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Top tips for renovating a rental property

As professional landlords, Open Property Group use our experience to improve standards in our rental portfolio. We are long term investors and therefore need to ensure that our properties are well suited to the rental market. Our objective is to constantly improve our gross to net rent ratio and create 'homes' for our tenants which they will respect and hopefully stay for years to come.

I have enclosed my top tips when renting a property:

  • Install A rated double glazed windows which include trickle vents and request that tenants keep the trickle vents open at all times to improve air flow in the home. This can help reduce condensation.
  • Install quality taps and shower valves which benefit from a minimum of 10 years warranty. The upfront cost of the equipment is higher, however it will save you In the long run as you 'get what you pay for'
  • Install an 'A' rated gas boiler with a long warranty. Ideally a minimum of 10 years from Ideal or a similar manufacturer.
  • Fit removable bath panels to baths so that plumbers can access the hot and cold feed and waste if you have any leaks or plumbing issues.
  • Ensure that shower trays are watertight with no gaps where water can escape and cause leaks. Use quality mastic to 'waterproof' the area.
  • Regarding condensation issues - one option would be to install a ‘Nuaire Drimaster’ unit which provides positive input ventilation costing an estimated £550. Condensation dampness is more common than you may think particularly in older homes, and as winter sets in and temperature starts to drop many of us will notice the problem more. Read more about this here
  • Install kitchen appliances which have a minimum of 2 year warranty, albeit ideally I would suggest investing the extra money so that you can benefit from a 5 year warranty.
  • Paint the walls with washable paint so that they can be touched up when the walls are scratched or marked.
  • Fit LED light bulbs. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to‎ 50,000 hours. This is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL. Used 12 hours a day, a 50,000 bulb will last more than 11 years‎, which saves you the hassle of having to change light bulbs when tenants complain about them failing.
  • Ensure that you have a local team of trades to assist when there are general wear and tear problems. The most common issues relates to 'plumbing, electrics, roofing repairs and damp/condensation.
  • Floors are the biggest victim of wear and tear in any property because they receive the most physical contact, and that’s why I always spend a little extra on thick and durable carpets that can withstand heavy treading and toxic carpet shampoos. Carpet retailers should be able to advice you on which particular carpets are suitable for BTL properties. And, where I can, I use tiles on the floor (for reasons already explained).
    There are mixed feelings towards laminate flooring. Some find them durable and long-lasting (which they can be), but they’re also prone to malfunctioning. For example, if they get wet/moist, they expand, and that can cause problems. This frequently happens in the winter due to the moisture in the air, but also, most people clean laminate flooring with a wet-mop, which is a recipe for disaster.
Published on 24th January 2017

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