After the recent pension reforms and the admission of many retirees that they will be investing some if not all of their pension pot in buy-to-let property, the sector’s appeal has been well documented.
Demand from tenants remains high as homeownership levels continue to fall. Just this week a study of 2,000 tenants carried out by L&Q reported that 80% of respondents said they felt they had no other choice but to rent property.
As well as tenants, the number of landlords in the UK increases year-on-year and is currently around the 1.5 million mark. What’s more, a survey published this week by large estate agency chain Your Move found that a quarter of 1,200 landlords want to purchase additional rental properties this year.
The study also found that 60% of respondents think it is a good time to invest in buy-to-let, up from 54% six months ago. It’s clear to see that competition has increased and will continue to do so.
With all of this in mind, it’s vitally important to make sure you are providing your tenants with the best quality accommodation possible – something your monthly rents can reflect in the long run.
And if you ever decide to sell up and buy another rental property in another location, having high standard accommodation will allow you to achieve a better price in the sales market, a win-win situation all round.
Here are five things you can do to increase the value and standard of your property to let…
1. The kitchen rules
As you may have read in recent times, these days the kitchen is now the focal point of the average British home, with numerous studies showing it as the room worth the most per sq ft. A clever kitchen revamp could add as much as 5% to the value of your property. Accessible, open and stylishly designed kitchens are the order of the day but it is important to remember who your target tenant is (see point 5). New worktops and appliances may be more suitable than a completely new kitchen, though, as often you will not be able to fully recoup the significant financial outlay in your property’s value.
2. Internet connection
These days any survey of prospective homebuyers places internet access or access to reliable broadband at the top of the list of desired qualities when looking for a new home. Tenants are no different. Depending on your location, there may be nothing you can do to improve the internet signal that your property can access. However, making your property as internet-friendly as possible will increase its appeal to buyers and tenants and in turn enhance its market value. Check your speed and speak to internet providers to find out if there is anything you can do to facilitate this.
3. Property facelift
You may have come across many a property supplement or estate agent telling you that a lick of paint or spring clean could increase the chances of selling a property. Well, when it comes to prospective tenants’ and buyers’ impressions, giving your property a facelift really does make a difference and could significantly benefit its market value in the long-term. Redecorating to a high standard in neutral and inviting colour schemes is key. Not to mention tidying up the garden and the front of the property.
4. Garage utilisation
Does your property have a garage? If so, what is it used for and could it be turned into living space? Many garages up and down the country are neglected and this is valuable space to a landlord. If your property is a House in Multiple Occupation, the garage could present the opportunity to take in another tenant. On the other hand, it could provide more living space for a family of tenants and your monthly rents can reflect this. As well as providing you with an opportunity to have a clear out, converting the garage could contribute to increasing the value of the property if you ever look to sell.
5. Who are you targeting?
When thinking about making any change to your property, no matter how subtle or small, it is imperative that you consider your target tenants. If you are looking to fill the property with a family you will need to focus on the kitchen and garden and making sure the property will make parents and their children feel at home. On the other hand, if the student market is your preference, homeliness may be less important but it may be more valuable to focus on space and furnishings.