'Kitchen appeal' can help increase rental value and attract new tenants
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One big difference with Valentine's Day this year was that couples weren't flocking to restaurants to enjoy a cosy table for two. Delivered to the door or cooked at home, this year’s romantic Valentine’s dinners were instead eaten at home.
Whether it’s baking bread, kids’ cookery classes as part of home-schooling, or just trying to keep lockdown spirits up with home-cooked comfort food, the kitchen has increasingly become the centre of many people’s lives.
And that’s before you consider the number of working-from-homers sitting at their kitchen table or work surface with their laptops, giving their Zoom buddies an insight into the heart of their homes.
When it comes to adding value to a rental property, getting the kitchen right is increasingly important. A little investment in this room can pay dividends when it comes to attracting tenants and maximising rental income.
When thinking about this, landlords have to set aside their own personal tastes. You might want a fiercely traditional kitchen in your own home, or perhaps an ‘out there’ avant-garde
design, but what you are aiming for in a rental property is wide appeal.
That means a kitchen which is easy to clean and maintain, with neutral, muted colours (the current trend for grey kitchens is bang-on here), and a contemporary feel.
Achieving this doesn’t necessarily mean ripping out what is there and wholesale replacement.
Freshening up doors, drawer-fronts, work surfaces and flooring can transform the look of a kitchen where the basic units are still sound.
One key piece of advice: avoid solid wooden worktops. They might look nice when new, but they mark easily and require regular oiling, something few tenants are going to be motivated to do.
Not all landlords include kitchen appliances, but the majority now do. Worries about ongoing maintenance costs can be mitigated by buying good-quality appliances in the first place (and brands like Neff, Miele and Bosch will appeal to aspirational tenants), and if necessary by purchasing extended warranty insurance for peace of mind – but do shop around, rather than accepting the first policy from the appliance retailer.
At a time when all of us are spending much more time in our homes, kitchen appeal is
an increasingly important part of attracting tenants and adding value to your rental property.
If you can get your prospective tenants to fall in love with your property’s kitchen, then you are halfway there.
Catherine Hunt is residential lettings property manager at Arnolds Keys, www.arnoldskeys.com.