If you’re a landlord, decorating a buy to let property is tough. You want to create a homely environment without making it too personal and you don’t want to spend a fortune! After all, it’s likely that the property will require annual retouches and a complete overhaul every three years to maintain a clean and fresh finish! Having spent many years living in rental properties before owning my own, I’ve put together three simple tips to help new, or aspiring landlords, to create a welcoming home environment, whilst keeping the cost down to a minimum.
To furnish or not to furnish? That is the question
When deciding whether it’s worth furnishing your rental property, it’s important to consider what types of tenants you are trying to attract. For example, if the house is located in a central area, with a high student population, then student lets is likely to be your best target market. In this instance, its advisory to include basic furnishings, like communal sofas and TV’s for living spaces, and beds, wardrobes and desk areas in the bedrooms. This will make the property much more appealing to a student audience, who don’t want the commitment of owning and transporting furniture.
On the other hand, if the property is located in a village on the outskirts of town, you are likely to attract families. In this instance, it’s likely that they will already have their own furniture, especially if they are long term renters relocating to a new area.
If you do make the decision to furnish the property, make sure that the goods are high quality and fairly new. This will make the home look more attractive and appealing. Ideally, you should also select strong, durable furniture as some tenants can be careless.
Generally, a furnished property will amount to a higher rental rate will appeal to short term leases.
It’s only natural that whatever flooring option you choose, it will have substantial wear and tear, especially in high traffic areas, like hallways and living areas. Different flooring options are better suited for different areas:
Bedrooms – Bedrooms in rental properties should have a homely feeling, so carpet is a good choice. Choose a neutral shade in a darker tone, such as grey, to avoid visible damage. A hard-wearing texture, such as polypropylene, or nylon, is a sensible and cost effective choice. Carpets will also help to insulate bedrooms, reducing energy bills for the tenant.
Living room – Living rooms are high traffic areas, so you want to ensure you choose a durable flooring option, that is still warm and cosy. Carpets are great, but can be easily damaged and are expensive to replace. A great alternative to traditional carpet is modulyss carpet tiles. They give the same welcoming feeling as carpet but are fitted as tiles, rather than one solid roll. This means that should damage occur, you will only need to replace the affected area. This can be a lifesaver for student accommodation, as it will significantly reduce the maintenance costs.
Kitchen and bathrooms – As kitchens and bathrooms are highly susceptible to damp and splashes, vinyl is a sensible flooring choice. As well as being very affordable, Vinyl is also water resistant and resilient to damage. It is easy to wipe clean, enabling you to ensure the property is consistently fresh!
If your rental property is located where the climate is warm most of the time or is constantly switching from cold to warm throughout the year, a carpet may not be a good idea since it warms and insulates rooms.
An alternative for carpets are rugs, which are better for rental properties in warm or tropical climates. Property rentals in warmer places often exude a coastal or beach theme. While the design of decors is indeed important for a cohesive design, choosing the right material of rug should be prioritised.
Rugs placed in bedrooms must endure high foot traffic and weather through the years. You may think that there are only limited designs and themes for the right material of rug for the bedroom. However, there are a lot of suitable and stylish coastal rugs that will fit the theme and hold up through wear and tear.
A lick of paint
With rental properties, you don’t want to get too personal. Simple is better! A consistent neutral colour scheme, such as magnolia, is a safe, inoffensive option. Light, creamy colours give the illusion of space, so tenants will be wowed by the size of the rooms. Simple colours are less likely offend, whereas bright and bold colour schemes could deter renters. Keeping a consistent colour scheme throughout the property will make it easier to touch up the paint when tenants leave – helping you save money on maintenance.
Being a landlord can be hard work, but by making smart décor choices, you can make your life much easier!
*Guest post, In collaboration