So you have just bought a new property to rent out but it’s obvious that the place has seen better days? Before you start with the refurbishment it is wise to take a step back and consider the best way to go about this. Many landlords have embarked on extensive refurbishments of their rental properties only to realise that some of the work they have undertaken does actually not increase the amount of rent they are able to achieve.
Time is an important consideration in any refurbishment programme as you will generally not be able to let the property until the refurbishment is complete. A quick and effective refurbishment programme can help to increase the amount you are able to change tenants to rent from you while keeping the void period caused by the refurbishment to a minimum. Keeping it simple really pays off here. Firstly, consider doing the work that has the highest visual impact but is quick to complete. Painting walls, radiators and doors can make a rental property much more appealing with only a couple of days work. New curtains and a few pieces of cheap but well chosen furniture can transform a room instantly. New flooring or tiling will take longer but might be worth the time and money if the property to rent is in a poor condition. If possible, stay away from any major alterations, such as kitchen extensions, window replacements and structural work. While these are things you might want to do in your own house, always bear in mind that this is not a place where you will live yourself. All these works will take a considerable amount of time while having very little or no effect on the achievable rent. Neutral Always Wins
Although it is tempting to decorate according to your own taste, decorating a property to rent is not the same as refurbishing your own house. Your flats or houses for rent should appeal to a wide range of potential tenants. To achieve this, all decoration should be neutral in colour. Tenants are then able to put their own stamp on the property to rent by hanging pictures and through their belongings. Painting all walls white is ideal – not only does it give the property to rent a clean and airy feel, it is also the cheapest paint to buy. Keep in mind that you will need to paint over marks and scratches when the tenants move out. This will be easy if all the walls are white, but it will be a lot harder to find a matching colour for anything else in a couple of years time.
Advertising a Property to Rent While Refurbishing
You should start advertising and looking for tenants as soon as possible, even while the works are going on. Most tenants won’t mind this and might indeed be taken by the idea of being able to move into an apartment or house for rent which has just been refurbished. It will also give you time to collect references and carry out credit checks while completing the refurbishment. As soon as the paint is dry your new tenants will be able to move in, keeping the void period to an absolute minimum.