Letting Tip #3 – Renovations & Decor

It’s no secret that rental properties can often take a bit of a beating, it’s the nature of the beast.

Therefore it is vitally important to decorate or renovate with that in mind.

Renovations and Decor

Understandably, most novice landlords make their investment property aesthetically pleasing for as little as possible but that can be a false economy. A healthy balance between aesthetics and durability is usually the best solution for both tenant and landlord, even if it initially costs a little extra.

You cannot lose focus on the realities of buy-to-let and how people, including tenants, live in the real world. Making a property durable isn’t the cheapest route, but over time, you could save a significant amount. There are ways to save in other areas to make costs more bearable.

Don’t Get Personal

This is the golden rule when it comes to decorating or renovating a rental property but many landlords seem determined to ignore it.

Use your head not your heart and remember that YOU will NOT be living in the property.

Every “personal touch” you add to your property is a potential repellent to tenants. Tenants need to visualise themselves living in the property so presenting a ‘blank canvas’ will help them do that. .

Plan In Advance

Time is money. The longer you spend renovating, the longer the void period.

If you’re planning to renovate or redecorate between tenancies, start the day after the tenants leave. Source all necessary tools and supplies beforehand.

If a task is out of your skill-set and isn’t realistically achievable, then get someone qualified to do the work.

Do the job once and properly and it will save you money in the long term and if you need to use professionals, book them in advance. If they’re any good, they’ll be in demand.

Use Tiles Where Possible

Use tiles instead of paint where possible, especially in rooms that are moist and prone to mould, like bathrooms, utility rooms, and kitchens.

Tiles are much more durable, more resistant to infestations and easier to maintain than paint. Replacing grout is more cost effective than painting a whole wall!


Floors are the biggest victim of wear and tear.

Spending a little extra on more durable carpets that can withstand heavy treading and carpet shampoos can be a good idea.

Again, floor tiles can also be a good choice. A popular choice is a floor covering such as Karndean which are hard wearing vinyl tiles and can be a great alternative to carpet.

Laminate flooring can be a problem. If it gets wet, it can expand, and that can cause serious issues. This can occur in the winter due to moisture in the air, but also, most people clean laminate flooring with a wet mop!

Fill All Gaps

Don’t leave gaps or perished seals unattended, especially around windows, sinks, baths, showers and cookers.

Gaps and poor seals can manifest into all sorts of nasty, unwanted problems including mould and water damage. Apply mastic filler to repair gaps to prevent any issues and use sealant with a mould repellent to repair broken seals.

Don’t Go Over Neutral

Don’t get caught in the ‘Magnolia’ trap!

A light colour does give the illusion of space and cleanliness, which of course is perfect to entice potential tenants. However, this can have an extremely short life-span. After a few months of practical living, lighter colours can become gloomy and murky. It is extremely difficult to keep light walls and carpets clean.

Try mid-toned browns and greys which are both practical and durable. Varying colours can also make your property stand out from the crowd if there are lots of similar properties to yours available to rent.

A simple but very effective way of both saving money and a lot of hassle in the future is to keep a stock of paint and tiles.

When decorating or renovating, buy a little extra when it comes to the materials that you have used. This will allow for easy paint touch-ups or tile replacements.

Avoid Cheap Fittings

Cutting costs in some areas when it comes to renovating a buy-to-let property can be acceptable, but kitchen and bathroom fittings is a cost cut that is definitely not advisable.

Cheap taps are definitely a false economy, especially when you consider the labour costs to get them fitted.

At Professional Properties we have an in house renovations team who can advise on the best and most economical way of getting your property ready to let.

How We Can Help

At Professional Properties, we do offer a Property Sourcing Service where you meet with us and tell us the answers to all the questions above in a lot of detail!

We call it the ‘Buy-to-Let Road Trip’… 

We then go away and find suitable properties that meet your requirements.

To book your FREE, NO OBLIGATION Property Sourcing Workshop, please click below: