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Investment Property Advice: Preparing Your Property

If I could only give you one piece if investment property advice, it would be this: the standard of your property -- décor, cleanliness, presentation, furniture, fixtures and fittings -- relates directly to the standard of tenant that you are going to attract.

It also sets the tone for how you expect your tenant to keep the property and how you wish it to be returned to you.

If you supply your property to a tenant with rickety furniture, unkempt garden and dirty windows, you can't expect the tenant to have respect for the property.

If you want a quality tenant -- that is, one that will take care of your property and pay their rent on time, then give them a quality property.

investment property advice

When I say this, I don't mean you should go decking out your ex-council flat with expensive designer furniture: I mean that you need to get your property looking as good as possible to appeal to your target market (ideal tenant).

The other pleasant side-effects of presenting your property well are the potential to achieve a higher rent, and longer tenancies.

Preparing for Your Target Market

OK, next piece of investment property advice: decide right at the beginning who you are going to let to. Single professional, a family? While you are getting your property ready, always have your likely tenant at the forefront of your mind.

For example, if you are going to let a modern city centre apartment, then your target market is most likely to be a single professional person or a professional couple. You would therefore present it with quality -- this doesn't have to mean expensive -- contemporary furniture.

If you are letting a suburban terraced house, your target market is more likely to be a family and you should present it appropriately.

If your property could appeal to more than one type of tenant, then it is best to keep your options open and don't exclude anyone.

Investment property advice: Repairs and Maintenance

The last piece of investment property advice for this article is maintenance. Complete any small jobs such as filling and painting any holes or dents in walls. Often it is sufficient to touch up scuffs on walls with the same paint used initially and any nicks in woodwork with gloss. But if markings are extensive, or if you cannot find a match for the original paint, then full redecoration may be required.


Neutral décor is always preferred; if any rooms have particularly bright or dark paintwork, it is definitely recommended to repaint in a neutral tone.

Make a note of the paint that you've used and keep some aside if possible. That way you'll easily be able to touch up any marks at the end of a tenancy.

Floor Coverings

The same principle applies to carpets -- bright, patterned or out-dated carpets should be replaced with neutral ones. Choose a slightly darker tone, to better mask dirt and stains. These should be mid-range carpets -- not too cheap and not too dear. If not clean already, you should have your carpets professionally cleaned.

Although more expensive initially, laminate flooring can be more economical in the long run as it is much harder wearing than carpet and is easier to clean.


Fix any broken hinges on cupboard doors and ensure all drawers are running smoothly. If your kitchen needs updated, consider replacing the cupboard doors and drawer fronts as an inexpensive way of doing this.

Clean or re-grout any tiled areas that are discoloured.

If there are no splash-backs behind the cooker and sink, it is recommended to add them as your tenants will not necessarily be as careful as you are.


Be sure to provide towel rails and hooks as this will help ensure that these are not hung in inappropriate places.

Clean or re-grout any tiled areas that are discoloured.

If replacing the suite, an inexpensive one is usually fine but always pick a white one.


Clear away any clutter and remove it from the property.


Air your property by opening windows and buy a few air fresheners. Remember that some viewers may be allergic to pets, so make sure that all signs of animal smells and hair are removed.


Get your property thoroughly cleaned -- professionally if possible. A dirty property is one of the top things that can put a tenant off straight away.


If there's a garden, mow the lawn and tidy hedges. Just remember that your your aim is to maximise "kerb appeal" as many tenants have made the decision whether to rent or not, before they even set foot in the property.

Common Areas

If you live in a flat and there are common areas, make sure they are clean and tidy. If your block is factored then you might consider contacting them to arrange a cleaner at the shared expense of the owners. If this is not possible and the close is a mess then the expense of getting the job done yourself will be entirely worth it in terms of finding a quality tenant.

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