When you’re a landlord, there is a fine balance between keeping your property comfortable and safe for your tenants and ensuring your income is not disrupted by unwarranted spending. Is it worth splashing out on a new kitchen or will the 30-year old cupboards ‘make do’?
This guide explains what is needed by law, how you could add value to the property with additions and what you can do if you are unable – or unwilling - to make improvements.
Fit for habitation first
Ensuring a property is fit for human habitation is not just the sign of a good landlord, it’s a legal requirement too. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, which was introduced in 2019, gives tenants the power to take legal action against their landlord if they think they are not acting responsibly in terms of living conditions.
If your property is found to be unfit for habitation by a court because of damp, an unsafe layout, hazardous electrics, poor ventilation, or issues with drainage or toilets, you may have to pay compensation and legal costs to your tenant, as well as paying for costly improvements that cannot be avoided.
Investment for the future
If the essentials of your buy-to-let are in order but you are looking to increase your property’s value, consider the return on your investment when you look to enhance it. Some home improvements carry better returns than others but not all are practical to install in a buy-to-let.
A recent report showed that a home gym would add the most value to a property but unless your property has a lot of unused space, this may not be the best investment executed by a landlord. Instead, upgrading the garden, refreshing the kitchen or even extending to add an extra bedroom might be more appealing– aspects that will prompt tenants to pay a little more rent and increase the property’s value.
Disruption to tenants and profits
In addition to being a costly investment for you as the landlord, major improvements may cause disruption and upset to your tenants - and they may even ask for a rent reduction during the works. Some improvements may become unavoidable – such as replacing single glazing or upgrading the property’s energy efficiency – but generally, modernisation works pay for themselves in the long run through both increased rental values and price appreciation.
Consider, however, that you may have to wait until the property is vacant to carry out the work, therefore creating an unprofitable void while the property is untenanted.
Sell direct to avoid costs and hassle
If you don’t want the trouble of carrying out home improvements - or if the growing issue of legal compliance in terms of energy, gas and electrical safety is a step too far – you can sell property fast to LandlordBuyer.
LandlordBuyer will purchase any rented property – whether it is vacant or tenanted – and in any state of repair. It could have dilapidations, be unmodernised, have a damp issue or have subsidence. We even buy problem properties with sitting tenants and short leases. We offer a speedy cash offer, with completion in as little as seven working days, if needed – request your offer now.
Get in touch to find out more about how we can take the stress out of selling your buy-to-let property.