Home Decor Tips for Landlords
Renting can be difficult, whichever side of the tenancy you are. For the tenants, the rules surrounding décor may seem unclear and for landlords it can be even harder, being torn between creating a neutral property that will appeal to most and choosing durable furnishing options that won’t cost the earth.
In this guide, we speak to experts in the field in the attempt to make such decisions a little lighter for the concerned landlord, from top to bottom.
Unlike smaller accessories and finishing touches, such as throw pillows and door knobs that can help give a homely feel to the property without costing too much, the flooring is something that takes a great deal of consideration as a landlord. You want to choose something that will be durable, neutral, but without the need to replace every year.
When it comes to flooring you may be tempted to opt for laminate or tile flooring where possible, but for rooms such as the lounge or bedrooms this can put people off as is it can feel less homely and liveable. Here LandlordZONE, the landlord and property professionals information site, gives their advice on carpeting a rental property.
‘Always choose brown or darker grey for carpets as they do not show dirt easily and will therefore last longer in a rental. If you carpet this throughout you will be able to get a better price from the carpet supplier.’ – Tom Entwistle, Editor, LandlordZONE
Another vitally crucial element of decorating a rental property to consider is the paint. While it goes without saying that many experienced landlords recommend an off-white or cream for the colour choice so as to appear neutral and spacious, these colours are not very mark-proof.
Crown Paint may just have the answer to this dilemma with their Easyclean range of paint. Described as a ‘super scrubbable, tough and stain resistant matt emulsion with added Stainguard®’ it practically guarantees that you will only have to get the overalls out every few years to keep your home looking at its best. Easyclean is usable on walls, ceilings, wood and metal and is available is a range of colours, including the landlord-friendly warm cream, flawless fawn, lightest beige and milk white.
When it comes to furnishings, this is an area that many property renters choose to avoid by offering their property non-furnished. While this may seem like a more affordable option, do not be fooled. A recent article found that landlords who offer a furnished property in towns and cities are more likely to secure a higher return, with furnished properties producing 35 percent more rent, with 8.1 per cent premium for furnished flats and 2.8 percent premium on furnished houses.
The most important item of furniture to get right? Arguably it is the sofa. Costly to be replaced, you want to choose something that will stand the test of time, whilst being comfortable and suiting a variety of lifestyle needs.
The English Sofa Company is the family-run business that makes beautifully designed furniture using traditional upholstery techniques. As is visible in the cover image of this post, their sofas look as though they will last, whilst being comfortable and always in fashion.
Here they provide their top tip for landlords.
‘When choosing a sofa to furnish your rental property, a corner leather sofa ticks all boxes. And remember, not all leathers are the same! For example, while our Premium Leather is much softer than our Full Grain Leather, the Full Grain Leather happens to be more durable and much cheaper in cost, yet still offers the luxurious look you’re after.’
The room dynamic
Finally, when it comes to the room, or even house, as a whole it can be difficult to make things work together. Small details such as the kitchen lighting can make a room but trying to match a statement piece with the rest of the setting doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
Here SpareRoom, the UK’s number one flatshare website, gives us their exclusive and experienced advice for creating a house that will attract happy renters.
Top tips for landlords decorating and furnishing a spare room, from SpareRoom.co.uk.
Decorate according to the size of the room – bright colours and mirrors can make a room feel bigger and dark colours can often have the reverse effect.
When in doubt…
Go neutral. Neutral colours are calm and clean – who could complain about that? You can always add colour with curtains and cushions.
Don’t go neutral when it comes to carpet. Cream carpets might look lovely when they’re new but a mascara or red wine-related accident won’t leave them like that for long. Instead, laminate is a good, long-term flooring option; it’s easy to clean and your tenant can add a rug of their choice.
If you want to add colour, go for a featured wall, rather than the whole room. That way, even if your tenant doesn’t like the colour, it won’t dominate the room so they’ll be able to live with it.
What paint to buy?
It might be tempting but don’t buy cheap paint or water it down. If the tenant were to wipe the walls to remove a mark and you’ve used cheap or watered down paint, they’ll remove the paint too.
Why not let the tenant accessorise the walls themselves? There are a range of removable wall hooks on the market – perfect for renters – so your walls won’t be covered in hooks and paint holes when they come to move out.
Storage, storage, storage!
Storage is a rare commodity in most households so the more wardrobe, drawer and cupboard space you can offer, the better.
Image Credit: The English Sofa Company, LandlordZONE, SpareRoom.co.uk