How to add value to your rental property
From new kitchens and bathrooms, to a clever coat of paint, carrying out key renovations and cosmetic upgrades can really help to boost your rental property’s appeal.
If you own, or are considering investing in a buy-to-let property, you want to make sure that you can achieve the maximum level of potential rental income. For properties that are a bit ‘tired’ or outdated, carrying out some renovations and cosmetic improvements can really help to boost their appeal, enabling you to more easily attract tenants and potentially command a higher rental price.
However, some renovations are a better investment than others. So, before getting out your cheque book and measuring tape, think carefully about which improvements will offer the best return on your time and money.
If you have the time and the money, adding extra rooms to your property can be a really wise investment. This is especially true if you have multiple tenants living in a single house – generally the most profitable form of buy-to-let.
Generally speaking, the more bedrooms your house has, the more rent you can demand, and adding facilities such as an extra bathroom to a large house, can help to boost its appeal. There are multiple options available to you if you decide to go down this route, depending on your budget. You could partition a larger room into two smaller units, convert a loft space or even build an extension.
Prioritise the important rooms
For renters (as with buyers) a great kitchen or bathroom can be the difference between signing the contract and walking out of the door – so be sure that yours make a good first impression.
A lot of older rental properties come with outdated bathrooms, so if you can do some work to improve and modernise yours, it’ll help put you ahead of the crowd. A new bathroom suite, good quality fixtures and fittings, and modern neutral decor can make all the difference when achieving the maximum rental income for your property.
For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in the house, so you want to make sure that yours appeals to prospective tenants. A dark, cramped or old-fashioned kitchen will not do your property any favours. Fitting a new kitchen is sometimes the best option, but if this isn’t possible then simply replacing cabinet doors and handles, and giving the walls a lick of paint can make all the difference.
Not all rooms in your property will need large-scale renovations – for most rooms, a few cosmetic changes will usually suffice. A coat of paint on the walls and new flooring can give rooms a whole new lease of life, and using light colours will help the room seem airy and spacious – which is of course very appealing to prospective tenants. Keep things neutral rather than imposing your own tastes so that tenants are able to imagine themselves and their belongings in your property.
Know your target market
Before planning any renovations, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective tenants. Who are they? What do they want from a property? For example, a young professional couple may be looking for something modern and stylish, while a group of students may just be happy with something clean and functional that commands a little less rent. Once you know what your target market is looking for you can start to plan and prioritise your renovation work.
When it comes to renting out your property, first impressions really are key – so it’s crucial that it looks its best. With some wise renovations and cosmetic improvements, you can ensure that your buy-to-let offers maximum return on your investment.
Chloe Cotton is editor-in-chief at The Happiest Homes, a leading UK digital home magazine.