Keeping your property fresh and up to date not only ensures you maximise the rental potential but it is also means you are much more likely to find good quality tenants who stay for longer. However, refurbishing property can quickly turn into a costly and arduous process. Here are nine refurbishment tips every Landlord should know.
How far do I go ?
Knowing how far to take the refurbishment on a rental property can be difficult. Do you really need to replace the whole kitchen or will changing the cupboard fronts and appliances suffice? What colour carpet should you choose and should you remove the bath to install that large walk in shower? Ultimately you need to know your market. This can vary greatly depending on where your property is located and the tenant demographic in your area. Therefore, it is important you seek advice from your local letting expert who will be able to advise you on what tenants will come to expect.
Budget & Contractors
Be realistic with your budget and make sure you allow for contingences. Always seek more than one quote and be sure to check contractors’ credentials and that they have the correct level of insurance.
Timing is everything
Plan any refurbishment work early to keep vacant periods to a minimum. The longer it takes to renovate the property the larger the hit to your income. Not only will you miss out on the potential rent but you will also be liable to pay council tax and utilities whist the property is vacant.
*Buildings Insurance – often if your rental property is unoccupied for over 30 days (some policies allow for longer periods) it can invalidate your policy so if you’re doing substantial renovation work where your property will remain empty for over 30 days then it is recommended you contact your insurer to inform them.
Where to start
Sometimes all you need is to replace the flooring, install new fixtures, and paint the walls and ceilings. However, it is advisable to renovate kitchens and bathrooms every 10 – 15 years as a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom can increase your rental yield by as much as 50% compared to other renovations. Tenants are turned off by old dirty kitchens or mouldy bathrooms that are in serious need of updating. Neither of these rooms should look outdated. If you’re considering doing any updates, these are the two rooms you should focus on.
Remember you are not living there.
Keep paint and carpet colours neutral. Yes, it can appear boring but every “personal touch” you add to the property is a potential repellent to prospective tenants.
Tiles, Tile & More Tiles
If in doubt, tile it. This goes for walls and floors in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms – all the rooms that have plumbing and as they can get moist and prone to mould.
For walls, tiles last way longer than paint and they’re resistant to mould. Choose dark grouting – especially for floor tiles where dirt from shoes quickly turns light grouting dark everywhere, but the corners of the room, which looks terrible.
Mould-proof your property
In the UK, mould is a common downside to owning a property. It’s also a serious health risk for your tenants, so you must protect them from ill health and yourself from a lawsuit by having a strategy to fight mould. What you’ll need if your property is prone to mould:
Anti-mould paint or paint additives
Clauses in your tenancy agreement that make it mandatory for your tenants to air the bathroom and kitchen by using the extractor fans you’ve supplied.
Click Here to view the guide we issue to all our tenants about preventing mould.
Don’t skimp on cheap, shiny fittings
Unfortunately tenants aren’t as interested in ‘looking after things’ as much as you are. Avoid cheap online fittings as in the hands of tenants they will break.
Spend a little extra on good quality flooring
Floors really make a huge impact on the feeling of a property. They obviously get the most kicking out of any of the features of your flat or house, so they’re the biggest receivers of wear and tear.
Where you can, tile your floors for the above reasons. Tough, laminate flooring is the second-best choice for hard floors, however in flats you will need to check that your head lease allows the installation of hard floors.
Use carpets in bedrooms and avoid carpets that contain wool as they can be prone to carpet moth. I reasonable synthetic carpet with a good quality underlay will be hard wearing and easier for tenants to clean.
Here is a selection of properties we have recently refurbished.
One Bedroom ground floor garden flat in London W4
- Rent before refurbishment - £1200pcm.
- Rent after refurbishment - £1600pcm.