Congratulations! You’re just a bit of hard work away from having a property for rent and a good long-term investment.
Your goal is to make the house as attractive as possible to tenants, and ensure it maintains its value. As with any major project, you now need to do some research and planning to prioritize the work.
First off, what major existing problems are there in the house that need to be tackled? If you had a comprehensive survey done when you bought it, you should know the answer to this question already.
Are there problems with the structure of the property, including the roof and walls? These have to be your immediate priority. You won’t have a property for rent if it’s falling down!
Pay attention to important basics such as plumbing, central heating and the electrics.
Be aware that you may create major problems while doing renovations. It’s not unheard of for half a wall to come off with old wallpaper being stripped, or for major holes to be discovered behind old panelling.
It’s worth doing whatever needs to be done to secure your investment at this stage. You might find it harder and more expensive to perform structural repairs when you have tenants in, so think long-term with any work you do.
The good news is that most experts like roofers, timber and damp specialists will happily visit your property to check if their services are needed, and give you a written quote. Most will do this for no charge. This could give you huge peace of mind in preparing your property for rent.
Once the big jobs have been done, next you should look at the major areas that turn a house into a home. Even though people are only renting this private property from you, they will be delighted to see a clean and modern kitchen and bathroom. These are key rooms that will help to dictate how easily you will find tenants in the years to come.
If your budget is limited, look at the small details. Would it make a difference to your property for rent if you replaced the kitchen cupboard doors, or the bathroom taps?
It will certainly make a difference if you decorate. This is the most basic renovation you can do. And it’s important to get it right. You are looking to create a clean and warm but plain environment, that your tenants can personalise with their own belongings.
That means keeping your personal tastes out of it, and decorating in light, plain colours. Try to avoid wallpaper where you can and consider modern touches such as wooden floors or hard wearing carpet. The investment now should pay off for you in the long-term.
Once you have made the renovation plan for your property for rent, you next need to look at who will do the work and how. If there’s more than you can handle on your own, you’ll need to co-ordinate workmen.
Your goal with outside help is to get everyone in and out of the house at around the same time, to get the job done quickly. This will help you get rental income out of the property faster. Be aware that you will need to be a project manager and think through the logistics of the project. There’s no point getting the decorators in until the carpenters have finished.
And you need to consider what kind of budget you have to spend. Watch any property renovation TV show, and you’ll know how likely it is that the work on your property for rent is going to cost a lot more than you thought.
Have a contingency fund and be tight when you need to be. It’s the best way to ensure your house starts generating a profit more quickly.