Renovating rentals: DIY Dos and don’ts to consider

There’s plenty of properties available that, with a little TLC, have the potential to make wonderful homes. However, there are a few things to bear in mind before you pop the lid off the first tin of paint. Check out our top tips for renovating your rental!

Make sure you understand your target tenant

Depending on the type of property that you have purchased, you may be looking to renovate for very different target markets. For example, if you own a house within a catchment area of a great primary school, chances are you may get a lot of interest from families with young children. Tenants like this are likely to be looking for a property with a bath in the bathroom, rather than an all-singing-and-dancing power shower.

Before you start any work, making sure you do this research thoroughly could save all your hard work being in vain. Failing to hit the mark with your tenants could leave you with a perfectly polished property that nobody wants to rent, so it is important to get it right!

Prioritise work that will make the biggest difference

If you have a property which has a front garden space, but is on a road with bad parking availability, consider applying for a dropped kerb and creating parking space in the front of your property. Whilst garden space is great, parking is a huge priority for many!

Something that always hits the mark is a great looking kitchen and bathroom. Fresh and clean spaces, in neutral colours with great appliances are always popular with tenants, and can really add pounds value to your property’s rental rate.

Finally, clean and neutral décor is a good way to finish your project. Easy-to-clean flooring and a simple colour on the walls allows your prospective tenants to walk in to your property and envisage their lives translated onto your blank canvas. Bright colour schemes and punchy prints may be your preference at home, but in a rental property you have to appeal to as many people as possible, so keep the bold design choices for your own home!

Work out what you are prepared to do yourself

Undertaking a renovation project is a lot of work, and depending on the nature of the jobs that need completing, it can be a hefty workload to take on yourself.

Whilst decorating and simple gardening jobs can be tackled by a keen DIY-er, any skilled jobs are better managed by professionals. There’s nothing worse than attempting a job yourself only to not quite get it up to scratch and have to budget for more materials and a specialist to come in and put it right!

Also, make sure you take into account the time it takes to renovate a property. Whilst you may imagine that you can fit this project into evenings and weekends, it may be more cost effective to pay a professional to come in and get the job done quickly. The sooner it is complete, the sooner your property will be ready to let and start earning you a rental income. If you think you might take six weeks to oversee the project yourself, versus one week with a contractor getting the work done, consider how much potential rent you would lose with that five-week difference.

Make sure all work is compliant

Time and cost aside, no matter how competent your DIY skills, there are certain jobs that you should definitely call in the professionals for.

Also, as every landlord knows there is plenty of landlord legislation that you need to comply with, and renovating gives you perfect scope to make sure that your property is ticking every legal box.

If you are looking to install new gas or electrical elements in your property, you should make sure that these are fitted by a fully registered and compliant engineer, and that you have the fitting certificated. More details on your requirements regarding gas safety are available here.

Also, with renovations underway you could consider making upgrades to your property’s green credentials. There are plenty of changes you can make, from simple tweaks such as pipe lagging, to hefty switches such as new double glazing, that all count towards making your property more energy efficient. Of course, if you do make any changes, don’t forget to update your EPC to reflect the upgrades! Details of how to do this and why it’s so important are available here.

Be practical, not personal

Don’t forget that your property is a business, and whilst you want to make sure it looks as great as it can, you need to be savvy about the choices you make.

Expensive fixtures and fittings can be more of a curse than a blessing, with complex controls and fiddly features providing potential confusion for tenants, and high cost for you to replace should they go wrong. Whilst you want your new tenants have a great home to be proud of, bear in mind that you should replace any fixtures and fitting like for like should they go wrong, so don’t leave yourself open for hefty cost further down the line if and when a pricy item needs replacing.

Similarly, think carefully about big items like floor coverings. Whilst you want to be sure that your property is welcoming and stylish, with a rental property it does pay to think a little more about the practicalities than if you were looking at carpeting your own home. If you chose to fit fluffy white pure wool carpets throughout your home, you could insist on people removing shoes, and ban red wine from entering the building – however this isn’t an option as a landlord! A more forgiving option, that is easily cleanable, or replaceable without breaking the bank, might be a more sensible choice.

Find the perfect match

When your property is perfectly polished and ready to rent, the next step is making sure that it is on the market as quickly as possible. After all, you want to find the perfect tenant to appreciate all your hard work!

Here at Howsy, we understand the importance of finding the ideal match for your property. Schedule a call with one of our team today, to discuss how we can help match your pristine property, with a tenant who will love it as much as you do!

Schedule your call here today.