Adding value to your rental on a budget

All properties need a little bit of love every now and then – particularly if they’ve been through the wringer of a handful of different tenants over the years. But with everything costing so much more at the moment, updating your rental probably isn’t high on your list of priorities right now.

But with stiff competition out there on the rental market, your property needs to stand out when attracting potential tenants. If you’re planning on making some aesthetic changes, you want to be sure that the investments you’re making are going to have an impact. Here are our tips on adding value to your rental on a budget.

Invest in your kitchen

If there’s one room you should really work on getting right, it’s the kitchen. This is the room that can add the most value to your property. After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home! A good kitchen can be a real selling point for prospective tenants.

If your budget cannot stretch to a refit though, there are some easy wins that you can tackle when renovating your rental on a budget. Painting cabinetry for instance is a great way to refresh a kitchen. If you have wooden units, find a satin or semi-gloss paint in your desired shade and get painting. Satin or semi-gloss paints are well suited to kitchens as they are generally easier to wipe down when they inevitably get a little dirty. 

Swapping out cupboard handles is also a great way to update a kitchen. Whether your property calls for antique brass, quirky copper or a sleek and modern black, changing cupboard handles is a small change that makes a big difference.

Lastly, focus on lighting your kitchen well. In more modern properties, spotlights look chic and make a room bright and airy. Plus, the light will bounce off shiny surfaces such as worktops and appliances to create the illusion of even more light. For a more traditional feel, invest in a statement light fitting and make this the focal point of the room. Think big industrial-style lights with filament bulbs for a period property to add an edge and impress prospective tenants.

Focus on your USP

There must be something about your property that makes it stand out amongst the rest. Does it have a cellar? A bay window? It doesn’t have to be anything particularly unique, but pinpointing a unique selling point for your property and maximising it can give it the edge on the market.

Let’s use the cellar example. If it’s not big enough to be used as another room, could you turn it into a wine cellar? Simpy fit a few wine racks to the wall and create appropriate storage. With a little time and dedication, you could undertake this yourself if you’re good with a hammer and avoid the labour fees.

For a bay window, you could fit a window seat underneath and turn it into a reading nook. Add some storage within the seat for an extra win. It might just offer enough charm to turn heads.

If your property doesn’t have a USP then you may be able to create one. Could you turn your property into a ‘smart home’ by installing tech features such as smart thermostats, smart door locks and an Amazon Echo Show on the walls? You could even fit speakers in each room so that music can be played around the house.

Give the walls a makeover

It might be a trend, but wall panelling is a trend that’s here to stay. Adding panelling to a room instantly elevates it and gives it personality. Paint it your desired colour and let the walls do the talking. The best thing? You can DIY it and it can certainly be done on a budget.

There are a few different types of panelling to choose from. You could opt for batten and board panelling. This looks great either across the whole wall, or at a three quarter or half height. It suits a range of different properties, giving off a traditional but sophisticated look. Shiplap or tongue and grove panelling is another option. It’s is essentially milled lengths of timber board all stacked tightly together horizontally. Again, it works well in most property types but looks most at home in country abodes.

Wood slat panelling is arguably the newest type of panelling to emerge. Inspired by acoustic panelling, this technique uses slim slats of plywood in usually half an inch of thickness stacked together to cover a proportion of the wall, as opposed to the whole wall. Best suited to modern properties, this wood looks great when left natural without paint and gives a calming scandinavian vibe.

Stick to hard flooring

There is a reason why homeowners love carpets; they feel cosy, they trap the warmth and look stylish. However, in a rental carpets can become a bit of a bugbear. With multiple tenancies, they can quickly become worn and stained and worst of all, they trap odours which can be offputting for new tenants coming in.

Stick to hard flooring where possible for a low maintenance solution. Laminate in particular is more affordable than other hard flooring types and is a lot easier to maintain and keep clean than carpets. It’s also easy to install, meaning you could save money on fitters if you’re willing to get stuck in.

These are just a handful of the ways that you can make your property stand out amongst the rest on the rental market. Whilst every landlord wants to offer a beautiful property to their tenants, it’s important to remember that not everyone will treat it with the respect you would.

Whatever changes you decide to make to your property before your next tenancy, make sure you’re covered with landlord insurance to protect your investment.