My brother Nigel and I own over 150 properties and
with over 500 properties under management you can
imagine we have seen quite a lot over the years
from tenants. What we thought was best when we first
started has definitely changed as a result. The
way we now develop our properties and the properties
that we manage for landlords is now based upon these
experiences. I wanted to use this article to share
some of these insights so that hopefully you can
get some quick wins which have taken us years to
Top Ten Development Tips
Always put hard wearing matting in the entrance
of your properties. This will encourage your tenants
to wipe their feet when they enter. If you fit carpet
in the entrance it will soon get heavily stained.
If you fit laminate flooring it soon lifts up and
warps when people bring water in from their foot
flooring in the living room and dining room generally
suffers the highest wear and tear out of all the
rooms in the house. This is where tenants will spend
most of their time (in front of the TV) and is closest
to the front door to bring in dirt from the outside.
This is why we only advise to fit laminate flooring
in these rooms as opposed to carpet. While laminate
flooring is more expensive we have found in the
long term it is a lot more cost effective.
Vinyl flooring is very cost effective when fitting
kitchen flooring. When we first started we fitted
vinyl flooring in all of our kitchens. While cheap
initially you will find that it is easily ripped
when a tenant moves a washing machine or fridge
freezer when they move out. We now only tile kitchen
floors as a result but make sure you keep spare
tiles in the loft just in case any of them crack.
Even if you have an extractor fan in your bathroom
and you tell your tenants to open a window when
they have a bath or shower, a ceiling in this room
is always prone to condensation marks. When a tenant
moves out we were continually finding that we needed
to repaint the ceiling to freshen it up. As a result
we now fit plastic paneled ceilings in all of the
properties that we develop. You will never have
to re-decorate the ceiling again!
you have any external wooden doors in your rental
properties choose the colour you paint them wisely.
If you paint them white you will forever be painting
them after each tenancy. We paint all external wooden
doors black and have eliminated the paint brush
having to come out as a result.
Door stops- make sure you put a door stop on any
doors that need them if they are hitting the wall
behind. If you don`t you will be forever filling
in holes and touching up walls.
7. If you have a shower which
is over the bath, make sure you install a
shower curtain which lasts. We only install
glass shower curtains which are one piece
units. If you go for a cheap plastic shower
curtain with a pole you will find that you
are forever filling in the holes around the
curtain pole and refitting it when the tenant
breaks it. If you fit a glass shower curtain
which folds, then there are more nooks and
crannies than a single piece shower curtain
that can break, go missing or have mould if
the tenant doesn't clean it properly.
If you have a tenant who is on housing benefits,
get the tenant to fill out one of the government
grant schemes which offers free cavity wall and
loft insulation. The tenant may even qualify for
a free combi boiler. We have had great success with
this and make sure that all new tenants on housing
benefits fill one of these in. We are now onto our
tenth free combi boiler from this scheme.
Make sure your property is professionally cleaned
before a tenant moves in and you get the tenant
to sign to confirm that it is. By doing this it
will make your property rent quicker, your tenants
will generally look after it better and it also
means the tenant has to return the property in the
same condition as they found it which gives you
a great starting point.
all properties we develop we have to use a report
which doesn't miss anything. With this in mind we
have produced a report that we feel is market leading
and allows us to make sure that all properties that
we let have the most comprehensive property condition
report available. We produce a 792 point property
condition report for all our landlord properties
when they become empty or when we initially take
them on. This provides you as a landlord a full
understanding of the liabilities of your property.
While some of the issues raised from this report
will be essential others may be ideal if money was
not an object but could be left. We do this report
for free on all of the properties that we fully
If you would like to find out more please get in
contact with us.