When you let out a property, it’s inevitable that it’s not going to be returned in exactly the same condition it came in. After all, you have to allow people to live their lives, and over time, fixtures and fittings age and need replacing. However, there are ways to ensure your property looks good even after tenants have lived in it, and here are a few ways to protect your investment:
Protect the walls
When you have tenants moving in and out, it’s quite easy to get chipped paint, which can make your property look shabby. This often happens around door frames and in the middle of the wall where chairs and furniture get pushed up against the paint. While you can simply fill in the chips, sometimes repairing chipped paint can involve stripping down the wood, which is time-consuming. When you have the doors painted, ensure they’re properly prepped and finished to protect them. You could also add a chair rail to stop furniture touching the walls, which can also help prevent chips.
Damp is the bane of many landlords’ existence, and while sometimes it can develop because of tenants being careless, there are things you can do to help avoid it:
- Install an extractor hood in the kitchen
- Have your double glazing checked regularly
- Ensure there’s ventilation for tumble dryers and washing machines
- Fit extractor fans in the bathroom
If you have taken these measures and your property still ends up with damp, then it may be the fault of the tenant’s, so you may be able to claim back for the damage.
Invest in hard-wearing furniture
Landlords who offer furnished properties will often install the cheapest flatpack furniture. Unfortunately, the saying ‘if you buy cheap, you buy twice’ is true when it comes to furniture that’s being used every day. It’s, therefore, worth spending a little more and getting items that are built to last. For example, restaurant furniture is designed for heavy use, so even in shared homes, it can last for longer.
The same is true for fixtures and fittings. While it’s tempting to install inexpensive taps, cupboards and doors, cheap items are likely to get damaged much more easily and will usually not be worth repairing, so you have to replace them again and again.
Protect your floors
One of the most common damages to properties are spills, from red wine stains to food. While most spills aren’t serious if they’re mopped up right away, you can never be sure whether tenants will know how to remove the stain. The best option is to not have carpets in rental properties, since hardwood and tile is fashionable anyway, but in some flats it’s a requirement due to noise regulations. When you have carpet installed, pay the extra for stain protection. In high traffic areas such as the hallway, you might want to add cheap carpet runners. It can also be cheaper to replace large rugs than carpet, so consider adding them in areas such as the living room.
It’s not always possible to completely avoid damage to rental homes – after all, that’s what the deposit is for – but investing in quality and protecting certain areas can mean you spend less on maintenance overall.