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When should I renovate my buy-to-let property?

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Every home needs care and attention to keep it in tip-top condition and buy-to-let properties are no exception. While most tenants will look after their rental home, the general wear and tear of daily living is bound to take its toll on the property. So maintenance costs are an important consideration if you’re thinking of buying a property to rent out.

Deciding when to renovate is about striking a balance. In most cases you’ll need to carry out the work between tenancies – and the longer the job takes, the longer you’ll be without your rental income. But rush the job and botch things, and you could end up with a costly repair bill.

As with many things, the key to making sure it all goes smoothly is preparation. Read on for our guide to painless renovations to rental properties.

When should I renovate my buy-to-let property

 

Scheduling

It’s important to be ready to start your repairs the day your tenants hand back their keys. Make sure you conduct an inspection of the property before the tenancy ends – naturally, giving your tenants the correct notice.

Work out exactly what needs doing, buy in your supplies (with extra to make sure you don’t run short) and have any tradespeople booked and ready to go.

Seasonality

With warmer weather and extended hours of daylight, spring and summer are the optimum time for renovations. If a tenancy is ending during the summer months, take advantage and think ahead, getting any jobs that might need doing in the near future out of the way before you sign up new tenants.

Invest wisely

It’s important to match your spend on refurbishment to the value of your property, your target tenant and the increase in rental yield any improvements will bring. However, you shouldn’t scrimp too much either – very cheap fixtures, flooring or appliances could be a false economy, costing you more in the long term. Make sure anything you buy for the rental home is durable and easy to keep clean and tidy.

What to buy

Top tips from seasoned buy-to-let landlords include;

  • Tiles – use them as much as possible in bathrooms and kitchens to avoid mould – plus they are much easier to keep clean. For any paintwork in kitchens and bathrooms, consider anti-damp paint.
  • Flooring – choose hard-wearing quality laminate or wood floors that will last through numerous tenancies. Go for durable carpets too and avoid very light colours.
  • Appliances – read reviews and choose quality brands that will last; shopping around for the best deal. Consider extended warranties so you can’t be caught out with extra costs if something goes wrong.

Remember to keep all your receipts as you may be able to claim tax relief on allowable expenses.

Could we help?

If you are new to renting out property, Assetgrove estate agency may be able to help. Our experience and knowledge within the industry means we have plenty of advice about getting the best return on your investment. We can organise tradespeople for you from our list of reliable professionals, ensuring your refurbishment is completed in a timely manner. And our rent guarantee scheme provides you with a fixed, guaranteed rental income for up to five years. Contact us to find out more.

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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