As letting and managing agents, we see a lot of different properties and it’ll come as no surprise to hear that the fresher and more up-to-date the décor, (a) the more quickly a property tends to let and (b) the more likely you are to get good tenants paying the best market rent.
So, decorating is an important consideration for landlords. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive but don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option. Poor quality paint looks cheap and doesn’t last - it’s a false economy to cut right back on costs.
When you’re first doing up a property, we’d suggest:
- For rooms where moisture tends to gather, particularly kitchens and bathrooms, use specialist wipeable, mould-resistant paint on the walls and ceiling.
- In the rest of the property, go for a tough, washable matt paint that lets you scrub off marks without damaging the overall look.
- For woodwork, choose gloss, rather than eggshell, as it’s harder wearing and more stain resistant.
- Colour-wise, you need to balance making the property look as light and spacious as possible with the wear and tear it’s likely to suffer. Go for neutrals that aren’t too pale and steer clear of white or cream – the same goes for carpets and furnishings.
- Ideally, use the same paint throughout and check with your supplier that it won’t be withdrawn from their range any time soon. Buying in bulk could save you money and it’ll make it easier to touch up areas as they need it, rather than having to repaint entire rooms.
Although specialist paints tend to be more expensive than the standard products, using them means you won’t have to redecorate so often, which saves on repeated labour costs.
Importantly, make sure you budget properly for redecoration into your ongoing budget:
- For a property let as a single unit, expect to redecorate every 3-5 years
- If tenants are long-term, we find that if we ask whether they’d like us to redecorate at year 3, they’ll often say it’s not necessary. In that case, we’d suggest doing it at year 5 as standard
- If you have an House in Multiple Occupation or tend to have a change in tenancy every 6-12 months, you’ll probably need to redecorate individual bedrooms and communal areas every couple of years, although probably not the whole property at the same time.
In all cases, make regular inspections and ensure paintwork is regularly wiped down and touched up where necessary.
For more advice on maintaining the décor in your Buy to Let, contact your local Your Move branch and one of the team will be happy to help.