Investing in property continues to be lucrative, but as a landlord there are a number of things you need to get right – and one of the most important is how you present and renovate your rental property.

A huge number of landlords today are “accidental landlords”, meaning they once called the property home. For this reason, most landlords want to really look after their investment and attract and retain high quality tenants.

But attracting new, quality tenants can be a tough task for landlords. Firstly, there’s competition from other landlords; then there’s the task of getting the price right (enlisting a reputable agent will help), but most importantly, you need to make sure the property looks modern, fresh and attractive.

Here, Portico provides some tips for landlords on how to attract a quality tenant with your rental property.

Stick to neutral paint colours

Neutral is always best when it comes to buy-to-let. After all, you want your property to appeal to the masses – and you want tenants to imagine them living there. To do so, they essentially need a blank, homely canvas. That doesn’t mean you need to paint everything white, but stick to neutral paint colours like beige, grey, cream and white. There’s some useful information on the most popular whites and neutrals here.

Keep it lit

New standards are being re now in space which require private landlords who are renting out a property in the UK to make sure the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has an energy efficiency rating at least ‘E’ (the rating bands are A to G). If this isn’t achieved, landlords could face huge fines.

With this in mind, LEDs are recommended; the install price is relatively affordable, plus their energy efficiency is one of the highest on the market. There’s another benefit too: once installed, it’s unlikely a tenant will need to replace them as they can last as long as four years.

The lower energy usage of LEDs will reduce the tenants’ energy bill, keeping them happy too. Portico recommends getting LED spotlights for that modern, well-lit look.

Maximise the space you have

In popular cities, having an abundance of space is a luxury that many don’t have. So, in order to attract and retain quality tenants, landlords need to be smart with regards to how they utilize their space. Here’s some useful tips:

  • Shrink the size of your dining table and couch – wall hugging recliners are a good alternative for small spaces
  • Think about mounting your TV
  • Choose pieces with a dual purpose, i.e. desks that also feature storage, or beds that can transform into sofas in studio flats
  • Give your rooms a vertical look, think tall shelves

Give the bathroom and kitchen special attention

If you are going to spend money on your rental investment, make sure it goes on the kitchen and the bathroom. This way you will be able to attract a quality tenant, increase your return, and perhaps even increase the value of your property.

For rental properties, resources suggest to spend no more than 3-4 per cent for a kitchen renovation and less than one per cent on the bathrooms.

High spec finishes aren’t necessary – and remember, it’s not your home, so try to be neutral in taste and style. You want the kitchen and bathroom to both look clean, new and modern, without having to spend a fortune.

Top tip: try to use kitchen bench-tops that are heat, scratch and stain resistant. It’s also useful finding products that come with long warranty periods, just in case.

It’s also important to think about your target rental demographic; if your home is likely to attract a family, a bathtub for children is essential. But if you are trying to attract young professionals, a dual vanity unit and a powerful shower are of higher importance. Again, stick to neutral, white colours and tiles.

Cleanliness matters

It sounds obvious, but cleanliness matters – especially on first impressions. Not only does a rental property that looks spic and span have a higher chance of securing a high-quality tenant, but chances are, they’ll take better care of it better because they’ll want to keep it looking lovely and new.

Kerb appeal is important too, so make sure the front door has had a fresh lick of paint and the front garden looks neat and tidy.

Do you have any tips for how to present a rental property to appeal to attract quality tenants? Let us know!