​How to present your rental property at its most desirable for prospective tenants

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Guest blog courtesy of award-winning interior & garden designer, Carole Berryman

Whatever your target market, presentation of your rental property has a big impact on the quality of tenants you attract and influences its desirability and perceived value. A well-presented property is more likely to attract superior tenants who will appreciate a nice place to live and look after it with pride.

Decorating your own home is a way to express your individual taste but a rental property must be universally appealing, whilst being robust and cost-effective. So how do you pull off the trick of achieving all the above and make your property outstanding? Here are my 8 top tips…

1. Keep the interior neutral and cohesive

Use pale neutrals as a backdrop, against which the tenants can add their own personal colour and touches to make it their home. A pure white box can feel cold, clinical and shows every mark. Earthy cream and warm beiges are more welcoming, and effective at masking marks, whilst keeping the rooms light. Using the same colour tones throughout also avoids oddments of left-over paint. Adding darker shades of the same tone on certain walls and features, for example chimney breasts and alcoves, adds interest without breaking up the scheme. And using the same scheme across multiple properties makes them more maintainable.

Avoid wallpaper – it may be to someone’s taste, but offensive to others. And one mark can mean re-papering the wall, rather than simply touching up paint scuffs.

2. Dress for best

Finishing touches turn even an unfurnished property into a home in the mind of the potential tenant. Consider adding designer lighting and wall mirrors (strategically placed mirrors bounce light and make views look bigger), an occasional chair and accessorised shelf unit. You are selling not just a tenancy but a lifestyle. There is still more scope to do that with a furnished let, but that must be offset against additional expense, and risk of damage. The decision on whether or not to furnish will depend on the target market, but tenants bringing their own furnishings are more likely to invest in the property as their home.

3. Don’t expect your tenants to take their shoes off

A stained carpet is a no-no for discerning tenants, so flooring must be robust and easy to maintain. Carpets should be chosen with a colour and design to help hide the inevitable stains. Alternatively, laminate flooring mimics the appearance of more expensive wooden floors, but is less costly, more durable, and easy to clean. It is ideal for the kitchen, bathroom and hallway.

4. Make the kitchen the hub of the home

Some tenants will base a rental decision solely on the kitchen. New or repainted cabinet doors and worktops, handles and tiles can be transformative at a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen. Soft green or navy doors, and metro tiles will add a wow factor. Making space for even a small table or breakfast bar makes it a space not just for food preparation, but for living.

5. Ensure the bathroom is pristine

Assuming the sanitary ware is modern, well designed and in reasonable condition, retiling, regrouting and replacing old silicone around baths and showers is a quick fix to remove unsightly discolorations. However, if your bathroom is showing signs of age, investing in an upgrade may be a wise investment.

6. No such thing as too much storage

When there is nowhere to put anything, rooms become a dumping ground. Where possible provide built-in cupboards, bathroom cabinets and kitchen units, an outdoor shed and storage racking. Clever storage solutions are a strong selling point.

7. Don’t skimp on quality

Set the budget appropriately to the target market, but properties with cut corners on quality are generally less durable and will not appeal to more discerning tenants. But don’t over-specify as there is a limit as to how much you can charge in rent.

8. Don’t forget the outside space

The same rules apply here as on the inside. Keep it simple and pristine, add finishing touches. Even a small space gives the opportunity for somewhere to sit. The addition of a bistro table and a couple of planted pots can turn a yard into a garden to enjoy in the mind of the potential tenant.

Carole Berryman is an award-winning Windermere-based Interior & Garden Designer, working in partnership with clients to combine design expertise and knowledge with their ideas and budget.