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Landlords: Should You Let Tenants Decorate? 5 Things to Consider

Since the number of people renting long-term is growing, more tenants are finding themselves wanting to ditch the plain décor and make a rental feel more like home. But letting your tenants decorate a rental property is a relatively new concept for many landlords.

As a landlord, knowing how to respond to the decorating trend is tricky. There are downsides to letting your tenants decorate, but there are many benefits, too.

If you are considering whether you should let your tenants decorate, here is our advice on what the benefits are and how you can safely allow decorating.

Benefits of Letting Your Tenants Decorate

Letting your tenants decorate shouldn’t always be met with a feeling of fear and dread. At Warren Powell-Richards, we find that allowing your tenants to decorate can have its benefits, including in terms of:

  1. Marketability

The number of people renting long-term is growing, so more and more tenants are looking for somewhere they can make a home. Depending on who your target market is, allowing your tenants to decorate a rental can easily make it more attractive to long-term renters. And long-term renters are the goal for many landlords.

  1. Return on Investment

Decorating costs money. Even if your tenants are only buying a tin of paint or a few rolls of wallpaper, that can still be a few hundred pounds they’re spending on your property. Not only can this mean your property stays looking fresh, but you could even see a better return on investment for it.

Plus, if your tenants want to spend money on your property, it’s a good sign. It means they take pride in living in your rental and want to look after it as best they can.

How to Safely Let Tenants Decorate

  1. Set Boundaries

Stipulate very clearly in the tenancy agreements what you will and won’t allow. For example, you’re happy for them to paint, but they can’t rip down any walls. Or they can put up shelves and units as long as they fill in the holes afterwards.

Setting boundaries around letting your tenants decorate means you can retain a level of control over what happens with the property. This puts you in a better position if you need to re-market it in the future.

  1. Discuss Plans Before Moving In

If you have a new tenant moving into your property, it doesn’t do any harm to ask them if they have plans to decorate.

Getting a feel for their style and what your tenant wants to do to the property can help reassure you that you’re not going to end up with a bad paint job or something you’d consider distasteful. It can also help you make up your mind about whether you want to let them decorate or not.

  1. Take Pictures

Taking pictures of the property and undertaking an inventory before a new tenant moves in is an essential part of the onboarding process – whether you plan on letting tenants decorate or not.

If you’re allowing tenants to decorate, taking pictures is especially important. Not only will you have a record of how the property used to look (in case you want to change it back to how it was afterwards), but you can also check during inspections that the tenants haven’t renovated outside of the boundaries you set.

Need More Landlord Advice?

Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts. If you want more advice on how to manage your property, give our friendly team of letting agents a call today or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about what tenants want from you.

Should You Let a Property Furnished or Unfurnished?

 

Are you in the midst of deciding whether you should let your property furnished or unfurnished? Many factors come into play when making the decision, like the location, target market, and your return-on-investment goals.

If you’re on the fence about letting a property furnished or unfurnished, here’s an overview of the pros and cons to help you decide.

What Does Furnished Include?

As a minimum, all properties let in the UK need to include various amenities, like white goods, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, flooring, and curtains or blinds.

While there isn’t a legal definition of what a furnished property includes, it needs to be considered ‘fit to be lived in’ from the day the letting begins. This usually means it has:

Beds: Enough for each bedroom

Wardrobes: Appropriate for the number of bedrooms and people

Chest of drawers: One or two sets per bedroom

Sofas: Ideally to seat the number of people living at the property

Dining room table and chairs: Preferably with enough chairs to seat the number of people living at the property

Tableware: Enough to cater to the number of people living at the property

 

What are the Benefits of Letting a Property Furnished?

Choosing to let a property furnished ultimately depends on the target market, the local area and your desired rent price. By letting a property furnished, you can:

Get a better or higher rent price

Make your property more attractive

Attract short-term tenants

 

Are there Downsides to Letting a Property Furnished?

Despite the benefits, there are some downsides to letting your property furnished, including:

Size of market: A furnished property doesn’t always attract long-term tenants, so you may appeal to a smaller market seeking short-term lets.

Maintenance: It adds maintenance, like handling repair and replacement work.

Costs: You’ll need to pay for the furniture, plus repair and disposal costs.

 

What Does Unfurnished Include?

Unlike furnished properties, there is a legal definition of what an unfurnished property includes. They must have a minimum of:

White goods, including a cooker, fridge, freezer and washing machine

Kitchen and bathroom fixtures

Flooring or carpets

Curtains or blinds

 

What are the Benefits of Letting a Property Unfurnished?

Even though furnished properties are usually more desirable, there are some benefits to letting a property unfurnished, including:

Less maintenance: Furnished properties come with a requirement to maintain the furnishings. With an unfurnished property, you won’t have this responsibility.

Attract long-term tenants: Long-term tenants often bring their own furniture to a rental, so an unfurnished property could be more desirable to this market.

Cheaper: Since you won’t have to pay for furniture, your outlay and running costs could be cheaper.

 

Are there Downsides to Letting a Property Unfurnished?

Naturally, unfurnished properties attract a different clientele. Letting an unfurnished property can mean you need to charge a lower rent price. Plus, you may not be able to compete with other nearby rentals if you’re not providing what people want. The best thing to do is research what works well for your property type in the local area before you decide.

 

Landlords: Need Advice?

Deciding whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished depends on many things, particularly related to the market in your area.

For personalised advice about letting properties, our friendly team at Warren Powell-Richards are here to help. Give us a call today or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

What is the Boundary of my Property and How do I Find it?

Do you know where your boundaries are for your property? And, do you know which boundaries you are responsible for?

There are many myths surrounding boundaries and responsibilities, so we’ve put together this short guide to help you understand where your property boundary is – or if you don’t, knowing how to find it!

 

Is it important to know my boundaries?

Sometimes it’s easy to spot exactly where your property boundary is. Chances are, there will be a fence or a hedge or some other structure that helps define the boundary.

But that is not always the case. It might be that the boundary is overgrown, or there is no definitive boundary to be seen. There could even be not-so-neighbourly disputes that occur about trees planted on a boundary for example, with one side saying the other has to sort things out and the other side are in disagreement. That’s why it’s important to understand boundaries! Not to mention the fact that it’s useful to know exactly what’s yours!

 

Will the title deed of a property tell me about my boundary?

Actually, while you would have thought so, it’s not always the case – but it’s a good place to start.

If you look at the Government website, it’ll tell you that to find out about boundaries, you need to look at the Land Registry website and find the title plans. The Land Registry is where ownership of land is registered, and the title plan outlines the land in question.

The website states: “Most title plans don’t show exact boundaries”, however, this is not a huge issue as the website goes on to state that “you usually don’t need to have the exact boundaries recorded anywhere”.

 

So, I can make an agreement with a neighbour about my boundaries?

Yes, you can make an agreement with a neighbour which is handy because between you there can then be no dispute as to which bit of land is yours and what you are responsible for.

You can do this informally, or you can apply to have it officially registered. There is a process to go through and certain details are required. It’s best to seek formal legal advice on matters like this.

 

Is it right that the rule is that I’m responsible for the left-hand side of a property boundary?

This is something many people believe to be true but it’s not! There is, in fact, no legal basis to this. Some people, even solicitors, will say that a red line on a title deed marks the boundaries, and therefore responsibilities, but this is not always the case either.

As the Land Registry says, it’s just the general boundary.

The red line will fall within the boundary, but in the case of a dispute, it is the courts that will decide.

 

What if my boundary is obviously marked by a fence and trees?

If you plant a hedge or a tree, what happens when it grows so wide that the original boundary becomes obscured? You may have a fence installed – but does it run along the boundary or is it just inside?

It’s fair to say that you should not assume anything as boundaries can become blurred over time.

 

How can I find out where my boundary is for sure?

There is a document called a Title Plan. On that plan, which goes right back to when the land was originally developed and sold, there will be a boundary mark, and on it will be a shape like the capital letter T.

Where the top of the T falls, it is the owner of that land that has a particular responsibility. But, again, be careful. Just because you have responsibility does not necessarily mean you have ownership!

 

Are boundaries really this confusing?

It’s clear that the rules on boundaries aren’t always crystal clear. But, you will need the information when you are ready to sell your property.

Your conveyancer will definitely want to know about boundaries and responsibilities because the Land Registry will need to know who owns what and where. And of course, you and your buyer will want to know for sure too.

A conveyancer will likely ask if the boundaries are your understanding. So, if you’re thinking about moving home, we suggest that you gather all the paperwork regarding boundaries together in good time so that it can be presented to the conveyancers. If there are any issues with land ownership and boundary lines, they are the ones who will ask the questions and raise enquiries.

While boundaries are not an issue for the majority of home movers, they can become a legal minefield for others and it’s easy to see why neighbourly disputes can occur.

 

If you have any questions, please do get in touch. Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts. Call us or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see how we can help.

 

Home Working: 5 Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas

Five budget-friendly tips to help you set up your home office

Working from home is now a major part of people’s lives. For some, working from home has been the norm for many years, while for others the concept is still a little confusing.

What’s important though is that your home office is somewhere you feel comfortable, can work competently and efficiently. Work has to be done, whether it’s in a purpose-built office or in a spare room.

So what should you be thinking about when setting up the perfect home office?

 

Do you need to separate work life from home life?

Do you need space to make calls, write, use the computer, analyse data?

For most, both of these things will be important, so think about where your space is going to be. Is it a corner in the dining room or kitchen, or will it require the spare room, garden shed or integrated garage to be completely transformed?

Once you’ve decided this, then you can look at what you’re going to do with the space. Make a list of what you need or want in your office space, and then prioritise the items.

 

  1. Refurbish and repurpose

Setting up a home office doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Do you already have a desk or table in the garage that simply needs to be repainted? Do you have a few jars in the shed gathering dust and cobwebs? These could easily be washed and cleaned and used for pencils and pens and other stationery items. Make the most of what you already have to hand.

 

  1. Don’t get hung up on buying expensive prints

Here’s an idea, instead of going to big chain stores and buying prints to hang on the wall, print out a favourite photo and buy a frame in which to put it. Not only is this a cheap way to furnish your office, it’s also more personal. Instead of spending a ton of cash on prints of New York skylines or forest glades, you could have an image of a favourite family holiday instead. These will look great and they will be inspirational too!

 

  1. Be thrifty

If you think you need an office desk, or filing cabinet, then you could be thinking ‘expensive’. But wait. There’s no need to hot-foot it to your local office furniture shop. Why buy new when you can find what you need simply by asking around?

It might be that a local company has moved or scaled-down its office operations and is giving things away or getting rid of them cheaply.

A friend or family member might have something you can make use of. Why spend a lot of money when you can find something cheaper or free? Keep an eye out on social media in particular and don’t be afraid to ask.

 

  1. Use blackboard paint

Feeling creative? If you’re one of those people who needs to draw up creative ideas, or throw ideas on a mind map, then blackboard paint is for you.

For just around £7 a tin, you can paint a blackboard area on part of a wall. You can then write on the wall with your creative ideas or formulae, and then simply wipe it clean afterwards. You will save on having to buy any equipment, and paper too, so you’re also doing your bit for the environment.

 

  1. Double the size with mirrors

Working from home can often mean working in a smaller space than you’re used to, but have you thought about mirrors?

A cleverly-sited floor-standing mirror will make your space immediately look bigger. Wall-mounted ones will also do the trick, as long as the frames are quite thin. It’s a trick that interior designers and retail outlets use so you should also make use of it. A floor-standing mirror from IKEA will cost from £50 upwards, and large frameless mirrors are only around £15 or £20.

 

Designing and realising a home office is a personal thing, so get creative. Minimalist or packed with items, with a little thought, creating your home office doesn’t have to be an expensive project.

 

If you’re thinking of upsizing instead and treating yourself to a property with a ready-made study, call our friendly team at Warren Powell-Richards or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be delighted to assist you.

 

Do Bathroom Walls Have to be Tiled? 3 Tile Alternatives

  

Bathroom renovations are an excellent way to boost the potential value of your home. In fact, they can add as much as 4%[1] to the value of a UK property and allow you to charge a higher rate for rentals or holiday lets.

When redecorating your bathroom (for yourself or your tenants), you may be wondering whether tiles are the right option. If so, here are our thoughts on tiles in the bathroom and what the other alternatives are.

 

Can You Have No Tiles in the Bathroom?

Many landlords and homeowners opt for tiles because of their long-lasting structure, water repellent nature and wide range of designs. But it’s not essential to have tiles on your bathroom walls.

Tiling is considered an inexpensive way of renovating your home, but you can still find cheaper solutions. You can find more expensive options too if you want something even more luxurious for your bathroom walls.

 

What Are the Benefits of Tiled Bathroom Walls?

Having a tiled bathroom doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the value of your home, but they do provide many benefits for homeowners and landlords.

 

Tiles are typically:

Anti-mould Your walls are 100% protected from moisture

Easy to clean Particularly beneficial for rentals or holiday lets

Inexpensive Even though there are expensive alternatives, tiling is considered a cheaper way to renovate

Long-lasting Tiles are strong and don’t break easily, so you can usually expect them to last a long time

Universal in style You can find tiles in all different designs, so you have a wide-ranging choice

 

What Can You Use Instead of Tiles in a Bathroom?

 

  1. Paint

A cheaper alternative to tiles is to simply paint the walls of your bathroom. This can look particularly sleek if your bathroom is half-tiled, half-painted – which can actually be more desirable for some people since you can hang shelves and pictures on the painted space.

Just remember that paint may not last very long. It can easily be splashed with water or start to flake away from the moisture of the bathroom if it isn’t kept well-ventilated, so you may need to repaint regularly.

 

  1. Marble

Instead of tiles, you can add marble to your bathroom walls. It’s harder to come by and is often much more expensive than the cost of tiles, but marble can provide a more high-end look.

The only downside to having marbled bathroom walls is that they can be harder to maintain. It’s a natural mineral, so the marble absorbs water and therefore requires regular squeegeeing after showering and routine sealing to keep it looking fab – both of which might put potential buyers off when you eventually sell.

 

  1. Panels

Whether it’s plywood, acrylic or PVC, you can find a range of panel designs to line your bathroom walls. Panels are usually more cost-effective and very easy to install. You can even fit them directly over a tiled wall, reducing removal time.

Some high-end panels can last a long time and provide a flawless finish, with no need to clean grouting regularly. Many designs are waterproof, too, so you won’t have an issue with flaking as you may do with paint.

 

Are You Renovating?

If you’re renovating your home to prepare for a sale, our expert agents at Warren Powell-Richards are happy to help provide a valuation of your home.

Get in touch today for a chat with our friendly team by calling us or sending us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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