Property Refurbishment To Add Value And Increase Cash Flow
I recently bought my first property in Cliftonville, Kent where there is a high demand for rental properties and it has a high population of Eastern European immigrants needing accommodation. They are house proud and hard working and seek a better life style when they come to the UK hence I set about refurbishing the flats to create a smart, contemporary and comfortable interior where they feel proud to come home to.
Most landlords in the area refurbish the flats as cheaply as possible and in the process they use materials that may not be durable and will start to look shabby or get easily damaged within months and in a couple of years will need replacing. Spending just a few pounds more will make sure that the materials you use will be durable and your tenants will enjoy their homes for years to come (up to 5years or may be more).
The flats also look aesthetically more appealing and tenants are prepared to pay a little bit more to enjoy a better quality of living. My rents have gone up from £425/month to £475/month. Hence £50/month increases in rent per flat.
However it is very important to keep to a budget depending on the monthly rent you will be receiving in the area. Finance spent wisely in order to give you a better return will increase the value of your investment.
Instead of spending £4-£6/m2 on laminate flooring, I have spent £11/m2 on oak wood laminate flooring with fiberboard underlay for comfort and sound reduction. The flooring is for heavy domestic use with a lifetime guarantee, is beautifully grained and gives the hallway and the lounge a sumptuous contemporary look that appeals to my tenants. It is also hygienic and easy to keep clean.
The Kitchen has Camero slate tile effect flooring, which is warm, slip resistant and unlike tiles things don’t break easily if it falls on it. Unlike vinyl flooring the Camero flooring doesn’t tear when tenants move their fridges out from underneath the counter tops when they move out of the flats.
Sand coloured carpet £5.45/m2 with a £2.99/m2 underlay for comfort and to increase the longevity of the carpet is used in the bedrooms.
The bathroom has £8/m2 thick vinyl flooring which is warm, water proof and slip resistant in stone effect that looks stunning.
I have also spent money on getting faux oak wood blinds for all the windows of the flats as this keeps the contemporary look and is easy to clean and maintain.
In the bathroom the shower curtains have been replaced with bi-folding shower doors which looks smart, easy to keep hygienic and clean. You can buy the shower doors in bulk if you have more than a few flats to refurbish and get at least 10% discount. Also new shower attachment with a soap dish holder adds to comfortable living.
My tenants are happy to pay the rent and do not wish to leave the flats. There is still work to be completed to the out side of the building and the communal area. I am happy to say I am on budget and once the refurbishment is complete the property will increase in value due to good tenants, regular rents and improved condition and look of the building.
Written by Interior designer and SBID member Sangeeta Goyal