Working on a house renovation is an exciting time, it’s full of ideas and inspiration, working out what you are going to do with each room, and how each room is going to be styled. The excitement of this phase applies to any home including one that you are going to turn into a rental property.
Renovating a planned rental property is exciting and also has it’s challenges too. You need to consider the type of tenant that you want living in the property, how much you have to spend on the overall renovation, will the fixtures and fittings be hard wearing enough to withstand long term tenants. You also need to have insurance for any damage that may arise. Before I get onto talking about some simple ways to renovate a rental property my advice would be to compare landlord insurance to make sure that you’re fully covered just in case something does go wrong.
So here are a few simple tips to renovating a rental property based on my own experience of renovating our home.
Keep the kitchen and living areas simple and neutral
The kitchen is the main area of the home, so it really has to look good as it should help in to draw in prospective tenants. It’s also a room that is used every single day by everyone living in the house, which means that it needs to be hard wearing to stand the test of time. Alongside this it can also be an expensive room to renovate, with this balance is key, you will need to consider the budget you have available.
To renovate the kitchen there are a few ways you can go about this depending on your budget and your long term goal for this room. You can either replace the entire the kitchen with a brand new kitchen and appliances. This may be beneficial if at some point you plan to live in the property or you wish to take it off the rental market. Or you could make do with what is already there by replacing the cupboard doors with new door fronts, or painting the existing doors. This will work out cheaper but may not last as long as a kitchen replacement. It does entirely depend on what state the current kitchen is in and how much budget you have to play with.
With a rental property, my advice is that it’s best to go neutral and leave your preferred colour palatte in your own home. Keeping wall colours and carpet neutral will hopefully help you to attract more tenants especially those who are bringing in their own furniture, as it will co-ordinate better with the wall colour. It’s also far more appealing for prospective tenants to see freshly painted white or soft grey walls.
Sticking neutral also means that any marks on the walls or damage to the property during the rental period will be easier to spot, and far easier to sort out too!
Consider your flooring
There are literally hundreds of different types of flooring. You may want carpet. You may want wood floor. You may want tiles. Whatever you choose you will want something hardwearing that can truly stand the test of time. For example I wouldn’t put engineered wood floor or wood floor into rental property. I have it in my home but I am meticulous about us all taking our shoes off and visitors taking their shoes off too, you could never guarantee this to happen in a rental property.
However that’s not to say you can’t have a wood effect floor, there are so many laminates and LVT varieties that look like the real thing. All are hardwearing, far more cost effective and will take away any worry you have about having a wood floor.
If carpet is more your preferred route opt for something neutral that’s easy to clean, and not too light in colour as it’s bound to get marked over time.
Tile are always a good choice in bathrooms, and you can create a stylish space with tiles that won’t break the bank. A monochome bathroom (white tiles on the wall, black tiles on the floor) will give the house curb appeal, it looks modern and stylish, and should withstand the test of time especially if you took the property off the rental market.
Keep bathroom simple too!
Just like the kitchen keep the bathrooms and any toilets simple with a white suite and simple tiling. It’s best to remember that this room is going to be used a lot, and may not to be cleaned as much as you would like it to be. You may find that after a few years it needs to be replaced, and my advice would be to spend as much as you can afford on a bathroom and not to go over budget with this room. It is entirely possible to pick up a stylish suite and team it up with taps and shower heads in a black or chrome that look the part but do not cost the earth.
The final rooms of the house or flat are the bedrooms. I keep saying this but my advice again is to keep them simple. Decorate in a neutral style, opt for a hard wearing carpet or laminate floor. I would also advise that all bedrooms in the property are decorated the same, this makes it easier for you and also helps the tenants choose a room.
So those are just some tips to consider when renovating a property for the rental market. Alongside this keep in the back of your mind the long-term vision of the property. Will you continue to rent it out for the foreseeable future, or do you intend to rent it for a short period of time or eventually live in the property yourself as this may guide you to spend a little more on the overall renovation.
One final point is that you need to consider furniture. Do you intend to rent it furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished. If you’re renting it furnished or part-furnished the furniture you choose needs to be of a quality for the rental market, and be modern and stylish to appeal to young professionals.
I hope that you have found this useful? Are you considering renovating a property or have you renovated a property for the rental market? I would love to hear how you have gone about this?
This is a collaborative blog post with CIA Landlord Insurance.