First impressions count, and this rings especially true when it comes to property. The outwards appearance, or kerb appeal, of your rental property, could determine whether prospective tenants want to venture inside. Ultimately, if your property isn’t well maintained, then you could be losing rental income, it’s worth considering kerb appeal an investment strategy that could provide an impressive ROI.
Data from the ONS shows that private rental prices have been on an upward trajectory since the end of 2018, and around 8.5 million people in the UK rent privately. Using data following the last financial crisis, experts have predicted that while rents are expected to fall by 1.5% this year, they will rise by around 5.5% in 2021.
This should signal to landlords, and ‘would-be landlords’, that the rental market will remain resilient, and getting properties in order is a proactive and savvy approach. Below we provide tips on how to improve the kerb appeal of your rental property.
The front garden
The front garden should be well maintained and presentable. Borders and flowerbeds need weeding, lawns should be cut, and leaves and twigs removed to leave beds looking clean.
If you have a garden path, we recommend using a pressure washer to remove surface dirt and leave it looking bright and attractive. If you don’t own one – these can be rented.
Fences should be sanded down and repainted or stained to make sure they look fresh and cared for. Peeling paint leaves a property looking neglected and outdated and could sow the seeds of doubt into the mind of a potential tenant.
Even if the property doesn’t have much of a front garden, gravel drives should be weeded, and block-paved drives, pressure-washed.
If the front garden has not been cared for at all, you should consider having this professionally landscaped or paved. If at all possible, move wheelie bins out of view from the front of the property.
For further tips for improving the standard of rear gardens, read our blog post – Attention Landlords: Gardens Should Now Be a Priority.
Adding plants to a property can make it feel homely and attractive. Consider planting low-maintenance perennials in flower beds and borders to create a pop of colour. If this isn’t possible, opt for window boxes, climbing plants, flowerpots and even hanging baskets. Plants such as lavender, hydrangeas, hosta and ribbon grass are all great options.
We understand that as a landlord, you might want to opt for faux flowers and plants for longevity and minimal effort. If this is the case, we urge you to avoid purchasing inexpensive options, as this will cheapen the overall look.
You want your property to look attractive at night, as well as in the daytime. Add lighting to the front of your property to make sure that kerb appeal doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, and also to let potential tenants know that they will be safe coming home late at night or in the winter months.
A porch light by the front door goes a long way, or light garden paths with solar posts. Lighting up your rental property will be rewarded.
The name or number of the property
A relatively small detail, but one that goes a long way. If the house number isn’t visible, or old and tarnished, then it can set the tone for the viewing, and leave tenants wondering if their visitors will have the same thoughts, or difficulty when viewing the property.
By choosing an attractive door number plate or house sign, you create a homely feel and indicate to viewers that the home is well cared for.
Windows are likely to be one of the most impactful elements when it comes to the kerb appeal of your property.
Window frames should be modern and clean. If you have wooden window frames, paint should be fresh and professionally applied. The glass should be clean, sealed properly and free from mould and mildew.
Gutters should be free from leaves and debris, clean and securely fastened to the property.
The front door
A focal point of the property, the front door is an opportunity to create a grand entrance and an inviting, homely presence.
The door should be well maintained and freshly painted or stained. Front doors that look worn and faded or have peeling paint will look neglected and dated, potentially putting tenants off. To make the property stand out, opt for a bold colour that is in keeping with the style and age of the property. If the property has a doorbell, this should be in working order.
Make sure the door and doorstep are clean and free from cobwebs or garden debris. Putting out a new doormat is an attractive style tip and as mentioned before, consider potted plants or hanging baskets at the entrance.
A good tip is to paint the garage door in the same colour that you have chosen for your front door. This ties the property together, making it look well maintained.
The condition and appearance of your exterior walls are very important and will be an enormous factor when it comes to the kerb appeal of your property. Make sure they are treated and weather-proofed when required, indicating to tenants that both them and their possessions will be safe, dry and warm in the property.
If the exterior walls need a new lease of life, consider having bricks sandblasted or painted by a professional.
If you are looking for any more tips and advice on improving the value of your rental property or want to hear more about the services we provide to landlords, contact a member of the team today