidy.