So, you’re a soon-to-be landlord. You’ve found a property that you want to rent out – but to generate the level of rent you need, there’s some work to do!
It’s hard to know where to start and what to focus on when renovating a rental property. As a new landlord, budgets are tight too. Let us help you drive the best value from the property with the following top tips for your first renovation…
The kitchen can be where you win or lose a tenant. Everyone is looking for a clean, bright and modern space for cooking and eating. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune refitting it. Often you can completely change the look and feel of a kitchen by painting or replacing cabinet doors. Flooring is important too – replace old, cracked or dirty floors. Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, hard wearing and easy to install.
Bathrooms are also very important. Make sure there is a shower in the property – this is a must for tenants. Clean or regrout any mouldy or stained tiling, and make sure the flooring is fit for bare feet! Most people like a well-lit bathroom – it’s not expensive to add a bar of spotlights in place of a single bulb.
When it comes to the décor throughout the property, avoid strong colours or vibrant wallpaper. It’s well worth repainting any bold colours, as people’s tastes vary widely. Stick to whites, pale greys and subtle pastels.
Take a moment to see through your tenant’s eyes as you walk into the property. Is the front door clean and inviting? Is the hallway uncluttered and welcoming? The early seconds of a viewing are important.
It can be tempting to overspend to get the property looking not just good, but great. But make sure your numbers add up. You need to regain the amount you’ve spent through the rent. If it’s a student property generating just a few hundred pounds a month, that could take years. Also. keep some money back for replacing carpets or repainting should your tenants cause any damage.
In some locations, a flat with outside space is like gold-dust. Even if many rental properties in your area have gardens, a neat and tidy space can be a huge selling point. Again, consider your target tenant. Are they likely to do any weeding or mowing? If not, decking and slabs will make it a low-maintenance outdoor haven.
How your property looks is important, but keeping your tenants safe is crucial. Get the property checked by a gas specialist and electrician. Make sure all the door locks are in top condition, that there are working smoke detectors and that there are no trip hazards inside or outside the property. Check that there are safety catches on windows that open wider than 10cm.
Renovating and renting your first property is both exciting and nerve-wracking, but these tips should set you on the road to success. For further ideas and support, feel free to email Adam our Sourcing and Development Manager - and good luck!