As a landlord, it’s important to ensure that every part of your property portfolio is attractive and well taken care of. If the flats or houses you manage are beautiful and stylish, you’ll find it easier to draw in large numbers of prospective tenants whenever a place is made available to rent.
You may also be able to make more of a profit, as a well-decorated house or flat in good repair is worth a great deal more than one that is a little down-at-heel or threadbare. Finally, you’ll probably retain your existing tenants for longer, as attractive surroundings will make them feel at home.
Of course, staying on top of the upkeep of your whole portfolio can become costly. So how do you refurbish a rental property on a budget? In this article, the fast home sale experts at Property Solvers provide some handy advice…
Do It Yourself
One of the easiest ways to cut refurbishment costs is to undertake most – or all – of the handiwork yourself. This works well for simple jobs like painting, plastering, or replacing internal doors, but take care that you know exactly what you’re doing at all times!
Hire professionals for complex or more dangerous tasks, and research as much as you can before taking anything into your own hands – after all, it may cost you even more to fix something that goes wrong!
Of course, learning how to fix and maintain the contents of a property may help you to save money in the long run. If you can do it yourself, there’ll be no need to hire a costly contractor.
Seek Out High-Quality Alternatives
It’s always nice to have the “real thing”, but when you’re splashing out on the cost of brand new tiles or hardwood floors for all of your properties, the expenses will quickly add up.
Luckily, there have been vast improvements in the fields of laminate flooring, composite or laminate kitchen worktops and even tiled paneling – all of which are very affordable.
You won’t be compromising on quality if you select any of these cheaper alternatives. A lot of the time, you’ll find that they are actually easier to clean and maintain – plus, they’re much less costly to replace if damaged.
Think about what you really need to change in your property. Does everything just look a little grubby?
If nothing is broken, and the fittings and fixtures just seem a little tired and dog-eared, maybe you need to do nothing more than give it a good clean and a lick of paint.
Deep-clean carpets, dry-clean upholstery covers, dust, scrub, polish and give everything a new coat of paint – including kitchen units, interior doors, and exterior doors – and you may find that very little else needs doing.
A very popular way to save cash in any situation is to keep an eye out for sales, discounted products, and end-of-line items. By doing this, you can find cheap high-quality furnishings that would have cost you a great deal more at any other time.
Take your time, do your research and shop around. You may even find “second hand” items online that have never been used but are now unwanted.
The advantage of managing multiple properties is that you can buy in bulk – which may also allow for considerable savings per unit.
You should also compare the prices of trade specialists such as electricians, plasterers, and plumbers to ensure you always get the best deal. The beauty of this is that once you’ve found an affordable tradesperson with whom you work well, you can use them over and over again.
Repair, Don’t Replace
The quick and easy way to upgrade the interior of a property is to throw out anything that looks worn or doesn’t function as it used to, and simply purchase brand new versions.
However, if you decide to do this, it’s likely that you’ll be scrapping items that are still perfectly serviceable and therefore failing to save a considerable amount of money.
Scuffed or scratched surfaces can be retreated, polished, painted or varnished. Threadbare upholstery can be repaired. Squeaky legs often simply require the tightening of a bolt.
Upcycling may save you a great deal of money. Improve, fix or repurpose your existing fittings and furniture to keep your refurb affordable.
Use Specialist Suppliers
There are businesses that provide furniture in bulk specifically for landlords and property managers – serving as something of a one-stop-shop when your interiors need an upgrade.
Using these specialist suppliers may save you money, time and effort, but take a look at samples of the items you’re purchasing first. Low-quality products will be cheap in the short term, but they may break or wear easily and need to be replaced, sending the cost way up.
As well as saving money throughout the refurbishment of your properties by following the steps above, it’s also a great idea to future-proof the interiors of your whole portfolio by ensuring that you have details of all of the warranties for your fittings and appliances to hand.
Keep track of when items such as boilers should be serviced or replaced, and always provide your tenants with a simple guide to caring for your property – including instructions provided by the manufacturers of all relevant appliances.
In conclusion, the key steps to refurbishing a rental property are:
- Take on at least some of the work yourself
- Upcycle and repair existing fittings and furnishings where you can
- Don’t shy away from high-quality alternatives
- Upgrade your property cosmetically before buying anything new
- Keep an eye out for bargains, deals, and sales. Bulk-buy, or go second hand
- Shop around for the most affordable service providers
- Consider using specialist suppliers of furniture for rental properties.
Remember these tips when planning your next refurbishment and you’ll not only save a great amount of money at the time, but you’ll also be more likely to retain tenants and increase the value of your property portfolio.