We’ve recently written about how to make small improvements to your property to make it attractive to potential tenants, as well as how to avoid high repair bills in the longer term. However, every landlord knows that there are times when more extensive refurbishment might be needed.
Properties can easily soak up cash and, if they do, they don’t make a very good investment. So make sure that you stay detached from your rental property and view improvements purely as a business upgrade, not as a work of love.
So where should you spend your money? In our experience, the following areas make an immediate difference:
1. The oven – To attract the best tenants, you need to sell them a lifestyle. A sparkling new or professionally-cleaned cooker shows that a property is well looked after, and indicates that tenants will be getting good value for money.
2. Window frames – Structurally speaking, nothing dates a property more than its window frames. If you’re blessed with wonderfully-restored wooden sash windows, this can be a pro; but if you’re stuck with old-fashioned metal frames, it’s worth considering the cost of upgrading. You may find it pays off!
3. Bathrooms – In a rented property, no room makes more difference than the bathroom. Just a few alterations here can change the general feel of a property from ‘cheap’ to ‘luxury’. Appliances should be white, sterile and modern; and floors should be lino, laminate or tiled – no carpet or avocado suites please! If you’re aiming for the young professional market, a power shower will reap rewards.
4. Conservatories – For the family market, a modern and high-quality conservatory (NOT a glass lean-to) is often advantageous and can offer a new versatile living space at relatively low cost.
5. Off-street parking – Know your area: is parking a regular problem? Will your likely tenants be driving? If so, off-road parking may be a winner. Many people love a front garden but if you’re regularly finding that tenants neglect the front lawn or don’t water the flowers, block-paving the buffer garden could kill two birds with one stone.
Have you seen a difference from these projects in any of your properties? If so, do get in touch to let us know – we’d love to hear about your experiences.