As a landlord, it’s your duty to keep your rental property in good condition. Not only does it make it easier to sell, but will also comply with the health and safety standards for your tenants to live in. If you don’t sort out issues as they arise, it can create further headaches down the line and lead to more work too.
Whether you just got a new property and you want to rent out, or if tenants have moved on and you want to give it a complete refurb before letting it to someone else, there are a few things you need to consider.
1. Plan out your rental renovation
When it comes to executing your renovation, you want to plan it in advance. This involves setting a timescale and also deciding exactly what you want to do to the property. It might be you need to do a full renovation of all areas, or perhaps there are just a few rooms to target.
Set a date and timescale
The first thing you need to do is set a date and timescale. This is because all the time you are carrying out your renovations, no one is living in it and you’re losing out on money. The quicker you can have it done, the sooner you can get new tenants in and start collecting rent from them. Try to be realistic in your time and how long each part of the project will take. This is important not only in allowing for any delays, but it also helps you keep track of your budget.
Call a contractor if you’re not sure
As part of your renovation, you need to decide what work needs to be done and what you’ll want to spend, getting quotes for things such as heating, decorating, and flooring. This can end up being a bit of a minefield so if you’re in doubt about anything, it’s a good idea to call a contractor. They can advise on costs, what the work might involve and anything else you’ll need to know. While a lot of the renovations can be done yourself, especially if you’re handy at DIY, sometimes it’s better to call in the professionals if you’re not 100% sure.
2. Tackle damp and mould
Damp and mould can be one of the worst issues for properties and tends to be caused by excess moisture from things like leaking pipes, roof damage leading to rain seeping in, and loose window frames. If you find your property has fallen foul to mould and damp, the first thing you need to do is get it dried out before it gets any worse.
Infrared heating can be one of the best ways to sort it, as they warm the walls which then absorb the heat and prevent moisture from settling. Infrared heaters work well in the lounge, bedroom and office and there are a plethora of types to choose between.
Panel heaters attach discreetly and stylishly to your wall, providing you with all the heating benefits you need without being in the way. You can also opt for smart heaters that can be controlled via a remote, and customisable heaters where your own pictures can be transferred to them. If you rent the property furnished, this is a great 2-4-1, as it makes for a beautiful addition to any room and you wouldn't even know it was a heater!
In the bathroom, glass heating panels are an effortless choice as they heat the room, act as a mirror and have an anti-fog surface to lessen condensation and moisture in the room.
3. Change the locks
No matter how nice or trustworthy your tenants were, it’s always best to change the locks when they leave. You never know how many keys they have cut or who has access to them. Remember to change the locks to both the front and back doors and possibly to the windows too, especially if you have a house or a ground-floor flat. This makes the property secure and ensures you don’t need to worry about anything untoward happening going forward.
4. Repaint the walls and woodwork
Repainting the walls and woodwork is one of the most important things to do. Over time, marks, scratches and general wear and tear can cause it to look old and tired. Just giving a simple lick of paint can have a real impact on the overall appearance of your property, making it look and feel bright and fresh again. Remember it’s best to stick to neutral colours as these are easy to do up again in the future and tend to be the most versatile when matching with furniture and artwork.
5. Think about flooring
When it comes to renovating your property, flooring is a big consideration. You need to decide between carpet, laminate, tiles, hardwood flooring and more. Think about the room in question and what its purpose is. Laminate or tiles are good as they’re easier to clean up and get rid of any spills without worrying about staining. If you do opt for carpet, synthetic materials like nylon or polypropylene are great carpet choices. These are stain resistant and affordable so won't be too hard to replace should they require it.
6. Freshen up the kitchen cupboards
An old and tired kitchen can quickly make the rest of your property look and feel less appealing. A more affordable way to do up your kitchen is to freshen up the cupboards. You can do this either by replacing the doors entirely or for an even more budget-friendly option, wrapping them with DIY vinyl wrap. This comes in an array of patterns and colours and can transform the space in no time.
7. Replace old windows
In a time when the cost of living is rising rapidly, you want to find ways to keep bills to a minimum. Energy prices are on the rise and wherever you can bring it down, it’s a good idea to do so. Old windows are one of the worst contenders for letting heat out and wasting energy. Replacing these with double or triple glazing can help keep your rental property warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It’s also worth adding adequate insulation to help with this too.
8. Update white goods
Another thing to do when renovating your rental property is to update your white goods. Newer appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and fridges can use less energy and be more efficient as well as help the environment.
9. Freshen or update any furniture
If you have a furnished property, it’s a good idea to freshen or update the furnishings. It might be that you have an old and tired sofa or bed that’s no longer comfortable, in which case your tenants will appreciate a replacement. Other furniture items such as tables, chairs and rugs might get worn out or damaged with prolonged use, in which case it’s time to look for something new.
The furniture you provide needs to be safe and fit for purpose and it's generally recommended that dining chairs are replaced every three years, beds every five years and sofas every eight years. This time can differ depending on how much use it had, the initial quality and how prior tenants treated it.
10. Tidy the front of the property
As well as the inside of your rental property, it’s important to keep the exterior well maintained. Tidy up any overgrown plants and weeds and plant ones that are easy to maintain. This covers your back in case your tenants aren’t green-fingered and might not water them as they should! It can be a good idea to add a path or some paving slabs to the front door that can really help its curb appeal. By making the front neat and tidy it can attract new tenants and improve the look for those that are living there already.
11. Brighten the back garden
If your property has a back garden, you want to make it an attractive place for your tenants to spend their time. Clean up the flower beds, mow the lawn and invest in things such as patio furniture, patio heaters and lights. This can help brighten it up and make it a more attractive rental proposition.
Consider other investments, such as…
There are many investments that are worth doing during the rental renovation that can save you money, increase the amount you can rent it for and more. Solar panels, wireless thermostats and mixergy water heating tanks are all well worth adding to your property.When renovating a property, these are some of the main things you need to think about. Updating your rental home for both current and prospective tenants is a worthy investment that will mean you get the most from your property. To find out more about radiators, patio heaters, solar panels and other tech items that can add value and improve your rental home during a renovation, get in touch with us at Kiasa today. You can see our full range of products and find out more here.