Decorating a rental property is very different to enhancing your own home. Home renovation projects are a way to unleash individuality and showcase your own style. Rental properties need to suit everyone and anyone, whilst also being hard wearing. We’ve renovated a fair amount of rented properties over time, and would like to share a few tips to help when refurbishing your rental property…
Firstly, consider the type of tenants you want to attract. Then you’ll be able to decide upon the scale of your project. Weigh up the expense of renovating and re-decorating vs the return on investment – which can be tricky. Indeed, the turnover of tenants needs to be considered, as there is generally more wear and tear in a rental property than a private home. For this reason we wouldn’t recommend top-of-the-range fixtures, fittings or finishes. Although neither would we advise choosing the cheapest as good quality tenants are likely to prefer a certain standard of finish.
You can’t go wrong with white walls. Even though they may show more dirt than darker walls, it’s your best option as a) any discrepancies are easy to see upon check out and b) there’s no shortage of tins containing bright white paint when freshening up between tenancies. Coloured paints can be either discontinued or harder to find an exact match for, which results in a boring full room re-paint.
In addition, colours are personal. Potential tenants may dislike the colours you choose, hence already narrowing your market down. If you feel white is too stark, still think neutral. A common and consistent theme throughout the property is a safe option for the majority of tenants.
Opt for water resistant eggshell or acrylic paint in the kitchen and bathroom. Chose tiles over paint where possible, especially in rooms that are moist and prone to mould. Tiles are durable, resistant to infestations and easier to maintain than paint. Dark tiles with dark grouting is always a good choice. If your budget does not stretch to tiling, we recommend a mould-resistant paint. Avoid wallpaper!
Before ripping out and replacing a dated kitchen, it may be enough to simply replace the cupboard doors and work surfaces. However, only if there is no structural damage.
To help tackle or prevent mould damage, ensure you invest a cooker hood to prevent cooking condensation.
While an all-white bathroom gives the impression of a bright, clean and modern space, upon closer inspection it might not be the case. White tiles and grout can look tired and dirty very quickly, hence is challenging for some tenants to keep the bathroom looking fresh and clean throughout their tenancy. Opt for beige tiles and grouting as the lifespan of a non-white bathroom can be greater.
Factor in a quick reseal of sinks and shower trays between tenancies. Black mould can easily form in these areas, particularly in damper period properties.
If a new bathroom is required, making a few changes could make your landlord life easier. Install a shower over the bath, rather than a separate shower. Leaking shower trays can be problematic. Choose an electric shower so that if the boiler fails your tenants will still have hot water. If space allows, try to fit in a second bathroom or at least a second lavatory – less of an emergency if one fails.
Lastly, don’t forget the extractor fans (and to remind tenants to use them).
Damaged carpets and floors in a rental property is a common problem for landlords. If you prefer covering the floor with carpet, we suggest selecting a short pile, neutral beige variety. The shorter the pile, the easier it is to remove stains and clean. Although dark coloured carpets are most practical, no tenant wants to live with one. Opt for a quality underlay instead of shelling out for expensive carpets. Even the cheapest carpet will feel luxuriously thick underfoot.
More sensible is to pick hard flooring throughout, or at least for downstairs. There’s no need to spend a fortune on solid wood flooring. You can now find attractive alternatives, such as a good quality laminate. It’s easy to clean and shouldn’t rip or wear.
When prospective tenants view, they visualise the property as their future home, and whether they would feel comfortable living there. Aside from cleanliness, they look at details such as the windows, heating, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms and general décor quality.
Keep the property simple. Clean, functional and presentable – there’s no need for lavish fixtures and fittings. However, lighting is key. Bright and airy properties let much more quickly, so do invest in striking lighting.
Our team of experts are highly trained and able to transform your rental property. Whether you want your investment to be fully re-decorated or simply a quick lick of paint applied, or undergo major building renovations or merely a rapid repair, we are here to help… find out more here.