Everyone deserves a decent, safe, warm and comfortable place to live. Even if you specialise in social housing, as a good landlord, you should provide a home in which you would feel comfortable living.
Getting a distressed property up to such a standard can be a major headache if you have no guidelines and are unaware of the legal requirements.
To help soothe this headache, here are some important refurbishment tips that you should know, whether you’re an accidental landlord, a landlord with a handful of rental properties, or a big-time property investor.
Assuming you’ve already taken possession, changed the locks on the doors, and contacted your local council about any major changes you plan to make, you can begin striping out and preparing the property.
It’s important to have your building work done in the correct order, as it will be mighty frustrating – and expensive – to have the electricians turn up after the walls have been plastered.
Assuming the property is structurally sound, and you're doing an internal refurbishment with no extensions, below is the general order of works:
Good landlords safeguard not only their investment, but their tenants as well. These key factors are essential to protect the life of your property, and the lives of the people who live there. It is imperative that you read, download and make yourself familiar with the Government regulated HHSRS before even thinking of buying investment property.
If you already own an investment property, do check this out, as you’ll be held liable if your property does not adhere to the regulations in the link above. If you’re aware of them before you refurbish, it’ll be cheaper, more efficient and easier to incorporate the features when the work is being done.
It’s now illegal to rent a property which is rated below E, on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPG). This approved assessor will help you decide how your property fares on the scale, and what actions you need to take to raise your property’s rating.
Note: Insulating floors, the loft, external walls and windows will make your property more energy efficient. In certain areas, there are government grants to help you raise your property’s energy rating. Contact your council to find out if you qualify.
There are several ways a good landlord can save themselves the pain of constant refurbs. There are many new developments in the world of laminates and PVCs, that extend the life of various fixtures & fittings.
Bathrooms and kitchens are notorious for needing constant upgrades, but there are ways of getting around these potential headaches safely and efficiently. Here are a few:
As a good landlord, you know that you’re responsible for giving your tenants peace of mind when it comes to security.
Plan and budget for the jobs below when you’re doing your refurb. Your electrician should easily be able to fit a couple of external lights when he/she does the re-wiring.
Once you’ve finished your refurbishment and followed all the tips above, you’re ready to stage the property. Hire a professional to take detailed photos that you can use for advertising. This attracts more potential tenants and alleviates the need to take pictures after each tenant moves out.
Now that you’ve taken care to efficiently and safely refurbish your property, you’ll want to keep it looking good for a long time to come. We’ve given you many ideas here about how to do so, but we would love your input too. Do you have any top tips not mentioned in this list? If so, please add them in the comments’ section, and together we can build a definitive list that I wish I had when I started my property journey.
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