Luckily for renters, there is a huge pool of rental properties on the market to choose from. For a landlord though, this means that competition between properties can be high. So, how can you give your property the edge and make it stand out amongst the rest?
There are plenty of easy wins that you can implement that can really elevate your property and make it more desirable than your neighbours without spending a fortune. Here’s a few to consider…
First impressions count
How great would it be if a prospective tenant drove up to your buy-to-let property and fell in love before even opening the front door? By spending a bit of time and love on the front exterior of the property, this could be a dead cert.
It’s not easy, or even possible, to paint all front doors. However, if you can give yours a lick of paint and a welcoming colour then this is a great place to start. Remember though, you need to cater to the masses so bright green or yellow might be a bit of a risk. Instead, opt for muted pastel shades such as sage green, or go a deep, stylish shade of navy blue. Add a unique door-knocker for the extra wow-factor.
You could also add some low maintenance potted plants or bushes either side of the property entrance and ensure the pathway is free from any pesky weeds. All in all, ensure your property is one to be proud of. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in the prettiest house on the street?!
Go hard or go home
Although there’s nothing quite like sinking your feet into plush carpets, carpets can wind up becoming a real headache in buy-to-lets. They trap odours, they are prone to staining and discolouration and over time, they simply become worn and tired-looking. With potentially many tenants coming in and out, there’s no knowing what your carpets will look like at the end of each tenancy.
That’s why it’s often better to opt for hard floors from the outset. They are much easier to maintain and keep clean and are also pretty easy to install. No need to pay out for professional fitters if you can spend a little time clueing yourself up on how to lay it.
Upgrade kitchens and bathrooms
This win will depend on your budget – however the kitchen and bathrooms will always be the money-maker in any home. These are the rooms that are difficult for a tenant to change (unlike an empty lounge or bedroom), so they will be looking for something that already looks great.
You might not have the budget to do kitchen and bathroom refits – but that’s ok. There are still a few ways that you can elevate the look of these rooms. For kitchens, you can look at swapping out any cupboard and draw handles to stylish matte black or brushed brass ones. These are super affordable and IKEA has an enormous range available.
Could you also consider painting kitchen units? This will of course only work if they are wooden. You could opt for a dark moody colour if you have light walls and floors to balance it out, or brighten the room up with brilliant white, grey nude coloured units. Neutrals are always a good option as they will never go out of style.
For bathrooms, try swapping out your fittings (taps, shower, flush) for again, matte black or brushed brass options. This will instantly make a bathroom look on-trend and up-market. You could also add some wood panelling features to your bathroom walls – or anywhere in the home for that matter. Wood panelling is so easy to do – all you need is the panels (which are available from many large hardware stores) and wood glue. There are plenty of tutorials online that explain how to DIY this on-trend look that is sure to give your bathroom the edge.
Highlight the property’s features
Lastly, is there anything within your property that you could maximise and make a design feature? Is there a large storage cupboard that you could turn into a pantry? Is there a basement that you could convert into a games room or a snug?
If there is not a feature that you could maximise, you can always create one. Maybe install a wine fridge or a smart security system, heating and lighting systems and market the property as a ‘smart home’!
Remember, however, the more you put on offer within your buy-to-let, the more risk you put yourself up to for tenants to accidentally damage things. Be sure that you have all the right contents insurance in place and compare landlord insurance quotes to make sure you have the best price.