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renovation tips

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A well-maintained rental property not only ensures happy tenants, but also higher rents. Does your property need some long awaited renovations? Here are some of our favourite methods for improving an investment property’s rental potential.

Wash the walls and repaint them
Keep your colours neutral throughout, that way it will go with however your tenant chooses to furnish the property.

Choose a light colour on the window frames to draw the eye outside, making the space feel bigger. Paint comes in a variety of finishes: the flatter and lower the sheen, the more imperfections are hidden, but the harder to keep clean.

Put up new blinds/curtains
Aluminum blinds offer an easy clean option that goes well with stainless-steel appliances and door handles. One drawback however, is they can be damaged fairly easily. Curtains are more durable, however require adherence to washing instructions, which can include dry cleaning which can be costly to tenants.

Install new door handles
This is a quick and inexpensive way to update the kitchen cupboards or bathroom vanity.  Keep it simple with round knob handles in brushed stainless steel or chrome finishes. These are available from major hardware outlets and will go beautifully with chrome tapware and any stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen.

Create bright areas
Light fittings don’t have to cost a lot but can detract from the look of the place if they are dated. Simple ball shades are under $10 and won’t compete with furnishings.

Clean, clean, clean
Clean the floor coverings and carpets and deodorise the curtains. Even if the carpets aren’t dirty, cleaning them leaves the house with a fresh smell.

Change the floor coverings
Carpets depreciate well, however polished floors or porcelain tiles can bring in a much better rental return.

If replacing floor coverings in the kitchen use heavy grade lino or tiles. Avoid soft vinyl which is prone to cuts and tears. If choosing carpet go for one that is long-wearing and durable. Avoid light tones that will easily stain.

Taxing issues
The big question when renovating rental properties is whether the expenses are capital in nature or a deduction. If you renovate prior to renting it out, the expenses become part of the property’s cost base and may not be deductible. But if you have a property that you currently rent out and do repairs on, your costs become deductible.

Please take the time to check this with your accountant or financial advisor before you start the renovations.