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Agony Agent is here to help!

9th September 2017

Q:  I need to refurbish the kitchen in my rental property.  As I am new to this, do you have any tips please?

A:  Decorating or fitting a kitchen for a property is all about return on investment.  You want to spend enough that you get a durable, hard-wearing kitchen, but not so much that it takes you years to break even through your rental income.  If you imagine spending £10,000 on a kitchen for a property which will rent for £300 pcm, you can see how long it would take to earn that money back.  However, if you invest too little, you could find yourself having to replace everything a year down the line.

Whether you are replacing the whole kitchen, or just doing up an existing one, my top tips will help you save money and time – as well as keeping your tenants happy.

As with bathrooms, moisture is one of the biggest threats to your sparkling new kitchen.  Once mould has set in it’s pretty hard to stop and is notorious for eating away at plaster and paintwork.  There are plenty of ways to prevent moisture damage and mould, for example, use a mould-resistant paint (one that is also wipe-clean) and use tiles where possible.  Although expensive, tiling will last and keeps moisture at bay.  If your budget doesn’t stretch to a tiled floor, try lino flooring.  Lino is cheap, easy to fit and easy to clean – as well as being water resistant.  Needless to say, carpets are a no in any kitchen, as is laminate flooring, which can expand and buckle when wet.  Install a good extractor fan or cooker hood and advise your tenants to use it every time they cook, to whisk away steam and condensation.  If your units are looking a little dated you’ll need to weigh up the expense of replacing them against your intended return on investment.  Think again about the type of tenant you’re trying to attract, and this should help you decide what to go for.

If there is no structural damage to the cupboards, but they look shabby, why not paint them, with cupboard paint, and replacing the knobs for some fresh new ones?  You could even keep the ‘shells’ of the cupboards and simply replace the doors but, whatever you do to them, stick to neutral colours.  When it comes to appliances and white goods, even unfurnished properties will be snapped up quicker if they have the basics on offer.  A washing machine, fridge and cooker will go a long way to attracting tenants.  Before you go full steam ahead and start including fancier goods such as dishwashers, consider again the type of tenant you want and how much they’ll be paying in rent.

As always, any gas appliances will need fitting by a Gas Safe registered engineer and will need an annual safety check.

If you need any help or assistance with the refurbishment of your rental property, contact our office for free advice on this subject.

Richard Bond

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