Refurbs are about knowing when to stop
Victoria Whitlock has to balance the cost of renovating one of her flats against the extra rental her efforts may or may not bring
had seen better days, and I think that as a result I’ve struggled to find good tenants. The first one left the flat in a terrible mess and the other two treated it more like student digs than a home for young professionals.
Whenever I advertise for tenants about 90 per cent of the applicants are on benefits, probably because the rent is more affordable than most other two-bedroom flats in the borough. I’ve toyed with the idea of accepting tenants on housing benefit, but my mortgage prohibits it and my buildings insurance, which is arranged by the freeholder, restricts me to professional lets only. Instead, I’m hoping that if the flat is smarter, it will attract young professionals or families who want to live somewhere nice. Also, they might stay longer, which will reduce my costs and the amount of time the flat lies empty between lets.
Of course, now that the inside of the flat is starting to look so much nicer, the outside looks even shabbier. So I’m trying to persuade my hubby that we need to do up the garden, too. An article on the Moneywise.co.uk financial website says revamping the outside space can add five to 10 per cent to a property’s value, I tell him.
THE only problem with this new plan of action is it means I’ve got more choices to make. Should I go for a modern, sleek Hit and Miss fence (probably too pricey) or cheap but boring featherboard panels? Fake grass or decking? Trees or bamboo screening? “Argh! Not if it doesn’t add enough value,” shrieks my husband.