Honourable and personal residential letting experts

22May

How you can make your rental investment work harder

You have found the perfect rental investment, now you need to get it ready for your first residents. Here are five top tips to help you achieve better income than the competition because renting out a property is not as easy as most people think.

1. Decoration

Is very much going to depend on who will be renting the property but neutral (not magnolia!) is the best option. If you totally redecorate the property, set out a rota of works for the future. Heavy usage areas will need to be repainted sooner than lower usage ones.

As an example, we tend to set the following rota for our properties, but this very much depends on the length of tenancies:

  • Kitchen / bedroom/ bathroom – every five years
  • Living area – every four years
  • Stairs and landing – every three years

It is also a particularly good idea to work out what allowances you can claim back on next year’s tax return (so remember to keep all of your receipts).

2. Floor coverings

The worst thing you could do is to buy the cheapest carpet or laminate you can find on the basis that it is ‘only a rental.’ It will not last and start to look very tatty after the first clean. The most important thing is that you want your investment to stand out from the competition. The best underlay you can afford will make so much difference to the feel of the floor and who it will attract.

3. Light fittings and curtains

I get asked this one quite a bit. You must see the property through the eyes of your customer – your resident. What is the first impression they get? Empty windows and sad small light bulbs will not make you stand out from the crowd. It is an effort, but by making sure that you have curtains in place and light shades make so much difference. Again, neutral is the best option. Replacing old-fashioned incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or LED bulbs could also score a few points on your EPC rating. You could also be saving your resident money overall – for a typical 60-watt incandescent bulb; you will average around 1,200 hours of lighting before it needs to be replaced. A 6-watt LED bulb, on the other hand, will last upwards of 60,000 hours.

4. Garden

When you have spent ages (and money!) on redecorating, the garden can sometimes be forgotten by you. Bad mistake! Not everyone likes gardening so do not think that you must aim for a shrub-filled cottage garden. A space for the kids to play, somewhere to lay out the garden furniture and place the BBQ with a bit of green are all that is needed.

5. Bathrooms and kitchens

Are the most expensive areas to update and you are not going to change these regularly! By making sure that you have a modern feel and, most importantly, that any masticking sealing is carried out by a profession and not slathered on. Unbelievably, this will make all the difference.

The more you put into your investment the more you will get out. Prepare a budget and consider the cost of renting including any renovations that will need to be made to the property. You also need to ensure you have enough savings to cover any possible void periods that occur.

If you need any help or have any questions – just contact us.

Happy renting!

Recent case study

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We have managed the property since 2006 and after receiving notice from a long-term resident of six years, the landlord decided that now was the time for an upgrade. Due to the length of tenancy and the fact that no works had been conducted on the property since 2005, the rental had been kept below market rate at the landlord’s request.

We obtained quotes during the notice period these included to upgrade the bathroom and kitchen and redecorate throughout. The works started the day after the old resident moved out. New residents moved in two months later paying 45% higher rental which was in line with the overall market.

The sums

  • Purchased 2005: £125,000
  • Return before upgrade: 7.6%
  • Cost of works £11,000
  • Return after upgrade 11%
  • Increased rental income £4,400 per annum.
  • Payback on works 2.5 years