In a competitive rental market, your home will need to stand out from the crowd if you want to attract good tenants. One way to help is upgrading and improving your home to make it more appealing to the market.
Sometimes, small investments today can pay you back with interest further down the line. Here, we take a look at some great and simple ways of increasing the appeal of your Investment Property.
Make use of green space
If you have it, flaunt it. Good garden space will be a major selling point for many tenants who are likely to be spending more time outside in the warmer months than most.
Of course, it's not enough to just have a garden or green space – it needs to look the part, too. Ensure your space is well-maintained, clean and attractive – you may want to hire in a gardener to help with this between tenancies – and ensure that any special features you have, such as a BBQ area, a spacious shed, a pond or decking, are especially visible.
It's also important to make it clear with tenants from the start who bears responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the garden during the tenancy; this is something that should be outlined in the tenancy agreement signed by both parties.
Keep it neutral
You want your rental property to appeal to the widest possible audience, and to ensure that is the case you need to opt for neutral, universally popular décor – think whites, creams, pale blues and light greens. Generally, too, a contemporary, minimalist, less-is-more approach will have the broadest appeal, giving tenants the chance to make their own stamp on a property.
Decorating a home in your own personal style might not be the way to go, particularly if that style is more niche, offbeat and quirky. While it might appeal to some, it's unlikely to have mass appeal. You don't want to put off a big chunk of your pool of potential tenants, so a neutral approach is best.
If you're offering a furnished home, make sure all furniture fits this ethos as well. A blank canvas approach, in other words, is what is needed – something that will lure people in rather than actively putting them off.
Identify your star rooms
Which rooms in a rental property are likely to be the most important? Well, aside from bedroom space, it is probably going to be the kitchen and the bathroom. Driven by the foodie boom which has swept across Britain in recent years, the kitchen has become the most important room in the home for many – a place to cook, bake, socialise and hold dinner parties.
Many tenants will be looking closely at this space in particular, and you can make little improvements for modest sums. A wholesale renovation won't be needed, but new worktops, new handles, new tiling and new cupboards can help to reinvigorate a tired-looking kitchen. You may even want to consider replacing white goods if they are starting to show their age. This will cost you in the short-term, but could bring rewards over time.
Like the kitchen, your bathroom space needs to be clean, warm and attractive. A modern, pared-back, minimalist space – the sort of bathroom you'd find in a good hotel, for example – is likely to have the widest appeal. Small improvements – such as a chrome diamond heated towel rail – can help to enhance the look of your bathroom and doesn't cost as much as you might think.
Think about added luxuries
To really help your home stand out in a crowded field, it may be wise to provide tenants with some special added extras to lure them in.
You might seek to invest in a security system, a few statement features, glossy new kitchen appliances or a particularly well-furnished lounge – all of which won't cost the world but could see more eyes on your home.
Install an en-suite
This won't always be achievable and could prove fairly costly, but if you want to target your home towards tenants with a bigger budget it may be something you wish to consider. It's an attractive selling point for many, especially in shared homes where people would prefer private facilities over shared ones.
If this is possible to achieve, or if your rental homes already have en-suite facilities, you should be able to charge higher rents.
Ensure your home looks its best
An obvious step, yes, but something that can often be overlooked. A clean, well-maintained, energy efficient home, free from damp, condensation, poor paint-jobs, scuffed skirting boards and tired furnishings, will naturally have far more appeal to tenants.
One of the most cost-effective ways of increasing the value of your rental home is to carry out the simple, easy, obvious steps, which also happen to be the ones that will please your bank balance the most.
Of course, there are many variables that dictate the value of your rental home – from location to property type, and market conditions to competition – but carrying out the steps above should improve your chances of maximising your rental income.