Renovating Your Rental: Tips On Building Better

You’ve done the work – you’ve got the property. All that’s left to do now is fix it up and find your tenants.

Maybe you’re looking to improve the aesthetic appeal, increase the valuation, or just spruce up a space that wasn’t kept too tidy by previous owners.

In any case, renovations can easily add up if they’re not planned out efficiently. These projects are crucial to any landlord looking to maximise the value of their property, and can make all the difference when it comes to attracting prospective tenants.

We’ve broken down all the best ways to tackle a renovation in a cost-effective, quality manner.

Plan, Plan, Plan

First things first – plan your steps. Set yourself a budget with a comprehensive plan of all the work you want to address to ensure nothing is forgotten or unaccounted for, and you won’t be tripped up by unexpected costs along the way.

With so many steps to a proper renovation, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. Having a to-do in front of you where you can check off tasks will help to break the process down and ease any potential stressors.

Take advantage of people in the know – reach out to a builder who can have a look over the property for you. Get your electronics and plumbing inspected so you can be sure there won’t be any problems once your tenants move in. Speak to an environmental housing officer to ensure the property complies with the proper regulations and standards.

Make sure to use tradespeople registered with the relevant trade body. It’ll make all the difference and prevent any angry calls from future tenants when they suddenly realise the hot water doesn’t work.

Having the property looked over will also give you the chance to make sure the fabric of the building is sound prior to decorating or adding any extra fittings.

Floors

When it comes to flooring, consistency is key.

Make sure your flooring is uniform throughout to create a seamless feel to the property. Matching the floors will bring everything together and bring a flow to the interior that prospective tenants will instantly notice.

Darker-coloured carpets have the benefit of longevity, as they won’t show dirt or stains easily. When it comes to the bathroom and kitchen, laminate flooring is a failsafe option that won’t break the bank, plus it’s easy to clean and often comes with a 10 year guarantee.

Walls

A lick of paint goes a long way – fresh-looking walls are cheap, cheerful, and will do wonders for a property’s valuation.

As with flooring, ensuring you use the same colour throughout each room will tie everything together and instantly up the appeal.

It can be tempting to put your stamp on a room and splash out with your favourite colour schemes, but it’s actually much more advisable to use a nice neutral tone that can complement a range of tastes. Resist the urge to personalise – leave the tenants to put their own (figurative) mark on the place.

Bathroom-wise, many landlords recommend using moisture-resistant paint to avoid mould and other issues caused by humidity and condensation. The English Housing Survey found mould to be one of the biggest issues tenants face with rental properties, so it’s important to keep moisture in mind when you’re renovating.

Bathroom

If you’re working with a lower budget, now is the time to invest. Scrimping on the bathroom will significantly impact your valuation, and potentially turn off tenants.

Keep the colour palette light and airy. Fresh tones and gleaming surfaces will never go out of fashion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment – have a go at upcycling old furniture to create bespoke storage space, or try tiling the lower half of the walls to add some character.

White tiling with black grout is a simple and cost-effective way to add some edge to the room, and will set your property apart from the competition without sacrificing neutrality. Black grout also has the added bonus of being less susceptible to dirt and grime, so it’s a win-win for you and your tenants.

Kitchen

Similarly, the kitchen should be high on your list of priorities when it comes to budgeting. This is the space where your tenants will likely be spending substantial amounts of their time, so it’s important to create a nice environment – not to mention the impact it will make on the property’s market value.

Rentals often see cabinets and cupboards face significant wear and tear, so it’s worth assessing these areas when you’re getting ready for your next tenants.

If you’re replacing any units, or even doors, make sure to invest in good hinges – these are the parts that will see the most action, so it will be money well spent in the long term.

In terms of white goods, there are plenty of great second-hand deals to take advantage of on auction sites. Many are listed in near-new nick due to our upgrade-hungry culture.

When fitting in any new appliances, make sure the mechanics are well within reach. If anything goes wrong in the future, you’ll be grateful for the easy access.

Kerb Appeal

It can be easy to laser all your focus on the interior, but the exterior is just as important. First impressions are crucial – the outside is what tenants will be met with when they turn up for a viewing, so you want to be able to wow them before they even walk through the door.

A touch of nature is a simple and budget-friendly way to spruce up any entrance. Add some greenery with pots or hanging plants, or try planting flowers for a pop of colour.

Whatever you go for, there are plenty of low-maintenance options out there that will instantly breathe some life into the property and create a fresh, inviting look.

Another effort-free way to update the exterior is with a new coat of paint, both on the walls and the doors. The front door is especially important, as dirt or damage here can instantly create a feeling of unsafety in the minds of prospective tenants. Just give the surfaces a good clean and source some paint that can withstand any weather. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a back garden, installing a light or two can instantly boost your valuation. A few solar-panelled spotlights or even fairy lights can be fitted anywhere that receives sun without adding any ongoing costs to the tenants, which makes for a handy selling point.

Many solar lights also come equipped with a PIR sensor, adding some extra security at no additional cost.

Clean

Last step: clean. It might sound obvious, but ensuring your property is spotless is key to attracting tenants and securing a sale. A good scrub costs nothing – show off your revamp and make it sparkle.

Property investment has become a rapidly popular market, and ensuring you maximise on your investment by giving your home a decent renovation is crucial to standing out from the competition and reaping the proper rental rewards. Don’t be afraid to go for it – you’ll be grateful in the long run.