If you are a property owner and landlord looking to find tenants, there is a balance to be struck. You want the property to entice potential renters and look great, obviously. However, you also need to be mindful that any improvements you might make may not add substantially to either the rental value – or the future sell-on value of the property. There’s also another very important factor to consider. In an ideal world, every tenant would treat their rented home as if it their own, with all due love, care, and respect. In reality, this is not always the case. Some tenants do not care for the property they are renting. In the worst cases, damage and disrepair can occur. So, what is the best type of kitchen for rental properties?
The best kitchen for rental properties? Look at it with a business eye
If you are considering purchasing a new property to add to your rental portfolio, it is important that you look at it purely with a business eye. A lot will depend on the type of property, where the property is located, and what type of renter it is likely to attract. For example, a four-bedroom house in a good school catchment area is likely to attract families rather than young professionals. If this is the case, it’s probably wise to focus energy and investment on communal areas, such as the lounge and kitchen, and areas such as the garden. Young professionals might be looking for a kitchen fitted with all the latest gadgets and technology.
However, a property in a student area will require a different focus. Here, the kitchen probably just needs to be practical and functional. You also need to consider the potential return on investment on each and every decision you make on a property. For example, you may feel the urge to install a bathroom with a high spec waterfall shower. But you need to think, will such an addition yield a higher rental return? If not, it might not be a wise investment.
The Kitchen is King – whatever the property is
It’s true that the best type of kitchen for rental properties is not necessarily the best type of kitchen you might choose for your own home. In many ways, it is a different proposition altogether. Most prospective tenants are just looking for a well-equipped kitchen that’s easy to keep clean and tidy without too much trouble.
However, even though you don’t need to spend a fortune or go overboard with the high specification details, don’t forget that the kitchen is still king. Whatever style of kitchen it is that best suits a property, if it is to meet the demands of the rental market, the kitchen must be robust, contemporary, easy-to-clean, and offer plenty of storage solutions.
The kitchen, as the proverbial heart of the home, is a space that is going to be busy and well-used. The fittings and the décor that you select need to practical, durable, and hard-wearing. Strong base units with solid doors and quality hinges are the order of the day. You’re also best going for a countertop surface that won’t show marks too easily, and one that is heat resistant. Sometimes, it’s worth spending more on something that will stay looking good for a longer period of time.
Getting the basics right for a kitchen for rental properties
While there a lot of variables to consider when thinking about the best type of kitchen for rental properties, there is some commonality. There are a few basic principles which are worth sticking to. Firstly, use specialist kitchen paint for the walls and ceilings. This is, generally, a little bit more expensive than standard room paint. However, the extra layer of protection it gives against stains and mould is worth the extra expense. The splashbacks in the kitchen should be easy-to-clean and simply wipe with a cloth. The area behind the hob and the sink are the most important. For the kitchen to keep looking in a good condition, you will probably need to redecorate every 3 to 5 years.
In terms of choice of flooring, a medium to dark toned tiled floor is usually the best choice. This should last well and be easy to clean. Additionally, if you opt for a darker colour, it will conceal the marks and stains that will naturally occur through day-to-day use over time. In terms of fittings and electrical equipment for the kitchen, all prospective tenants are likely to expect at least an oven and hob, fridge freezer, microwave, and washing machine. The cost of these types of appliances vary considerably, from a couple of hundred pounds to £1000+. As with anything these days, it is often false economy to go for the cheapest option. The very cheapest electrical appliances may only last for a few years. You will want to keep your tenants happy and not having to deal with repair and replacement very often. For this reason, choosing appliance for the kitchen that are mid-range in price is probably the best option.
What are the best kitchen cabinets for a rental property?
Obviously, any rental property that is going to make you money needs to have a fully functional kitchen to appeal to prospective renters. It is the everyday appliances that will get the most usage in the kitchen. However, the focal point of any kitchen space is always the cabinets. It’s the first thing that any would-be tenant or buyer pays attention to when they enter the kitchen. And it’s certainly what will catch their eye. Dated cabinets are always a big turn-off. After all, there’s a big difference between a carefully chosen traditional design and a kitchen that simply hasn’t been updated for years and years! You may need to replace the kitchen cabinets in a rental property every few years to keep it looking fresh and contemporary. Of course, you’ll want to get the best bang for your buck if you need to renovate the kitchen for rental properties.
To this end, it’s wise to choose a style that will stand the test of time and not quickly go out of fashion. Modern Shaker and Luxury Shaker designs are a safe and sensible choice. Not only will they give you the functionality and practicality that you need, you also get a look that really always stays on trend.
As with the choice of appliances for a rental kitchen, there are also a few basic principles regarding kitchen cabinets. If you bear these in mind, you won’t go far wrong.
Some ideas about choosing new kitchen cabinets to appeal to renters
At the end of the day, it’s all about convincing potential renters to sign on the dotted line. So, what are the best kitchen cabinets for rental properties? Here are a few pointers.
The last thing you want for your rental property is a cheap-looking kitchen. Very cheap often looks cheap – but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the Earth to get a high-quality kitchen. At the same time, a lot will depend on the clientele you are looking to attract. Regardless of these factors, it’s also true to say that investing a bit of extra time, thought and money into a kitchen for rental properties will be well worth it. It will enable you to drive revenue and increase the rental rates. Upgrading cabinets is also likely to increase a property’s value should you choose to sell it at some stage.
White is the classic kitchen colour. It is totally timeless. Yes, it’s true that other colours have grown in popularity too in recent years: blues, greys, and greens, to name just a few. But as with anything in the home, if you are looking to rent or sell, neutrality is the name of the game. With white neutral does not mean boring; it means fresh and clean. A white kitchen immediately looks bigger than it really is. In contrast, dark colours – if not chosen carefully – can look oppressive and make space feel smaller. This is hardly what you are looking for with a kitchen for rental properties.
Avoid fancy, ornate or unusual kitchen designs
The golden rule of home improvements for rental properties or those that you want to sell is neutrality. Gone are the days when this had to mean wall-to-wall magnolia, but it still pays to be fairly conservative when it comes to décor choices.
The same applies to kitchen cabinets. Your personal taste for something fancy, ornate or unusual in terms of kitchen design is your that – your taste. It is unlikely to be the choice of most prospective tenants. You certainly don’t want to alienate or put off anybody when they view a property. This is why white remains a sensible colour choice – although it’s by no means the only option, a white kitchen is very unlikely to offend anyone’s design sensibilities.
Similarly, Modern Shaker and Luxury Shaker style kitchens are always a winner. Shaker cabinets have remained one of the most popular kitchen cabinet styles down the years. A genuine timeless classic, a Shaker kitchen never really goes out of style. The simple, clean design lines of a Shaker kitchen always appeals. It also retains a contemporary feel, regardless of any of the latest design trends. Our Shaker cabinets are sturdy and strong; straightforward to install; and easy to maintain and clean.
Drawer space and hardware
Ample storage space is a big plus for many renters – and an absolute essential in smaller properties. Renters need adequate storage space because they have to bring a lot of stuff with them wherever they move to. Nobody likes the idea of needing to keep things out in the open and cluttering up a place because there isn’t enough storage. You might need to install tall cabinets in the kitchen. This is a great way to maximise the space you have.
It’s also worth investing in the hardware for the kitchen. Basic handles are easy to damage and they look nasty. High-end door handles can enhance the look of the kitchen, adding a touch of elegance to something that is otherwise plain and ordinary.
Cooperation between landlord and tenant
A tenant might ask the landlord to renovate the entire kitchen, but it not all need renovating. It might just need new door handles or replacement doors. One option is for the landlord to ask the tenant about what renovations they would like. Then you get a couple of quotes for the work and negotiate an agreement with the tenant to share the costs.
Similarly – especially for long-term tenants – if they express interest in a new kitchen when the kitchen does really need any repairs, there is nothing to stop the landlord giving tenants authorisation to renovate the kitchen at their own expense. Obviously, the landlord should still agree upon the design and finish for any updates. However, cooperation between landlord and tenant can be really beneficial, and can go a long way to maintain long term rentals. This is great for both parties.
Can tenants ask their landlord to update a kitchen?
Naturally, tenants want a rental property that is in excellent condition. It’s also equally important that any maintenance work that becomes necessary is completed in good time and to a good standard.
If a kitchen becomes tired looking and worn out, tenants have every right to ask their landlord to update the kitchen. As mentioned before, always look at everything through the lens of a business eye. You should complete a cost/benefit analysis for any planned renovations.
How often do you need update kitchens for rental properties?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. It’s really a case of how long is a piece of string? As mentioned previously, there are just so many variables and factors to consider with rental properties. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution here.
Knowing when to update the kitchen cabinets in a rental property is a judgement call. It’s true that high quality kitchens that are cared-for and well-maintained can last for decades – even 50 years, if you are lucky. Of course, the problem is that the styles and trends are likely to change quite a lot during that time.
Ultimately, the key factor to consider when trying to determine how often to replace kitchen cabinets is the condition they are in.
How do I update my rental kitchen?
It might be that all the cabinets really need are a few minor repairs, such as new door handles or maybe a fresh lick of paint. In general, it is usually the doors of the cabinets that start to show signs of wear and tear and first need attention. Kitchen Warehouse has a solution to all your rental kitchen needs. We have a wide selection of accessories available, including kitchen door handles, soft closing hinges, kitchen mixer taps, kitchen sinks, soft closing drawers, drawer inserts, mechanisms, and waste bins. Pretty much any type of repair or replacement need is catered for in our showroom and in our online store.
With regards to cabinet doors, as these are the front-facing part of the kitchen that we come into contact the most, the doors will be the part of the kitchen that is likely to get scuffs and stains and minor damage through general everyday use.
When the time comes to replace your kitchen doors, you don’t necessarily need to replace the whole kitchen. A high quality set of kitchen units that have been looked after are unlikely to need replacing, even when the doors begin to look a bit tired.
With a kitchen for rental property, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Simply, reface the fronts of the units with kitchen replacement doors. It will give the kitchen a fresh new look – all at a fraction of the price of a full kitchen refit.
There is no one way to do things when it comes to choosing the best kitchen for rental properties. However, the advice in this article should help you to ensure that things stay on track. A happy tenant generally means a happy landlord, so it’s sensible to give the kitchen of any rental property some careful thought.
Be proactive when trying to choose the best kitchen cabinets for your rental property. Do your research to find the type of cabinets you would like to see in the kitchen and it will pay dividends. There is a vast selection of cabinets to choose from, so take your time. Choose wisely and you and your tenants will be happy with their kitchens for a long time. And don’t forget, you are never alone. Be proactive when trying to choose the best kitchen cabinets for your rental property. Do your research to find the type of cabinets you would like to see in the kitchen – and it will pay dividends. There is a vast selection of cabinets to choose from, so take your time. Choose wisely and you and your tenants will be happy with their kitchens for a long time. And don’t forget, you are never alone. Get in touch with the friendly, expert team at Kitchen Warehouse. We on always on hand to answer any questions you might have or to give you general advice and guidance.