Simple Upgrades That Can Increase Rental Value
The rental market can be incredibly competitive especially as large deposits are needed for would-be mortgage holders to be able to get onto the property ladder, and therefore many professionals and families are often seeking modern properties to rent.
In order to seek the maximum rental value possible for a property, landlords are advised to regularly invest in their properties to keep them up to date.
Regular maintenance during tenancies can also minimise the risk of larger renovation projects being required between tenancies causing longer periods of vacancy.
During this article we will discuss the top upgrades to keep current tenants happy meanwhile increasing rental values when opportunities arise.
Simple Upgrades for All Budgets to Increase Rental Value
Let’s look at the best upgrades that can be adapted to suit all budgets and increase rental values:
The first impressions made will be from the outside of the property therefore a freshly painted front door and maintained garden will add kerb appeal for those viewing the property.
Landscaping or simple garden maintenance will also ensure the property looks well-kept and lived in which also helps with security during times when a property is vacant.
A well-maintained garden also helps with the marketing of the property as potential tenants can imagine themselves utilising the outside space, no matter the size.
It can also be worth spending time to consider the target audience of the property and making any adaptations to increase the rental value such as adding BBQ areas for young professionals or installing climbing frames for family properties, depending on space.
A clean property will present well to viewers, therefore ensuring that a deep clean is within the rental agreement as the responsibility of the tenant at the end of a previous lease will help when preparing the property for the next tenancy.
Once the property is vacant the landlord should thoroughly check the cleanliness of the entire property and any furnishings to ensure that the deep clean has been undertaken and that the property is in a clean and tidy state ready for re-marketing.
Clean and favoured smells
As well as the physical cleanliness of the property, the overall smell is worth taking note of. If the property is vacant for a period of time, it may need to be ventilated regularly to ensure fresh air is brought in ahead of any viewings.
Other scent tips such as fresh scented candles, freshly cut grass or fresh bread baking are also welcoming to potential tenants when viewing the property.
Freshly decorated in neutral shades
A coat of paint between tenants can freshen up the property and provide a clean space for the new occupiers to make their own. It is recommended that light neutral shades of paint are used so that light is maximised in the spaces and so that potential tenants can imagine themselves living within the property.
Bold colours can be off putting to some tenants and neutral backdrops can be personalised with accessories such as rugs, lamps, paintings, or ornaments by the new tenants to make the property homely for them.
Long lasting flooring
All the measures discussed so far can be tailored to the landlord’s budget for renovating their property between tenants, however it is recommended that a higher value, quality flooring is prioritised when renovating or updating a property between tenants.
Unfortunately, even premium carpets can stain easily which can represent an unmaintained property and therefore generally tenants prefer a wooden flooring which is long lasting and harder wearing. Over time the extra investment of a wooden floor will pay off as it would last longer than carpets.
Modern kitchen and bathroom upgrades
Kitchen and bathrooms often sell a property to new tenants and therefore clean, modern, renovated spaces will increase rental value and demand for the property.
As discussed above, investments into the property will reap rewards overtime, however kitchen and bathroom upgrades can be undertaken with a range of budgets – from worktop replacements and splash backs to whole new fitted kitchen or refreshing the grout in bathrooms to new suites being installed.
Installing modern white goods
If the landlord’s budget can stretch to adding white goods to a property, this can increase the rental value anywhere between £30 and £150 per calendar month depending on the quality of the white goods, especially if the property is being marketed for university students or young professionals who may not already own such appliances.
The condition of the goods would need to be maintained as well as providing an emergency solution should they breakdown.
Installing New Windows
Installing new windows, especially if they are double glazed will always be an advantage, since not only does it look good, but it can help reduce heat loss and therefore reduce energy costs.
Before leasing the property, an inventory should be undertaken to protect both the tenant and landlord, documenting the condition of the property and any furnishings.
Landlords will already be very aware that there are many responsibilities taken on when they become a landlord including ensuring Tenant Rights.
There are large consequences both in fines or personal prosecution should the rights of tenants be breeched therefore extensive research must be undertaken and any changes in the law abided by.
In summary, a tenant’s basic rights include:
- The right to live in property that is safe and kept in a good condition.
- The right to have rental deposits returned at the end of the tenancy
- The right to be protected from unfair eviction
- A tenant also has the right to know who their landlord is
- A tenant has the right to live within a rented property undisturbed
The above tenant’s rights should be considered when planning property maintenance, undertaking regular inspections of the property to monitor the condition, as well as making records for both the tenant and landlord.
Should a landlord need any assistance with ensuring that the rights of tenants are understood and met, administering tenancy agreements, taking, and holding deposits, undertaking property inspections, or marketing their property to rent out again, they may wish to consider using the services of a letting agent.
Using a Letting Agent
A letting agent can assist with taking some of the burden of the administration away from landlords for a cost. The fees associated with letting agents will differ between agents and maybe charged monthly or as a one-off fee depending on the level of services requested.
Most of the services offered have already been discussed however, other benefits include the contacts that letting agents have built up of people seeking a rental property and therefore finding a new tenant can be undertaken promptly and professionally, minimising any periods of a vacant property.
Letting agents will also assist with completing the necessary legal checks on potential tenants, ensuring the results of which are recorded correctly, drafting tenancy agreements, managing tenancy deposit schemes and will also often provide assist in situations of tenant disputes or chasing unreceived rental instalments.
We have been discussing the improvements that can be made to a rental property in order to maximise the rental value as well as keep tenants happy.
The upgrades can be simple and low cost, or more extensive depending on the landlord’s budget, however either way should be recorded for both accounting purposes as well keeping records of the condition of the property.
Should you need further advice to maximise your rental income, structure your property portfolio or review your current financing model, please seek a consultation with a mortgage broker.
In addition, for further advice regarding income tax and capital gains tax for landlords it is highly recommended that specialised financial advice is sought.