Particularly in saturated rental markets, making a property stand out from the crowd and fetch the maximum possible in rental income can pose a challenge, and so many landlords consider adding value and boosting the going monthly rate through home improvement.
It is here that striking a balance is key – if you overdo it on the house renovation front, you can find yourself out of pocket and actually losing money, particularly if the renovations take longer than planned and result in prolonged vacancy. Similarly not spending enough can mean the property lacks lustre or is outdated, causing tenants to pass it up or the letting agency to lower the asking monthly rent to fill it. When it comes to rental house repair then, how do landlords get it just right?
Tips for using home improvement to boost rental income
There are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding what, if, and how to renovate your rental, such as:
Don’t decorate as you would in your own home
While it’s tempting to renovate and/or decorate to your own tastes, it’s important to remember that you won’t be living there! Your property should appeal to your chosen demographic, whether that’s a family, young professionals or students. You should keep this in consideration in mind, and also remember that while many tenants will treat a rental with the same respect and care they would their own home, a great many also wouldn’t. Skip the fancy imported hardwood flooring or the rainforest showerhead, and opt for something clean, practical and attractive to prospective tenants.
Turnkey is key
Tenants are often moving through a chain of one rental to another, which means they’re often on the hunt for something they can move into quickly and with minimal hassle. As such, ensuring the property has been professionally, thoroughly cleaned is important as is ensuring any fixtures, fittings or appliances that will come as part of the tenancy are in working order. This doesn’t require any major renovation as such, but rather taking the time to do little jobs in each room that can add up once completed.
Invest in kitchens and bathrooms
There are two areas however in which landlords may well have to invest, and those are the kitchens and bathrooms. Mould, damp, dirt and other unseemly and unhealthy conditions can turn a tenant off instantly, as can dated rooms (such as avocado bathrooms or kitchens with ancient or broken tiling). Updating these rooms will not only boost your chances of commanding higher rent per month, but they can also add a substantial amount in terms of property value.
Many landlords consider home improvement as a means to improve the value of a property before selling, but it can in fact be carried out in between tenancies to increase the asking rate for monthly rent as well. Aesthetic modifications are quicker and often easier and can make a substantial difference, so landlords are advised to look at ways to redecorate to see if renovation is necessary. If you choose to do any structural modifications, make sure a survey is carried out prior to doing so, and that all work is carried out by certified professionals – what seems like it might shave a penny or two off the price at first could cost you a great deal more in the long run!