Decorating is an important consideration for landlords, As agents, we see a lot of different properties and it will come as no surprise for you to know that the fresher and more up-to-date the décor, the more quickly we tend to let a property and the more likely you are to get the best market rent and appreciative tenants.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive; at the same time, very cheap décor does look cheap and, importantly, it will degrade quickly. So, when you’re first doing up a property, we’d suggest:
- In kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture tends to gather, use specialist wipeable, mould-resistant paint on the walls and ceiling.
- On walls and ceilings in the rest of the property, go for a tough, washable matt paint, which will let you remove marks without damaging the overall look. This is particularly useful in hallways and down staircases, where bags, suitcases and items of furniture often bang and scrape against the walls.
- For woodwork, choose gloss, rather than eggshell, as it can be harder wearing and more stain resistant.
Although these 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.
- In terms of colour – and this applies to carpets and furnishings as well - while you want to make the property look as light and spacious as possible, this has to be balanced with the amount of wear and tear it’s likely to suffer. So go for neutrals that aren’t too pale and steer clear of white or cream.
- Use the same paint throughout, as far as possible, and check with your supplier that it’s not likely to be withdrawn from their range any time soon. You may be able to save money by buying in bulk and it will make it easier to match for touch-ups, rather than having to repaint entire rooms.
Importantly, make sure you factor redecoration into your ongoing budget. If the property is let as a single unit, you should expect to redecorate every 3-5 years. If your tenants are long-term, we find that if we speak to them around year three and ask whether they’d like us to carry out any redecoration, they’ll often say it’s not necessary. In that case, we’d suggest doing it at year five 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 more frequently, although this probably won’t be the whole property at the same time. Individual bedrooms and communal areas might need repainting every two years but do 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 Reeds Rains branch and one of the team will be happy to help.