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How to add value to your home in the UK – 9 Tips

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Letting out a property is no easy feat. Property management is a time-consuming task that becomes a lot easier with a letting agent who you trust at your side. But finding a reliable tenant who will take good care of your property is key. One of the best ways to get the most out of your property investment is to add value through home improvements before letting it out.

1. Give the kitchen a makeover

Kitchen makeover

The kitchen is the undisputed heart of most homes, and so an attractive looking kitchen is essential.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a brand new kitchen. For around £5,000 it’s possible to replace the cupboard fronts, install engineered flooring and fit new worktops. Or for smaller budgets, think about updating existing worktops, splashbacks, taps and lighting to give your existing kitchen a facelift.

If your rental requires a new kitchen make sure it is robust, contemporary, easy to clean and offers plenty of storage.

2. Spruce up the bathroom

After the kitchen, the bathroom is usually the most important room. Make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower – this is essential for most tenants.

Consider replacing the existing sanitaryware if it is chipped, badly stained, or an unfashionable colour, keeping the same layout will be the cheapest option as moving sanitaryware might mean relocating soil pipes and water inlets, which will add to your costs.

If you want to improve the look of the room but don’t want to spend a lot, try replacing the taps or adding add a mirror or two to make the space seem larger and brighter. Think about adding a heated towel rail or replacing a single pendant light with a triple halogen spotlight unit, available for as little as £10.

If you need to replace tiles, you could tile over the old ones as removing tiles can be a difficult job.

The bathroom should ideally look modern, streamlined, and uncluttered.

3. Sort out the front of your property

Spruce up outside

The term ‘wow factor’ is used a lot, but something along these lines is needed if your prospective tenants are to be interested in the property. To give your property kerb appeal you could:

  • Paint the front door
  • Replace broken path tiles and make sure the driveway is in good condition
  • Replace tired door furniture with smart handles, knobs, knockers and letterboxes
  • Replace the outside light if it no longer works.

4. Fix any problems

Prospective tenants will be put off if there are any structural problems or other issues, such as an unpredictable boiler, a poor shower, or structural cracks to walls. Any structural problems are problems that should be looked at anyway, and it’s always best to make sure any problems are fixed before they are allowed to get worse.

Make sure any cosmetic issues are also dealt with such as peeling paint, squeaking doors, jammed or damaged windows, broken door latches, dripping taps, loose tiles, and so on.

5. Paint and decorate

Applying a fresh coat of paint or papering the walls is one of the most cost-effective home improvements. You probably don’t need us to tell you that a neutral palette will have the broadest appeal to tenants.

If the carpets in your rental property are very old it may be worth replacing them. If you have wooden floors in your property then you can freshen them up by sanding them down and adding a varnish finish.

6. Make the garden look loved

If the property has a garden of any size, make the most of it. Make sure it’s as weed-free as possible, brush any paved areas, mow the lawn, and make sure any flowerbeds or planting displays are neat and tidy. If the garden area is neglected, you could consider laying a patio or decking to allow for outdoor entertaining.

7. Update the central heating

A modern system will be a must for most renters. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it.

8. Boost energy efficiency

This is an easy win to ensuring that you maximise your property’s appeal as tenants will be attracted by cheaper heating bills. Typical ways to boost energy efficiency are to install add energy-saving light bulbs, loft insulation, double glazing and cavity wall insulation.

9. Rethink the layout

Rethink the layout

This will inevitably be a more costly home improvement but should add more to the value of the property. By restructuring the layout of the property or simplifying the floor plan, you could make the living space more appealing while adding value. For example, you may be able to increase your rental yield by adding a loft conversion to your rented property.

You don’t always need to add more floor space. By simply improving on the space available (this could mean taking down a wall separating a kitchen and living space to make one larger open plan communal area) you can make the place more pleasant and appealing to tenants.

And finally…

If funds allow, it makes sense for any landlord to look to boost the value of their property investment, and some of the ideas listed above should help you do that. The more appealing the property, the less likely you are to suffer from void periods. However, if you ever do find yourself with an untenanted property and no rental income, our rent guarantee scheme will cover you.

There are many things to consider prior to putting a property up for rent, but a local letting agent should provide the guidance you need to get the most from your buy-to-let property. Contact us for help today.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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