As much as tenants might disagree, life as a landlord can be difficult. After all, there’s a fine balance between making a rental property look homely and spending too much money that it eats away all of your margins.
Unfortunately, there’s always a degree of practicality as well. Some furnishings and decorations just aren’t suitable for rental properties, regardless of if your landlord insurance policy would cover them. In the interests of keeping things as practical, cost-effective, and maintenance-free as possible, you need to make shrewd choices.
As such, if you are a landlord, read on to find out the best tips on how you can decorate your next rental property.
Laminate flooring will always prevail
One of the golden rules of decorating a rental property is to avoid anything that is too expensive or time-consuming to replace. After all, you don’t want to be left out of pocket when a tenant moves out, and you certainly don’t want to be spending your weekends sanding and varnishing floorboards.
Laminate flooring is the perfect solution in this instance. It’s cheap, it’s easy to install, and it can be replaced in a matter of minutes if it’s damaged. On the subject of damage, this isn’t the type of flooring that is going to succumb to the stains of red wine, coffee, and all of the other classics. It tends to survive the test of time – which is exactly what you need in a rental.
Neutral tones will always rule
There’s a reason why magnolia seems to be the go-to tone in every rental property – it serves a fantastic purpose.
Neutral tones are the unspoken golden rule of these properties. After all, you never know what type of tenant you’re going to attract, and you don’t want to be left with a property that’s been heavily personalized (even if you can claim this back from a deposit afterward).
Neutral tones are the perfect way to create a blank canvas, and they will also help to maximize the light (and perceived spaciousness) in your property. So, whether you’re thinking about the walls, the furniture, or even the curtains, think about sticking to cream, white and beige tones.
Try and prioritize gloss or silk finishes
In a similar decorating vein to above, gloss and silk finishes are always a good idea in a rental property. Not only do they look sleek and stylish, but they’re also incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Particularly if this could be a rental property that has a high turnover of tenants, the last thing you want is to have to completely redecorate walls due to stains and other damage. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to quickly wipe down gloss finishes instead.
A slight caveat should be made in relation to the type of walls these are applied to, though. If the wall in question has several scuffs or blemishes, these are likely to be made more obvious with a glossier finish. As such, bear this in mind as you start to decorate.
Think about adding texture with soft furnishings
While it’s important to keep things as plain as possible in a rental property, this doesn’t mean that you can’t add a touch of personality with some soft furnishings. In fact, you should think about doing this as it can add some much-needed texture to a room.
Think about adding some luxurious throws and cushions to the sofa, or even a rug to the floor. Not only will this make the property feel more homely to attract tenants in the first place, but it will also help to add some warmth – perfect for those colder winter months.
Stick to a limited number of statement pieces
As tempting as it might be to fill your rental property with statement pieces, it’s always best to avoid this. After all, while you do want to make your property feel as homely as possible, you need to do this within reason to safeguard against any damages later down the line.
Instead, think about adding a limited number of statement pieces and making sure that they’re well-protected. For example, rather than having a huge, expensive mirror on the wall, why not go for a smaller, more delicate version that can be easily removed if it’s damaged. Small changes like this can allow you to attract and keep tenants but also keep your margins.
On the subject of mirrors…
Speaking of mirrors, they can be a fantastic way of adding some light and space to a room – particularly if it’s on the smaller side. Let’s not forget that when it comes to property, bigger tends to be better, and this is going to result in a higher rental yield. Sure, there’s nothing you can do about increasing the overall floor space, but through the use of shrewd mirror positioning, you can at least provide the perception that your property is bigger than it really is.
Of course, there is a caveat. As we’ve already said, be careful about where you place them. There’s a fine balance to be had here; they can make a space look bigger, but they can become damaged easily. Try and put them opposite natural light sources, but in positions which probably won’t attract as much traffic.
Never ignore property security
One of the biggest mistakes we see from landlords is almost ignoring the security aspect of their home, as it’s not them living there. Again, for an outsider, this may appear somewhat selfish, but we’ll keep returning to the topic of ‘fine balance’ and understanding the best areas to invest in to secure your yield.
Security is one of these areas which needs attention. Whether it’s the front door or the state of the windows – everything goes. Let’s not forget that a secure-looking home isn’t just great for attracting and ultimately keeping tenants in the long-term, but it’s going to save you money. If incidents do occur, you will be responsible for replacing these fixtures. Instead, opt for long-term, secure solutions that will keep your tenants, and your yield, safe.