3 Essential Renovations for Landlords
If you’ve just invested in a buy to let and are naturally looking to attract the best paying tenants you can find then you’ll obviously want to have the flat up to spec. You might even be planning to renovate in order to make it appeal to a larger group of friends (ie by adding on a bedroom) or a family (by creating an open kitchen). Or even a mix of both.
Renovations can be expensive and a buy to let is a business so it’s important to ensure you’ll recoup that cash from rental income within a reasonably quick time.
What’s really important in this type of scenario ie where you are planning a renovation project for others to live in, is that you take your own tastes and preferences out of the equation.
That’s because not only will you find that others probably don’t share your décor tastes (and may change them the minute they move in anyway), but that you’ll be tempted to spend more than you should on fixtures and fittings. To prevent this, just keep reminding yourself that you won’t be living there.
Creating social space with an open kitchen
Not only does a kitchen cum living area make a property look bigger, it’s also a more convivial and sociable way for people to live. It’s bang up-to-date in terms of design and it also brings in more light to a space that might otherwise seem cramped and a bit dingy.
For instance, this completely transformed separate kitchen/dining room at a home in Ealing was created by knocking down a wall, installing large floor to ceiling glass doors and a bright, white laminate kitchen island with plenty of inbuilt storage. The three-pendant modern lighting design highlights the island beautifully while two additional sky lights ensure it’s a bright, welcoming place in which to sit and socialise with friends, or read/study on your own:
Ensuring there’s enough storage space for everyone
The more storage space there is, the more attractive the property and the less likely tenants are to fall out. A lack of available storage leads to more mess lying around since there’s nowhere to put all those books, clothing, bikes etc. This doesn’t bother some individuals but other tenants may feel – especially if the mess isn’t theirs in the first place – that they shouldn’t be forced to look at it continually. The next thing you know, you’re looking for new tenants and are facing a void period with no rental income.
So, get your renovation project to include as much clever in-built storage as possible. The awkward shape of this attic room (pictured below) for instance, makes a great half-sized wardrobe. Inserting shelving at either side of the fireplace in the next picture, gives the homeowners somewhere to display their books, vases and photo frames, leaving the rest of the surfaces in the sitting room clear:
Making sure your flooring is durable
The flooring in your buy to let is going to take the heaviest pounding of all so it makes sense to ensure it’s up to the job. That means investing in good quality flooring such as wood laminate where you can replace the odd tile if need be. Laminate is also easy for tenants to keep clean by simply sweeping then wiping with a damp cloth every now and again.
If the existing floor boards in the property are good enough then sanding is a smart option too. Staining floorboards in a dark colour make them more stylish and durable.
Meanwhile, tiles aren’t expensive and are a godsend in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms where there is plenty of mould and water. This means you won’t end up having to redecorate these areas quite as often (especially if you choose darker tiles and grouting).
It shouldn’t really be any surprise that the nicer your property the more likely tenants are to stay around. But that doesn’t mean going overboard with décor. Provide some of the above ideas and let them put their own stamp on the property. They’re the ones who’ll be living there after all.