10 low-cost ways to spruce up your rental property

New Year is a busy time for landlords. It is a period during which many people are making changes in their lives – and many are moving house.

You need to spruce up your property in preparation for the New Year rush. But luckily this need not be expensive. Here are some top tips for making the most of your property, at the lowest possible cost.

1. Think about maintenance

It might not be the most exciting pastime, but basic property maintenance is very important for landlords. By addressing niggling little issues like leaky pipes now, you can make sure that you avoid potentially expensive, disruptive disasters further down the line.

2. Make sure it's clean

A good clean up is the most effective way to improve your property, especially if you have had tenants solidly for a few years. Take a couple of days to give the property a deep clean, from top to bottom. Consider hiring a carpet cleaner too – these are relatively cheap, and can make a significant difference in carpeted rooms.

3. Touch up the paint

Buy some small paint brushes or paint pens to touch up scuffed doors, walls, and skirting boards. This can be a great help when the walls don’t need completely repainting, but when regular wear and tear has taken its toll. Remember to cover the carpets up before you start!

4. Go for neutral colours

If you are considering completely repainting, remember that neutral colours tend to be the most successful in rental properties. Don’t go for anything too brash, as you are likely to alienate as many potential tenants as you attract.

5. Invest in new shower curtains

This sounds like a tiny detail, but it is remarkably important – and often forgotten. There are few things more likely to turn off a prospective tenant than a grubby shower curtain, and it costs about £10 to change it.

6. Look at the garden

If your property has a garden, make sure that it is presentable. At the very least, make sure that you mow the lawn and remove any rubbish from it. Remember that your tenants will be more likely to want to use it to sit in, or for their kids to play in, than as a storage space for your excess furniture.

7. Don't forget the frontage

Similarly, you should ensure that the exterior of your property is in good order. Make sure that steps are clear, that weeds are removed, and that the front door is nicely painted. Additionally, you should take some time clean the windows – both inside and out. This will help to make the property as attractive as possible from the outside, and will ensure that it is as light as possible inside.

8. Buy a rug

Again, this sounds incredibly simple but it can completely transform a room – particularly if it is otherwise quite stark. A nicely chosen rug can add some variety and ‘homeliness’ to the room quickly and cheaply. In addition, if your property has wooden floors it can add some much-needed warmth during the winter.

9. Take great photos

Once you have spruced up your property, you need to show prospective tenants how good it looks! This relies on good photographs in your adverts. You don’t necessarily need to pay for a professional photographer – but you do need to make sure that your photos are light enough, show each room’s best angle, and are well framed. Take a few photographs of each room and have a friend help you choose the best.

10. Don't go overboard

Finally, remember that your taste isn’t necessarily representative of that of all your prospective tenants. The key is to make the property homely and inviting – but also enough of a blank canvas that tenants can make it their own. Neutral colours, simple furnishing, and as few patterns as possible are all good rules of thumb.