12 May Tenant-friendly Decorating Tips for Landlords
Whether you have the greatest tenants ever or ones that have you ruing the day you ever became a landlord, one thing’s for sure – there will come a time when you need to decorate your property.
Although there’ll be a difference in how a high-end property in London will be done out compared to say, a bedsit in Lancashire, the fundamentals are the same. You need a property that’s decorated in a practical and durable way that will withstand the rigours your tenants will put it through.
You don’t need to spend a fortune decorating your property, but the nicer it is, the more likely you are to attract good tenants who will look after it.
Decorate properly in the beginning
You might not want to spend too much on decorating, as you may feel tenants are only going to ruin it, but the better it’s done in the first place, the less you’ll have to do in the future. Buy cheap, buy twice, and all that.
If the walls need plastering, get them plastered. If they need new wallpaper, get new wallpaper. Walls and coverings in good condition will last for years and will save you patching up crumbling walls and peeling wallpaper every few months.
Keep it neutral
You may love bright pink paintwork or flamingo-festooned feature walls but will your potential tenants? Let’s face it, some may, but most won’t, so keep your colours neutral. White or cream (dare we say magnolia?) walls are the way to go and, when it comes to carpet or flooring, tones of brown will hide most marks and dirt.
No tenants are going to moan about a neutral colour scheme. In fact, they probably won’t even notice it. They’ll definitely notice a crazy colour scheme though.
Help your tenants to help you
Assuming you don’t want tenants bashing nails into your walls but you don’t want to completely stop them from putting their own stamp on the place, consider installing a picture rail so they can hang as many pictures as they like without breaching any ‘no nails’ clause in their tenancy agreement. They can of course fill any holes in the wall they do make but this never works completely in making the walls good again so a picture rail will prevent them reaching for the hammer in the first place.
As we said earlier, the more care you spend on decorating and renovation in the beginning, the better. Buy good quality fittings and appliances such as taps and fridges, as well made ones will last for years. Cheap ones will keep breaking and, as you’re responsible for them, you’ll have the inconvenience of paying for them and arranging new ones to be installed.
A newly-decorated property doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There’s no point splashing out tens of thousands to get it looking like a show home when it’s not you who’s going to be living in it and your tenants probably won’t share your taste anyway.
A fresh, clean, smart property in a good state of repair will attract the best tenants and make them more likely to want to keep it looking good.