Renting out an apartment is a great way to ease the bond burden, particularly in these tough economic times. But choosing exactly how to decorate the apartment is critical. Bad judgement in the decorating scheme could easily see prospective tenants heading for the door. This is according to Caroline Coates, marketing manager of Upper Eastside in Woodstock.
She says that of the 225 apartments that form part of the R420-million Upper Eastside venture, seventy-five percent were buy-to-rent. "In addition to factors such as a convenient location, security, parking and great amenities; a well-decorated and maintained property is more likely to attract tenants and ensure regular rentals."
Coates suggests setting a budget and time frame. "Consider whether it will be cheaper to do some of the work yourself or more cost effective and less stressful to employ a contractor. When deciding on a style, it?s important to think practically rather than personally. Aim to create a blank canvas where a tenant can imagine their belongings."
According to Coates tenants generally look for a space that is clean, functional and modern. "Both the flooring and paint needs to be durable and easy to clean. Use wood, tiles, laminate or vinyl for flooring and high-quality acrylic paint for walls and ceilings. Plain and simple colours are easy to re-fill or touch up."
While furnishing your rental property is not essential ? unless it?s for short-term or holiday rentals ? Coates believes that doing so could increase your rental income. "Supplying a stove, washing machine and fridge makes the space more attractive to tenants. Look for functional, hard-wearing items that would suit different needs like, say, a dining room table that could be used for entertaining by a young professional as well as a desk for someone working from home."
"First impressions count so don?t forget about the exterior of the property. Maintain paint-work, windows and lighting. Rather than relying on the tenant or a service to care for your garden, choose low-maintenance options such as succulents in pots, stones and paving."
Top five decor tips for buying-to-rent:
- Compile an inventory to help you keep track of the condition of your property and its contents.
- Paint is easier to maintain than wallpaper.
- Take expert advice on which paint to use ? kitchens and bathrooms need mould and water resistant paint.
- Make a note of the name and brand of paint for touch-ups.
- Patterned carpets hide stains.