21st November 2018
There will come a point during your time as a landlord that a refurbishment will be needed on your investment property. This is recommended before the property becomes too tired and jaded as you want to ensure you keep a high-quality property so you attract high calibre tenants. You will also find your maintenance costs will increase when an interior is nearing the end of its life.
It can be tempting when refurbishing a property to make style choices that you personally like, however it is best to make choices that work best for your investment. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I have picked up along the way during my 12 years with Moores:
Décor: Although it may not be overly exciting, a neutral colour palette is usually the best way to go when decorating a rental property. You need it to be functional and easy to maintain. You are also trying to appeal to a mass market and we find that neutral never upsets anyone. Having said that don’t be afraid to have accents walls and a flourish of colour to ensure your property has a wow factor and stylish finish.
Kitchen Worktops: It is always best to avoid real wood worktops. Whilst they are very beautiful and something you may choose in your own home, they can be tricky to care for and we have encountered a fair few damaged wooden worktops at the end of a tenancy – usually water and heat damage which can be expensive to remedy. You can get really good quality granite/marble style melamine worktops which are hard wearing, tenant friendly and still look the part.
Washing Machine: Opt for a washer dryer if you can. This will encourage tenants to dry their clothes in the machine rather than drying them on the radiators in the property (or even over wooden doors which we see from time to time). This will ensure you keep your property dry and free from condensation mould issues.
Extraction: Internal bathrooms and kitchens can become problem zones in tenanted properties as tenants find it difficult to keep the rooms ventilated (as they have no window). It can be tempting to save money and not have extraction systems in these rooms however I would recommend spending the extra money to ensure these rooms remain dry and well ventilated. You will spend more money in the long run to repair damaged décor and fittings from a build-up of condensation mould.
Integrated Appliances: These do help your kitchen have a stylish finish, however we have learned over the years that the upkeep and replacement cost of integrated appliances is a lot higher than free standing appliances. You may opt for integrated in your own home, however they are not necessary in a rental property and your money can be better spent somewhere else.
These are just a few bits of advice I offer to landlords when they are choosing how to refurbish their rental property. It’s thinking with your landlord hat on rather than your homeowner heart.
We offer advice to all our landlords who have our Full Management Service. Our maintenance team can also arrange refurbishments for you and will project manage them from start to finish. If you would like to hear more about our Full Management service then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Phone: 0113 239 9750