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Decorating for Landlords: Money-saving kitchen tips

Posted on 2014-11-20

Decorating or fitting a kitchen for a rental property is all about return on investment. You want to spend enough that you get a durable, hard-wearing kitchen, but not so much that it takes you years to break even through your rental income.

If you imagine spending £10,000 on a kitchen for a property which will rent for £300pcm, you can see how long it’d take to earn that money back. Likewise, invest too little and you could find yourself having to replace everything a year down the line.

Whether you’re replacing the whole kitchen, or just sprucing up an existing set-up, our top tips will help you save money and time – as well as keeping your tenants happy.

As with bathrooms, moisture is one of the biggest threats to your sparkling new kitchen. Once mould has set in, it’s pretty hard to stop and is notorious for eating away at plaster and paintwork.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent moisture damage and mould. Use a mould-resistant paint (ideally one that’s also wipe-clean) and use tiles where possible. Although expensive, tiling will last and last and keeps moisture at bay.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a tile floor, try vinyl flooring. Vinyl’s cheap, easy to fit and easy to clean – as well as being water resistant. Needless to say, carpets are a no-no in a kitchen, as is laminate flooring, which can expand and buckle when wet. Finally, invest in a good extractor fan or cooker hood and advise your tenants to use it every time they cook, to wick away steam and condensation.

If your units are looking a little dated, you’ll need to weigh up the expense of replacing them vs. your intended return on investment. Think again about the type of tenant you’re trying to attract and this should help you decide what to opt for.

If there’s no structural damage to the cupboards, but they look shabby, why not consider painting them, with specialist cupboard paint, and replacing the knobs for a fresh new look? You could even keep the ‘shells’ of the cupboards and simply replace the doors but, whatever you do to them, stick to neutral colours.

When it comes to appliances and white goods, even unfurnished properties will be snapped up quicker if they have the basics on offer. A washing machine, fridge and cooker will go a long way to attracting tenants. Before you go the whole nine yards and start including fancier goods such as dishwashers, consider again the type of tenant you want and how much they’ll be paying in rent.

As always, any gas appliances will need fitting by a Gas Safe registered engineer and will need an annual safety check, as per the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

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