For a number of years now, the kitchen has been voted as the most important room in a home.
Driven by the foodie boom sweeping through Britain – helped by the explosion of street food stalls, celebrity recipe books, farmers’ markets and TV cookery shows – the kitchen has taken on more importance than ever.
We looked before at how you can make the most of the kitchen in your rental property and how different tenants may have slightly different demands. Now, with the importance of kitchen space in mind, we look at what you can do to upgrade, enhance or refurbish your kitchen to increase its appeal to tenants.
All kinds of renters will place a great deal of importance on the kitchen, so to improve your chances of letting with ease you will want to pay close attention to this room in particular.
Refresh the décor
Improving the look of your kitchen doesn’t have to mean wholesale changes or a total renovation. Instead, it can be achieved in a number of fairly short, easy and inexpensive steps.
A fresh lick of paint, new tiling, new flooring or new worktops can all help to give your kitchen a fresh, vibrant, good-as-new look.
Whether you opt for granite, laminate, stone or wood worktops, or slate effect, natural oak effect, laminate, vinyl or ceramic flooring, a new look won’t cost much to achieve. While new worktops can be more expensive, new kitchen flooring and tiles are likely to be fairly easy on the purse-strings.
When it comes to tiles, make sure they are tasteful and fit with the décor of the rest of your kitchen and home. Metro tiles, mosaic tiles and ceramic tiles are all popular and can help to achieve a stylish, contemporary, elegant look.
Are your white goods up to scratch?
When letting your home, there are a few essentials that you will need to provide tenants with – including white goods (usually fridges and washing machines) in the kitchen.
While it’s not compulsory to provide white goods in your home, it’s now something nearly every rental property contains. If you don’t have these basic amenities in place, you will merely be putting off potential tenants who expect white goods as standard.
You need to ensure the white goods in question are of a good quality and maintained over time. There is often some confusion about who is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of white goods, but this will often fall to the landlord or the letting agent. If it is the tenant’s responsibility, this must be made clear in the tenancy agreement that both parties sign.
The white goods must be working without any issues at the start of a tenancy. If they are gas or electric appliances they must be safe and professionally checked on a regular basis. Gas appliances, meanwhile, must hold a Gas Safety Certificate issued by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
For long-term rewards, it may be worth investing in brand new white goods before letting a property. While the initial cost will be fairly hefty – anything from £130 for a basic fridge to between £400 and £2,000 for something much more state-of-the-art – a good fridge will last a while and potentially a number of tenancies. A new fridge should also have fewer issues with maintenance and repairs.
A new washing machine is likely to set you back between £150 and £350, but will also last for a long time as well as being highly efficient.
Consider a dishwasher
Although a dishwasher is technically labelled as a white good, tenants probably won’t expect it as standard as they would a fridge-freezer and washing machine. It is likely to be seen as more of an added luxury rather than a necessity.
Still, it will have a certain appeal to those tenants prioritising convenience. It’s not always easy to find space to install a dishwasher, but if you have enough room dishwashers tend to cost around £200 upwards and could help to improve the look and appeal of your kitchen.
Stick to one look
Decide on the theme of your kitchen – modern, rustic, a bit of both, minimalist, family-friendly, etc – and make sure you stick to it. Kitchens that try to be all things to all people or mesh together too many themes tend to look messy and confused.
Most important, of course, is that your kitchen looks the part – clean, attractive, well-maintained and a place where people want to spend time eating, drinking, cooking and socialising. A shabby, old-fashioned, poorly-maintained or unclean kitchen will not go down well with tenants. In fact, it is likely to actively put them off your rental home.
Spruce up your kitchen, make it look great, and show would-be tenants how they could make the space their own.
Include some accessories
While providing accessories isn’t essential, it could help to get would-be tenants on side and allow them to better imagine the potential of your kitchen space. A kitchen with a toaster, a kettle, a coffee-maker, a bread bin, a fruit bowl and a food processor will feel (and look) more homely.
Even better, these accessories can generally be purchased on the cheap.
With its considerable appeal to potential tenants, the kitchen should certainly be used as one of your main selling points. It certainly shouldn’t be hidden away or neglected, as this could negatively affect your chances of renting out your property.
At Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we have the experience and knowledge to help you get the most from your rental properties. Please get in touch with us on 01506 425693 to find out more.
We also provide free and instant online valuations to give you a good estimate of how much your property could be worth in the current marketplace.