With most rental properties, budget is key when undertaking renovations or repairs. Here are our top tips and things to consider:
Repairs and Admin
When you are letting out a property, it’s imperative that everything is in good working order and not prone to faults/ leaks etc. Your time is valuable and having to call out emergency plumbers or electricians can be costly and disruptive.
1 . Get a registered plumber to regularly service the boiler or consider upgrading if it is old/ prone to faults:
- Get a gas safety certificate for any newly installed appliancesand have old fittings checked and serviced as necessary (check the current regulations for details.)
2 . Get a qualified electrician to check and certify the electrics (again, check the current regulations for details –these were updated in summer 2020.):
- Ensure there are enough sockets throughout the property to avoid tenants plugging in extra extension cables (which can cause fires)
- Replace light fittings/ bulbs with LED’s which last longer and use less energy (good opportunity to lift the décor with new attractive fittings!)
- Get wired-in smoke and heat detectors and ensure these are anually checked/ serviced as necessary. You may also require a carbon monoxide alarm – check current regs with your agent.
3 . Ensure all doors, windows, handles and locks are in good order. Security and heat retention are key concerns for tenants and will require immediate attention if these break/ fail
4 . Ensure there are no roofing or damp issues:
- Any damp should be inspected and treated by a professional asap. It can often be fixed easily and cheaply, but if left it can cause significant damage and cost more to fix (and wont help you retain your tenants).
- The roof, guttering and where necessary external walls/ joins should be checked by a professional. Ensure gutters are cleared regularly especially if the property is surrounded by any trees.
5 . Ensure the kitchen and bathroom(s) are in good condition and consider renovating/ improving/ replacing where necessary:
- For low cost improvements – you could re-grout/change taps/ handles or floor.
- If replacing entirely, ensure you get good quality taps ,appliances and hinges/ drawer runners – as these are used most and difficult/ expensive to change – and make sure the fitters use high spec damp proofing beneath showers, baths, etc.
Quality and Income
Whilst you should ensure investment in the property does not exceed long-term income, choosing quality fittings and investing in good design can make your rental more profitable (increased rental value/ fewer voids):
- Investing in attractive light fittings can be a low-cost, high-impact change – good lighting can transform a space and make it more desirable thereby increasing the rental value.
- Ensure the walls and woodwork are kept in good condition with regular refresh paints between tenants or periodically throughout long tenancies.
- Invest in good quality flooring covers appropriate for the area/ use:
- Avoid lightcoloured/ loop/ deep carpets and invest in a good underlay to make it last longer. Have any carpets professionally cleaned regularly or between tenancies.
- Consider fitting a large coir mat in entrances
- Get wood flooring or tiling installed by an experienced professional
Ensure the front of the property and entrance is tidy and attractive.
- Ensure the pathway, bins, drive and garden are in good condition – fix/ replace anything broken and have the area jet washed/ repainted where necessary
- Include low maintenance planting where possible or arrange to have the garden periodically maintained by a professional gardener.
- Ensure there is good attractive PIR light fitting at the front entrance for security/ safety
If you would like help overseeing a renovation or staging for a rental property-please get in touch. The last property APM renovated for rental-was tenanted at a higher rate, within 2 weeks of advertising. We’d love to do the same for your property!