Kitchens in rented properties are a different proposition from the kitchen you might want to install in your own home, so the first thing to bear in mind is that you don’t need to – nor should you! - go overboard and spend a fortune. Most tenants are simply looking for a well-equipped kitchen that’s easy to keep looking clean and tidy.
From your perspective, bear in mind the kitchen is a well-used room, so fittings and décor need to be hard-wearing. Invest in strong base units with adjustable support legs, then plain, solid cupboard doors with good-quality hinges. Choose a counter surface that won’t show marks easily, such as laminate or an engineered stone composite. Bear in mind that laminate is not heat resistant, so it may be better to spend a little more on something that will stay looking good for longer.
You should be able to get a good mid-range kitchen from either a trade supplier like Howdens, or DIY outlets such as B&Q or Wickes, for around £3,500. Lifespan-wise, it should last around 15 years before you might need to replace cupboard doors and the counter top.
Use specialist kitchen paint on the walls and ceiling to minimise the chance of mould and stains – this should only be a few pounds more expensive than standard room paint – and have easy-to-wipe splashbacks, paying particular attention to the areas behind the hob and the sink. You will probably need to redecorate the kitchen every 3 to 5 years.
Pick a medium to dark-coloured tiled floor, which will be easy to clean and should last well, concealing marks that occur through normal usage over time.
In terms of fittings and electrical equipment, even if a property is unfurnished, tenants these days will expect:
- Oven and hob
- Washing machine
The cost of these items can vary greatly, from a few hundred to over a thousand pounds, but the important thing is to buy according to the usage each is likely to get. The cheapest electrical appliances may only last a few years and you want to keep your tenants as happy as possible, so we’d recommend going for a mid-range price. It’s often helpful to speak to your plumber and electrician and take their advice. If you’d like any recommendations for local tradesmen or suppliers, just call into your nearest Reeds Rains branch.