Renovating a Rental Property… Here’s what you need to know

If you are a landlord or about to become a landlord, how you renovate your rental property will depend on two main factors: the location of your property and who you intend to rent your property out to.

If, for example, your property is in a not-so-sought-after area, chances are that the rental income you receive will not justify a large spend on renovating the property. Similarly, if you are renting it out to students, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to use Farrow & Ball paint or Miele appliances.

On the other hand, if your property is in an affluent area and your tenants are likely to be young couples or families, then you may not mind spending a bit more to make it look and feel truly homely and luxurious.

However, regardless of where your property is or who your tenant is, there are some elements you must consider for any property to receive the highest possible rental yield.

If you need any help with renovating your rental property, give us a call on 0208 191 7595 or better still, why not book us in for a FREE consultation.

  1. Safety is no.1

As a landlord, you are legally required to providegas and electricity equipment and systems that are safe and installed by qualified suppliers. This is not an area to cut costs. Ensuring that your property is safe is your primary responsibility. Make sure you conduct all the gas and fire safety checks before renting it out.

PAT-test all white goods and electrical items by a qualified electrician.

If you are providing a furnished space, check all soft furnishings like sofa’s and upholstered chairs are fire-proof (they should have a label).

We recommend you conduct these safety checks before each new tenant moves in and provide the relevant certificates to your tenant as part of the tenancy documentation.

  1. Make it look good

No one is going to rent a property that doesn’t appeal to the eye at the first instance. A bright, airy and clean property will attract the right tenants at the price you want. Make sure your property is thoroughly cleaned and upgraded in between tenants.

A deep clean of the property, newly washed windows, a coat of paint, new curtains perhaps and fresh plants will add to the look and feel of the property.

  1. Think long-term

There are some things you MUST NOT compromise on whether your rental property is for a high-end tenant or not. These are:

Boilers – replacing a boiler is expensive and painful. We recommend you invest in a good quality boiler at the outset, installed by a qualified gas-safety certified engineer. A well-installed, good quality boiler can last at least 10-15 years.

Bathroom Fittings – Go for the good ones. Whilst you can cut costs on the ceramics (toilet, bath and sink), if you choose poor quality fittings, you are likely to receive regular calls from your tenants to repair leaks, change tap washers, shower heads and pipes.

Tiles – Tile all walls around a shower and bath, not just the bits you think will get wet. Overspray from a shower will damage walls, floors and decorations, and cost you a lot more than a couple of square metres of tiling.

  1. Everyone loves storage

Give your tenants plenty of storage. This will allow them to keep the property clutter-free and tidy. Invest in building storage if you don’t have enough. Fitted cupboards, loft access, garage access, storage cupboards under the staircase and in-built bookshelves amongst others can give your tenants the space they need to neatly tuck their stuff out of sight.

  1. Furniture & Flooring – strike a balance

When you are buying furniture for a rental property, you’ll have to strike a balance between choosing that which you love and that which is practical. Choose hard-wearing, good quality and aesthetically pleasing furniture, especially if you expect wear and tear.

We’ve always advised clients not to “go for the cheap.” Whilst, this may save you money in the short-term, you will pay for it in the long-term by needing to replace it sooner than you had expected.

Laminates are one of the best options for flooring for a rental property. Carpets are not practical. They can get extremely dirty and need regular replacing. We suggest you choose mid to top end laminate boards as they are more robust and need much less attention than real or engineered wood. Washed oak and French grey are very popular finishes these days.

  1. Let there be light

A property that’s dark and dingy will put off any potential tenants. If there is not enough natural sunlight, install lamps and other forms of lighting to brighten up the place. You don’t need to spend a fortune on lighting. Go for neutral, plain coloured floor and table lamps that give the space a sense of airiness. If you have ceiling light fixtures, choose lampshades that face downwards to spread the light. Avoid large, ornate chandeliers that may not be to your tenant’s taste. The simpler the better.

As builders, we have worked with several clients on sprucing up their rental properties so that it looks great, but doesn’t break the bank. At the end of the day, if it looks and feel like a home, your tenants are likely to treat it as such.

Give us a call on 0208 191 7595 if you’d like to have a chat on how we can help you get your property tenant-ready.

Why not download our brochure to have a look at the kind of work we do?