Posts with tag: decorating

Should You Let Tenants Decorate?

Published On: August 17, 2017 at 8:12 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

The question of letting a tenant decorate their rental property can be a dilemma for landlords. On the one hand, you want them to feel at home and personalise the property in the hope they’ll stay longer and look after the condition. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to be stuck trying to re-let a property that has been decorated with questionable taste! We asked Upad landlords if they let their tenants decorate a property; this is what they had to say:

Should You Let Tenants Decorate?

Should You Let Tenants Decorate?

“I would as long as there were no material changes to the property. I think it shows commitment on the part of the tenants and that they have pride in the property.”

“We once had a tenant and when she left, we saw the bedroom ceiling painted in a mish mash of blue and white. Then we realised when you lay on the bed she had painted clouds crossing a blue sky! We allow tenants to spruce up decor but now agree colour schemes beforehand.”

“Of course! If they make it their home, they will probably stay longer and have a better relationship with you. Although, make sure they let you know what colour they are going to paint it beforehand, make sure it’s all in keeping! And make sure they are using a professional, if it’s not good their deposit will be paying to rectify it!”

“Yes, because it will make them feel more at home and they’ll probably stay longer, but put some restrictions in e.g. no black walls. And if they don’t do it to a reasonable standard, you reserve the right to get professionals in when they leave to redecorate at their expense.”

“A resounding no. I had a tenant a few years ago who pleaded to personalise the house she lived in. She assured me the colour scheme would be tasteful. When she left I could not believe it! The palisaded Victorian semi had deep purple original coving; the dado rails and skirting boards, which were previously stripped and waxed, were white glossed and had smatterings of purple emulsion on them. I was horrified, that work had taken so long to do and the man-hours involved originally outweighed any deposit, but after all said and done, I had agreed. Never again.”

“We always allow tenants to redecorate. It is their home after all and we’ve found that tenants who decorate often look after the property and are better payers than others. They also tend to stay longer and that gives us greater continuity and fewer voids. We do prefer it if tenants decorate with pastel shades and paint rather than wallpaper because it’s easier to cover up when they leave, but we don’t really mind. We always freshly paint properties in magnolia, with white woodwork, ready for new tenants to move into.”

The overwhelming majority of landlords surveyed said they do let tenants decorate a property, but protect yourself with these top tips:

  1. Agree on the type of colour paint if you want it to be in keeping with the rest of the property. If this isn’t an issue for you, ask for the walls to be painted back to the original colour, or a neutral colour, before they leave. And make it clear that if it’s not returned as such, you will need to deduct the cost from their deposit.
  2. Make sure it’s written in the tenancy agreement, particularly if you’ve agreed a certain colour or paint type. If they do return the property with a bright green living room, you need written evidence to prove this wasn’t agreed. If you’ve agreed a décor change during the tenancy, create a signed addendum to the original agreement.
  3. Make sure you have a thorough inventory before they move in, as this will document any changes when they subsequently move out and will back up anything you’ve agreed in the tenancy agreement or addendum.
  4. Make it a condition that they use a professional to do the painting. A bad paint job will be time-consuming to rectify.
  5. Wait until the tenancy has reached six months and you are confident the tenants will be staying. Again, make sure anything agreed has been written and signed by both parties.
  6. Work with your tenant, agree as long as you buy the paint and brushes to ensure it will be a quality job. Help them pick the paint colours, or offer a range that you would be comfortable with but they still have the choice.


How to Make a Stylish Living Space on a Budget

Published On: October 12, 2016 at 8:20 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,,

A stylish property is unlikely to stay empty for long, and there will be more demand from potential tenants looking to rent.

However, with all the costs involved with furnishing a property, it’s not always financially viable to decorate with all the latest trends and most expensive furniture.

That said, it is possible to transform a home into a stylish space using cheap but durable furniture, and simply rearranging the furniture and making the best use of the space, and it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

Install good lighting

Tenants appreciate a house with a lot of light. Bright and airy properties let quickly, especially in the main living room and kitchen. Avoid fluorescent lighting as it can tire the eyes and make the room look off-colour.

Cheap but durable

If the property hasn’t yet been furnished, don’t try to spend a huge amount. With one trip to IKEA, you can furnish a house with durable pieces for a reasonable price. For example, if your tenants are students, their rooms will need a desk and chair to do their assignments on. Most people need bedside tables and a chest of drawers as well.

Combine function and style

How to Make a Stylish Living Space on a Budget

How to Make a Stylish Living Space on a Budget

Combine function and style by using an attractive piece of furniture as storage to free up space in the house for your tenants. Having less clutter around will make the room more spacious.

Place a chest of drawers against the wall to store items and hide clutter. Your tenants can use it as a display for photographs, candles or jewellery. You don’t have to spend much, and you will have an attractive piece of furniture that will keep the property neat and organized. If you have a staircase, you could insert some subtle pull-out shelves underneath it too.

Rearrange the furniture

You don’t necessarily need to spend money to create a stylish living space. If the property is already furnished, simply changing how the space is used can result in a completely different house.

For example, move your desk to the window – the better lighting and views outside might help your tenants focus on work. Moving the sofa to face the fire place will help them relax after a long day at work.

Try not to get personal

Try to avoid letting your personal taste dictate how you decorate the house. Everyone is different so try to stick to standard decorating.

Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest methods for transforming your living space, and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the interior, giving it a fresh look.

Keep in mind that painting your rooms with lighter colours will make the room seem more airy and spacious, whereas darker colours make it cosy but more cramped.

Take the time to really consider what you want the property to look and feel like, and then you can decide how to spend your money and achieve it.

Make sure the property is ready for viewings

When people come to view the property, make sure it is presentable and looks like a house people would want to live in. Details like cushions and throws on the sofa, sheets and pillows on the bed will make the house more appealing and homely to potential tenants. If the property is unfurnished, make sure it gets a lot of natural light so it feels bright and fresh.

Keep all your receipts

Keep receipts for every purchase you make, no matter how cheap. Everything spent on redecorating can be offset against your tax bill.

Turning a property into a stylish space doesn’t need to be a hugely expensive project. Taking the time to install good lighting, rearrange the furniture, and add a fresh coat of paint are just a few of the ways to give the house a makeover on a budget. As long as you are patient and make sure each change you make to the house is long-term and exactly what you want, the house will look fantastic in no time and tenants will be lining up to rent it.

About the Author

Compare My Move will help you find removal companies in your area. We have trusted, verified partners across the UK ready to help with your home, office and international moves. When we engage with our customers, we maintain a hands-on approach to ensure they receive a service tailored to their individual needs

Decorating Advice for Landlords this Bank Holiday

Published On: May 26, 2016 at 10:03 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

The bank holiday is a perfect opportunity to spend some time decorating your rental property so that it is ready for new tenants in the summer. If you don’t know where to start, we have some advice for landlords on sprucing up your investment.

If you’re looking for new tenants around this time of year, now is the best time to take action and start some work on your property that will secure you reliable and respectful renters.

If you have long-term tenants in your property at present, the following tips will help you continue attracting the right type of renter when the time comes to market your property again.

Focus on durability

Every landlord wants to keep their tenants for as long as possible and avoid void periods. If your tenants are going to stay in your property for the long-term, it is vital that the fixtures and fittings you install are durable and repel the dreaded wear and tear.

If you have shorter-term tenancies (six months to a year), you shouldn’t have to redecorate between each tenant. Landlords should be prepared to renovate every three years, so tough features will ensure your property doesn’t become shabby during this time.

Although it is easy to forget this and focus on aesthetics instead, durability is the best way to secure good tenants and prevent you having to redecorate too often.

Plan, plan, plan

The longer you spend renovating your property, the longer it will be empty. Although it can take time to bring your investment back into a good condition, you should always plan to make sure your property won’t be vacant for long. If it takes you longer than expected to complete the work, Unoccupied Property Insurance will protect your asset.

Decorating Advice for Landlords this Bank Holiday

Decorating Advice for Landlords this Bank Holiday

Before you start work, think about exactly what needs doing and how long this will take. Periodic inspections will give you an idea about what kind of condition the property is in during a tenancy, but sometimes problems only become clear once the tenant has left.

You should aim to begin work as soon as the tenant moves out, so plan ahead and get to work straightaway. If you need professional tradespeople in, book their time in advance and avoid having a lengthy void period.

Tackle wear and tear 

Floors are the biggest victims of wear and tear in any property, as they receive the most physical contact. It is always worth spending a bit extra on thick and durable carpets that can withstand heavy treading and regular carpet cleans. Speaking to a reputable carpet retailer will help you determine which carpets are suitable for buy-to-let properties.

If possible, it is also a good idea to use tiles instead of wood or laminate, as they are stronger, resistant to infestations and easier to maintain. Dark tiles will keep rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom looking clean, while these areas particularly benefit from having tiled floors, as they are prone to damp and therefore mould.

Always be mould-proof

Mould is one of the biggest problems that landlords face – particularly as it poses serious health risks to your tenants. If mould does build up, it can be extremely expensive and difficult to remove or resolve. Always advise your tenants to open windows and doors throughout the property, and invest in a humidistat extractor fan to avoid moisture build-up in the bathroom.

Prevention is definitely the best cure when it comes to mould, so always use anti-mould products if possible.

Choose the right colours 

While we all know that neutral colours are best for rental properties, painting the rooms in light tones can cause problems later down the line – if you don’t want to be decorating between every tenancy, it is better to choose a mid-toned brown/grey hue that will still appeal to all tenants, but won’t look as grubby after wear and tear.

If you do decide that some rooms need to appear brighter, light shades will help to entice prospective tenants. A good idea is to keep a tin of paint for when tenants leave so that you can touch up small areas.

In rooms decorated with mid-tone colours, good lighting will go a long way to create an illusion of space.

Decorate for your target tenant 

Realistically, you should focus on fixtures and fittings that will give you a return on investment. For example, if you only charge £200 per month for your property, your tenants won’t be expecting state-of-the-art goods, and a £10,000 renovation project won’t be worth it.

However, the best way to budget is to consider exactly what your tenants are looking for. If you have a one-bedroom flat that you’re marketing to young professionals, they will be looking for something completely different to a family with children searching for a four-bedroom house. It’s important to remember who you are trying to please and spend money accordingly.

Tax advice for landlords 

Remember that if you are spending money on redecorating, all costs can be offset against your tax bill. As maintenance comes under business costs, any expense is considered allowable and you can offset the cost against your rental income. Keep all receipts for any expenses!

However, be aware that improvements to the property – for example, swapping a laminate kitchen worktop for a granite one – are not covered by this rule.

This guide will help you get your taxes in order:

Avoid personal touches at all costs

This is a golden rule when decorating rental properties. Remember that, even if the home used to be yours, someone else is going to be living there and will want to make the space their own. Tenants are more likely to respect your property and want to stay there for the long-term if they can settle in and feel comfortable.

Every personal touch that you add is a potential repellent to tenants, so always avoid bright colours, ornaments and pictures. Try to keep everything neutral and allow your tenants to add their own touch. This will also save you money, as you can keep things as simple as possible!

Improvement Tips to Add Value to Your Property This Month

Published On: May 2, 2016 at 8:15 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,,

May is blessed with two bank holiday weekends! So why not make the most of the extra days off with some quick and easy tasks that will add value to your property?

If you are thinking of selling either your home or rental property over the summer months, now is the perfect time to improve and maintain the place so that it’s ready for a quick sale.

While improving a property can be a daunting task for many, there is a host of small and manageable jobs you can do to increase the value of your home. And don’t think you need to replace the whole kitchen or bathroom – simple updates can make a real difference.

Follow these improvement tips to ensure that you get the price you want for your property:

Create space

While not all homes are light and airy, it is possible to create an illusion of space in any property. Spend some time reorganising the furniture in each room to make the best possible use of space. A good idea is to take things off the floor and put them on shelves instead. Also, be ruthless and throw away any clutter.

Get out into the garden

Improvement Tips to Add Value to Your Property This Month

Improvement Tips to Add Value to Your Property This Month

Don’t think you need a gardener or landscaper to transform your garden. Simply getting outside and mowing the lawn, tidying up the general area and planting some bright flowers will spruce up your outdoor space. A good garden is important to most buyers, so follow these helpful tips:

Remember energy efficiency 

All buyers will hope to keep their bills down, so it can be worthwhile fitting your property with energy efficient appliances. With new products on the market all the time, buyers will be looking out for ways to knock the costs off their bills. Moving forward, energy efficiency is only going to become more prominent when purchasing a home, so don’t forget it.

Add some life to fixtures and fittings

It is inevitable that all properties will suffer wear and tear, so take a look around and pinpoint anything that may put buyers off. Many prospective buyers will hope to be able to move in without much work needing to be done, so addressing small issues can leave them feeling confident about the condition of the property.

Let in the light

If you have a particularly dark and dreary room that no amount of white paint will brighten, it could be wise to install a new window. This is usually quite reasonably priced and will benefit you in the long-term.

Make small replacements 

If you really must replace some fixtures and fittings, don’t think this means you need to splash out on a completely new kitchen or bathroom. Small replacements can make a huge difference – whether it’s a new floor or cupboard doors.

Take on some DIY jobs

With the internet at our fingertips, finding DIY advice has never been easier. Don’t be afraid of picking up the tools yourself and fixing small damages or making minor improvements to the property. But always remember to watch out for yourself – a professional should tackle anything too heavy or difficult.

Add a lick of paint 

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to freshen up a property is by giving it a lick of paint. Remember the importance of neutral colours when decorating a home, as some buyers could be put off by garish tones. We have the top interior colour schemes for the spring season:

Transforming your property and adding value doesn’t need to be difficult – just give your home some TLC this bank holiday!

Higher Revenue for Landlords that Allow Tenants to Decorate

Published On: November 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,,

Is your tenant allowed to decorate your rental property? If not, you may like to know that one in four tenants (43%) would be willing to pay more rent if their landlord permitted them to add personal touches to their rental home.

Higher Revenue for Landlords that Allow Tenants to Decorate

Higher Revenue for Landlords that Allow Tenants to Decorate

The study of 1,000 renters by insurance firm Endsleigh found that the average tenant would be happy to spend an additional £149.52 per year on rent if they could decorate the property.

With five million rental properties in the UK, managed by two million private landlords, there is potentially an extra £530m in revenue to be made for landlords that allow their tenants to decorate.

Just 29% of renters surveyed have the freedom to decorate their home as they like. However, with a quarter living in their property for over three years, and one in five saying they would be likely or very likely to avoid inviting relatives to their house if they didn’t like the décor, it is clear that tenants would like to be able to decorate.

The top five things that renters wish to do to their rental property but can’t, are:

  1. Paint the walls with colours at 19% of tenants.
  2. Hang pictures or mirrors with screws at 17%.
  3. Put up wallpaper at 10%.
  4. Blue-tack pictures to the wall at 9%.
  5. Attach a TV on the wall at 9%.

Only 28% of tenants ask their landlords for permission to decorate, but of those, 76% of landlords agree to the request, despite it being against the tenancy agreement.

The Manager for Landlords and Lettings at Endsleigh, David Hadden, comments: “With it being so difficult to get onto the property ladder, people are now renting for longer, so naturally they are going to want to decorate the property they are living in long-term.

“Landlords who allow tenants to personalise their property could be favoured over those who don’t and may be able to command a higher rental price. If tenants feel at home in their property, they may also have longer tenancies.”1

If you have a long-term tenant, it may be wise to permit them to decorate. If you do, you could see your returns rise significantly.


It’s alright to use white

Published On: November 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Buy-to-let landlords are constantly competing with each other to try and gain the upper hand and to ultimately secure a tenancy agreement. Some of the major selling points for would-be tenants are the décor and contemporary fittings within a property.

With this in mind, many landlords choose to brighten up their rooms by using bright colours, particularly on feature walls and for furniture. However, Yanic Simard, head designer at Toronto Interior Design Group, feels that simply using radiant white can go a long way in making homes look modern and stylish.

Simard believes that by using simple white colours landlords, ‘can add drama’ to aid the following:

Brighten up Greys and Taupes

Where a space is centered on mundane colours such as greys, even a small amount of fresh white paint can transform a room, more so than an aqua blue or soft red.

Simard notes that, ‘in a design with colorful walls, white is a powerful tool for adding a sense of contrast without clashing or overloading on too many hues. It brings drama to the center of the room here so the walls aren’t the sole source of interest. And yet it does this without creating visual conflict.’[1]

Break Patterns

 Purchasing white furniture to break up busy wall colours can make the room look more subtle and not overwhelm would-be tenants when they view the property. Additionally, this gives the landlord more scope when choosing patterned cushions and other amenities.

Of course, people may see white furniture as real challenge to keep clean and may therefore stay clear of purchasing. However, Simard believes that, ‘white furniture doesn’t have to be a maintenance nightmare.’ He says that, ‘a material like plastic, lacquered wood or coated metal will add an equally clean counterpoint to a busy dining room wall for fresh energy.’[1]

Soften Bold Decor

White trims, such as on door frames and mirrors, can help to soften high-drama looks. Additionally, using white trims can bring out the detail in grand features, which could have been lost with the use of darker colours.

Simard explains, ‘In an eclectic space with curated antiques, hits of clean white translate to a sense of modernity, so the overall effect reads more transitional than strictly traditional. It’s perfect for those who can’t settle on one time period but instead prefer a timeless cosmopolitan look.’[1]

Break up dark colours

Landlords should always try and break up darker colours with even just a hint of simple white. Features such as white lampshades, frames or ornaments can all break up a dark wall treatment. Similarly, a large focal piece, such as a picture, with a white background, can command attention effectively.

In darker spaces, bits of white can become doubly important in order to reflect the light. A little bit of fresh white colouring can improve the sophistication of a room intentionally designed to be moody.

A little white can do a lot

 It is advisable that landlords should look to add small white accessories to dark furnishings, such as bright pillows or cushions. Furthermore, landlords should look to put some white accessories in close proximity to other white items, such as window frames or lampshades.