If you let out a house or flat, you need it to be attractive to potential renters. You’ll be able to charge a higher rent for a more deluxe abode, than you would if you were renting out a property that was tired and scruffy looking. However you can’t depend on renters to take extra care of your property so you also need it to be fairly robust and rugged in design. You also don’t want it to be expensive. Tenants have been known to steal entire kitchens and bathrooms, and they are easily damaged by a bad tenant. You do everything you can to choose a good tenant, but you can’t get it right all the time. Many landlords find themselves with a bad tenant now and again who doesn’t respect the property. Even with just natural wear and tear though, you’ll need to replace and redecorate from time to time.
Cheap and tough is what you need. Hard wearing carpet, is great for rental properties. You can pick up cord carpet very cheaply which is meant for use in offices etc. so it’s very hard wearing. You could also consider some cheap laminate flooring. Tiles too are a good choice. Pick porcelain floor tiles and they will be practically indestructible, they are very hard wearing, and very strong. They don’t scratch easily, so they stay looking like new for a very long time.
Paint is a better option than paper. Paper can tear or start to peel off, but paint won’t and it’s easy and cheap to repaint between tenants. You should also consider colour. For a home you’re selling, light colours can make the rooms appear spacious, but a pale carpet will soon get stained and dirty. In a rental property it’s better to opt for darker shades and mottled patterns.
Cheap bathroom suites and kitchen units are a must. Even the cheapest kitchens and bathrooms these days look really nice and they won’t be too flimsy. Don’t pick materials that need any care. You may love natural wood and be happy to keep it oiled and to always use a trivet when you place a hot pan on it, but your tenants may well not. It’s not worth spending a lot of money on it just to be ruined. If a cheap mass produced kitchen unit is broken, it will be easier to replace it with another one the same.
This also applies to tiles. Don’t use any fancy bathroom wall tiles. Pick plain white of a standard shape and size, then if one should be cracked you’ll easily be able to find a replacement. When you do the tiling for the first time, it’s worth buying extras to have to hand should there be any breakages.
A fresh coat of paint between tenants will work wonders, as will hiring a professional carpet cleaner to refresh all the carpets. They do make a big difference.