The 5 easiest ways to improve the value of your rental property
December 4, 2018
Everyone who enters the buy-to-let property market has the intention of getting the most out of their investment. And quite rightly too – it is an investment after all. Recent changes to mortgage tax relief and stamp duty have threatened to slow down interest in buy-to-let investment. However, buy-to-lets are holding strong and still remain one of the most reliable investment options in the UK. In the current climate, it’s vital that you know how to increase your margins.
Improving the value of your property is perhaps the easiest and most controllable way to make your investment truly worthwhile. What’s more, there are many cost-effective options available to you. These improvements may not only lead to more money in your pocket but could also make your tenants a great deal happier too. What’s not to like?
At Vesta, we like to see rental properties performing at their best. That’s why we have put together this list of the top five ways you can increase the value of your rental property.
1) Keep on top of maintenance and repairs
The simplest way to improve the value of your property is to ensure that everything in it works. Your tenants should alert you to any problems as soon as they notice them but issues can easily be overlooked. You should carry out regular checks of your property to resolve any problems before they worsen. This not only demonstrates to your tenants that you are a proactive landlord but also ensures your property is always in tiptop condition. Both aspects will maximise your property’s value and strengthen your hand when it comes to rent negotiations.
2) Tidy up and add a lick of paint
Research conducted by Your Move found that the average tenancy length in the UK in 2017 was around 2 years. When compared to the average of just 18 months in 2014, this suggests that tenants are increasingly looking for longer-term tenancies in properties that they can call their own. A few cosmetic improvements can go a long way to improve both your tenants’ lives and the curb appeal of your property. A fresh lick of pain, tidying garden spaces or even updating fixtures and fittings are some of the quickest ways to see an instant improvement in the value of your property. Some tenants may even offer to do it for you, which will save you the money and hassle of organising it yourself. Make sure that they run all decorating plans past you first and keep colours neutral!
3) Enhance pain areas
Ask any landlord and they’ll tell you the areas of their rental properties that cause them the most trouble are kitchens and bathrooms. It’s easy to see why; these communal spaces are always being used and therefore experience the most wear and tear. Naturally, they’re going to require the most maintenance. Investing in good quality bathroom and kitchen suites may seem pricey at the time but you’ll save yourself a great deal in ongoing repair costs. Replacing an aging kitchen or bathroom – or even just the fixtures – will save you money in the long term and also encourage your tenants to stay longer. Opting for plain suites that have easily replaceable doors and worktops will keep costs down and ensure that bathrooms and kitchens are easy to refurbish in the future.
4) Target your ideal tenants
One of the best ways to maximise your property’s rental value is to tailor it to your target rental market. For example, expensive renovations may be financially worthwhile if you’re targeting higher-end tenants but will probably offer little to no return if your property can only attract tenants in the lower-end of the market. Granted, the feasible rental market of your property will probably be dictated by its location but many areas have a diverse range of properties within close proximity, especially in cities. If you are to accurately target your preferred tenant type it’s important that you do you research. Talk to other landlords in the area and consult local property experts to get a better understanding of the tenant options available to you. Once you know, you can weigh up the costs of any property improvements versus the potential ROI you can achieve.
5) Avoid an empty property
Owning an empty rental property is like running an empty taxi – it’s burning fuel, costing you money and you’re also not receiving income from customers. Your council tax, fuel bills and mortgage repayments will still need to be paid even if your property is vacant. It’s a dire situation for a landlord, even more so if the property isn’t even increasing in value. One of the best ways to ensure you are receiving consistent rental income is to find good, responsible tenants who are happy to commit to long-term contracts. Knowing their rental history helps you make smarter decisions about prospective tenants whilst using a tenanted rental property marketplace will ensure you receive rent for the full duration of your tenancies, even if you are selling up.
At Vesta, we believe that buying and selling properties with tenants in situ is the best way to minimise your costs, eliminate rental loss and reduce stress for tenants. Have access to the full rental history of potential tenants and avoid rental voids altogether. For more information on how you can sell your tenanted property online, get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today!