One result of sliding property prices and a lack of available mortgage finance is an increase in the number of people looking to rent a property. Rental Demand in the UK has increased by 39% in just 12 months and many industry sources maintain that this rise in potential tenants could force the rental market into crisis unless more rental stock comes to market. According to those same sources there are now five applicants for every room available to rent in the UK with an average monthly room rental charge of £351.
Typically rental accommodation can both part furnished or in some cases fully furnished. With the increased demand for rentals more landlords are getting more selective about getting the right tenants. It’s common knowledge that most rental refurbs are “quick, cheap and dirty”. A lick of paint will cover a multitude of sins when some more time consuming structural work may have been required. But that cavalier low cost approach will not work with an increasingly discerning number of tenants who will expect decent levels of décor and equipment for their money. Equally, from the landlord’s perspective, investing in the best kitchen appliances for example will not only give the property a broader appeal within the rental market, it will also justify higher rental charges.
Providing cooking facilities is the most obvious demand on any landlord and what is installed will depend very much on the type of property and the type of tenant they want to attract. With a micro unit in the centre of London for example, it’s likely that the tenants won’t do a great deal of cooking, but simply heat things through. Microwave ovens would be ideal here as they are much smaller than a cooker and can be positioned anywhere on a worktop or wall mounted to save space. If the rental happens to be a spacious period property, installing range cookers adds considerably to the appeal.
In the kitchen, the temptation may be to look at integrated appliances like cookers and washing machines as part of a cheap overall package. That may prove to be false economy because if an integrated appliance like a washing machine, tumble dryer or oven fails, it might not be possible to obtain an exact or matching replacement. Freestanding units are probably the better choice for the landlord but there’s no need to go cheap and cheerful. Making those freestanding units as impressive as possible ads to the appeal of the property and helps to justify higher rental charges. Rather than opting for the cheapest combined free standing fridge-freezer for example, investing a bit more money in an American style fridge freezer will pay dividends. They save on floor space by avoiding the need for separate fridges or freezers, are impressively practical and can often be the clincher in attracting the right tenant.