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Rental Renovations – 8 Ways to Upgrade and Update Your Property

Renovation of a rental property

It’s a jungle out there. Across the UK, landlords like you are competing for tenants’ attention. Tenants who increasingly demand higher spec and standards from their potential future home.

If you’re among the 77% of professional landlords who invest in rental renovations after a property purchase, you may be unsure where to concentrate your efforts.

Here we’ll explore which areas are best to focus on to boost desirability and bolster profits. From kitting out a new kitchen to fitting fresh flooring, these eight ideas will help your rental property to shine bright alongside the competition.

#1 Nail kerb appeal

What do you think when you notice that the main picture in a property listing is of the kitchen or lounge? Most likely, that its kerb appeal is probably lacking. 

Prospective tenants will think the same. That maybe you’ve got something to hide about the exterior of the property.

Whether online or in person, first impressions count. So improving kerb appeal is a no-brainer. 

You could be limited on what you can achieve externally but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Remove weeds and any rubbish from the front garden

  • Cut back overgrown shrubs and mow the lawn

  • Consider fitting artificial turf to minimise maintenance

  • Add pots and fill with low-maintenance plants

  • If the exterior is painted, give it a fresh coat

  • Install security lighting 

  • Provide a designated area for rubbish bins, preferably hidden away

  • If the front door has seen better days or compromises security, fit a new one

#2 Fix the flooring

Nothing says grubby better than an old, stained carpet. Harbouring the ghosts of tenants past, replacing faded flooring is one of the most dramatic fixes you can carry out.

If you can’t stretch to replacing all the carpets, do pay to have them all steam cleaned between every tenancy.

And consider avoiding carpet altogether. Many tenants prefer the modern style of hardwood flooring which, compared to carpet which can trap smells, is more hygienic and easier to maintain.

#3 Pay attention to paint

Giant tubs of magnolia emulsion are synonymous with the DIY landlord. And for good reason. A fresh lick of paint can work wonders to refresh a property, transforming tired walls and brightening a dark space.

While ‘Rental Cream’ might be the traditional colour of choice, consider changing tastes such as the current penchant for shades of grey. But avoid any statement colours or over-the-top wallpaper which could easily put tenants off.

Neutral, newly painted walls provide a blank canvas for your new tenants to make their mark on. And do this particular rental renovations job with care: fill and sand down any damaged areas, and don’t neglect the woodwork.

#4 Refresh the kitchen

The heart of the home, ensuring the kitchen in your rental property is both functional and welcoming is critical. Discerning tenants won’t be impressed by outdated appliances and doors hanging off hinges.

With your budget forefront of mind, give the current state of the kitchen an honest appraisal. Aside from a thorough clean, how else could you boost its appeal? 

Maybe you could upgrade the well-loved fridge with a more energy-efficient model? Perhaps the units have seen better days and could be completely replaced or updated with new doors? 

Also assess the condition of the grouting, the tiles, the taps, the worktops and the flooring, then take action to bring them up to scratch.

Even a simple update of the cupboard handles can have a dramatic effect and make the whole room feel more modern and appealing.

#5 Blitz the bathroom

Alongside a clean, inviting kitchen, the state of the bathroom will also help to attract tenants. Ask yourself if you’d be happy sinking into a relaxing bath at your rental property. If not, it’s time for some rental renovations.

If the current suite is looking lacklustre, investing in a complete refit will be money well spent. Tenants will be seduced by a stylish, modern space and be more likely to look after it during their tenancy.

If your budget is more restricted, consider some of the less expensive fixes like a new toilet seat, a more powerful shower or improved storage such as a basin vanity unit.

#6 Give the windows some TLC

Sounds simple but sad, mucky windows can be off-putting and may be an indicator that the rest of the property isn’t as well cared for as it could be. 

If they’re single-glazed and a source of draughts, consider replacing them completely. Not only will this improve the property’s EPC rating, it will instantly become more attractive to potential tenants and increase the chances of them staying in their cosy new home long-term.

Keeping the exterior of windows clean is an obvious one but don’t forget the interior. Check seals for mould and any signs of wear and tear that could put off tenants.

#7 Update the inventory

A useful job for any landlord is to regularly check all items on your property’s inventory and replace those which need an upgrade.

From cutlery to cushions and lampshades to rugs, this quick and easy hack can add that little extra polish to a tenant’s all-important impression of your property.

#8 Add some little extras

Anything that can make your tenants life easier will be welcomed. So have a think about what could set your property apart from the rest.

A dishwasher, for example, will be music to any prospective tenants’ ears. Or how about creating a patio area, staged with garden furniture to seduce them with the thought of warm summer evenings outside. 

Additional storage options will always be valued, so consider fitting shelves in alcoves and ensuring that space under the stairs is accessible.

Simple aesthetic updates can also work wonders like swapping white light switches for brushed metal ones or sprucing up a kitchen window with a stylish new blind.

Whatever your budget and whichever type of tenant you’re targeting, the value of undertaking rental renovations is indisputable.

In return for a time and cash investment, you’ll be broadening the appeal of your property, increasing its rental price potential and maximising the chances of a happy long-term tenant-landlord relationship.

For more great landlord tips, explore the MakeUrMove blog.

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