Landlords often wonder how they can make cost-effective improvements to their property to maximise its rental income and have the property looking at its best ready for new tenants. Making an effort to make the property look nice also helps to encourage tenants to keep it that way and make it feel like their home. Below we will discuss some simple and effective interior design tips. It may seem obvious but a fresh lick of paint or a wipe over with sugar soap gives the property an instant lift and it can easily be done on a budget as many D.I.Y stores have own brands that are very effective. Safe colour options are always neutral colours; whites, creams, light greys, pale blues, pale greens, always have a wide appeal as it allows tenants to move straight in with whatever coloured furniture they have with no colour clashes and need to re-paint again. This also gives the property a light and airy feel. It’s worthwhile getting a hard-wearing paint that can be wiped clean without causing any damage to the paintwork. Don’t feel tied to magnolia either as there are many other shades of paint available so it’s worth a trip to your local D.I.Y store. Pick a hard-wearing flooring especially for high traffic areas to avoid having to replace it on a regular basis. Wood, vinyl and laminate flooring is a popular choice and often comes with a long guarantee. Tiles are very practical in kitchens and bathrooms but may not be as cost-effective as vinyl but can add to the appeal if you’re happy to invest a little. Avoid using carpet in toilets as it's not hygienic and can put people off. If you opt for carpets in bedrooms and sitting rooms for example then make sure you choose a hard-wearing one. Make sure it’s also a neutral and popular colour as you don’t want anything too brightly coloured or patterned as it will put off potential tenants. It’s always worth asking a flooring specialist for advice as they often have a range of carpets and vinyl suited to rental properties which are very hard-wearing and doesn't show the dirt like a very light coloured carpet would. There is also a range of stain-resistant carpets which are well worth a look. If you have a property with an older kitchen consider replacing the cupboard doors as this gives the kitchen an instant lift and makes it look more modern without having to go to the trouble and expense of replacing the entire kitchen. If the worktops are looking a bit tired then it’s also worth investing a little in those as it’s important that the property looks clean and fresh to have the widest appeal. If you don’t have the budget for new worktops there are also worktop overlays available. There are also specialists out there who repair worktops if there is a small area of damage which doesn’t warrant replacing the entire thing. Some sort of kitchen splash-back around the sink and cooker area is also a good idea as it makes cleaning so much easier. A clean bathroom is also an essential as there’s nothing more off-putting to potential tenants than a grubby bathroom. If you have a dated property with brown, pink or green/avocado suites for example then it would be worth investing in a nice clean white suite. Many of the large D.I.Y stores have bathroom suites at reasonable prices which again will add value to the property, bring it up to date and appeal to a wide audience of potential tenants. The essential items are a toilet, sink and shower but many tenants also like a bath so if there is room for one again that’s worth the extra investment. A shower over a bath often does the job perfectly as you get the best of both.
Anti-mould and hard-wearing products are always worth the extra investment as there’s nothing worse than a tenant with mould issues or constant calls about things breaking or flaking away. Dress the property nicely but as a general rule go unfurnished as it saves the hassle with extra costs for furniture and replacing those pieces of furniture as they wear out or suffer damage. Many tenants already own their own furniture or prefer to purchase their own furniture which is to their taste, so sometimes it saves a tenant having to put theirs into storage or you to store your properties furniture so they can move theirs in. If you are aiming high-end or for holiday lets, student properties, HMO’s etc. then it’s worth furnishing the property and this can be done on a budget and made to look very nice by using some well-known stores that are known for their quality but reasonably priced furniture. Try to maximise natural light wherever possible too as this is a huge help in making the property feel spacious. Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals where required as it’s not worth spending lots of money on new flooring, tiling, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. having a go at it and then having to call someone in to rectify any issues. A local handyman or specialist is always worth the investment if it’s out of your skill-set. Most importantly make sure the finish is of a good standard and you’re bound to have a queue of potential tenants! Finally, as you’ve invested in your property it’s also a good idea to invest in a good lettings agent too as this will help to protect your property with tenants that have been fully vetted, an inventory completed to show the condition of the property prior to letting and regular inspections and reports to ensure the property remains in the condition it was in when the tenants moved in.