As any seasoned landlords will know, property refurbishments can prove costly, stressful and time-consuming and might put landlords off the idea of a fixer-upper.

After all, the time and money spent on making a property look good as new might seem like it would be better spent elsewhere.

But there can be real value to property refurbishments, making your homes more appealing to tenants and increasing their long-term value.

If you decide to take on a fixer-upper, you could also be making a valuable contribution to the UK’s rental sector as the proportion of rental homes classed as non-decent has almost halved in the past decade, plus there is an increasing need to bring empty or derelict homes back into use to help solve the supply-side crisis.

From driving revenue to lowering insurance payments, here we detail why you need to get your refurbishments right from the start, as well as some golden top tips that’ll ensure your home is turnkey ready.

Decorate with your prospective tenants in mind

Depending on the type of property you buy and the area the property is in, you will already have an idea of who your target occupant will be.

As such, when you’re decorating, make sure that you’re thinking of this occupant and what their desires in a property will be. It will be impossible to please everyone, so sticking to neutral themes throughout will ensure your home has maximum appeal.

When decorating a rental property, you need to keep in mind that you won’t be living in it. Therefore, avoid adding personal touches to the space and instead, provide potential tenants with a blank canvas that they can easily make their own.

Use an architect

When you’re planning on making a number of changes to the structure of the property, it might be a good idea to use an architect.  

They are able to navigate details such as making sure the fuse box, electricity and gas metres are accessible while ensuring the property’s overall flow works well.

That’s not to say they have full reign over the design and planning, so if you have a clear picture of your tenants and what their living needs are, then there won’t be any room for the architect to woo you with a Juliet balcony if you are planning to rent to a young family.

Get clued up on spreadsheets

Working with an architect or builder means that you’ll have to keep track of what needs to be done based on the plans and what the cost and time frame expectations will be.

Drawing up a spreadsheet will help you get a detailed price breakdown from your contractor at the beginning, so you know what is being spent and where.

This is a working spreadsheet which means that columns should be included for actual start and finish dates, along with the associated costs.

If any unexpected problems do pop up, you can instantly see the knock-on effect and related costs. This will enable you to make decisions more efficiently as well as keeping a tight reign on the project.

Don’t shy away from quality flooring

Flooring in your property will be guaranteed to go through significant wear and tear which is usually tough to fix without replacing the entire floor. It also won’t be very ideal to attempt to amend this issue if tenants have already moved in, so spend a little more on some good-quality flooring.

A general rule of thumb would be to stick to tile and laminate flooring where possible since these materials are more durable in the long run.

Pay attention to outdoor spaces

It isn’t uncommon for landlords to forget about outdoor spaces when they’re main focus is on fixing the inside of the property.

Whether there is a driveway, a garden, or even a balcony, pay attention to these spaces, because if neglected, it could cost you tenants’ interest.

Gaining profits from property refurbishment

If you plan on running a desirable and profitable business with your own portfolio, then getting your property refurbished to a high standard is crucial.

Firstly, a well-presented property with quality insulation and a good finish along with heating and plumbing will be more attractive to tenants. This in turn will enable you to charge a premium for your properties, resulting in higher revenues for your business.

To help ensure that rent will be paid, it would be a good idea to request a rent guarantor from your tenant if, for example, they are a student or on a lower income. This gives you as the landlord peace of mind that the rent will be paid, come what may, which can be particularly welcome after making such a significant outlay on a property.

While initially the costs on rental refurbishments are high, they’re not without reward. For landlords who spend around £7,000 on light touch rental property refurbishment, they can expect their rental income to rise which will boost their property value by some £9,000.

If you’re taking on a larger renovation, then the value of your property is calculated to increase by an average of £96,000.

It may seem daunting but having well cared for and refurbished properties will save you thousands of pounds in maintenance fees over the time in which you own the home. Dealing with issues in older properties during refurbishment is much more cost-effective in the long run.

Finally, your landlord insurance premiums will be lower if the property is refurbished to its highest standard, which in turn will also make it unlikely for major incidents to occur that will require insurance. This will heighten your chances of saving money, and hopefully bring those premiums down year-on-year.

Here at Key Property Consultants, we can help you with any aspect of letting property in Penge, Welling and the surrounding areas. To find out more, please contact us today.

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