Current high rents mean buy-to-let investors have seen good returns on their investments. But with property prices still high in many parts of the country it remains vital to set up properties to yield as much value as possible, and the correct use of space is essential.
At the heart of the matter is the number of tenants you can get into a house or flat, thus maximising the rental return. Obviously that does not mean you should endlessly cram bedrooms into your property. But it is also about increasing tenant retention and minimising gaps between tenancies. Happily, you can develop your property in such a way as it does both.
There is no better example of the dual appeal of well thought-out space to landlords and tenants than open-plan kitchens. Bringing a kitchen and living room together means there is more room for bedrooms, and more rent, but it also makes for a more modern living experience. Pure income potential increases at the same time as the property's attraction. Don't forget the importance of storage either. You might think of it as dead space, but with so few flats providing it, it can help increase your investment's rental income potential.
A small room does not have to be a weak link in your residential investment. Look at ways to manage and optimise space, or speak to a bespoke bedroom designer who specialises in squeezing the most out of box rooms. Depending on your target market, you might consider a queen-size single bed. Cheap fitted wardrobes are available online and the best ones come with a design service. They are a sign of quality, can be a deal clincher, and can be an inexpensive way of maximising return.
Know your market
In many rental markets, en-suite bathrooms are seen as an essential in attracting tenants. This may well be the case with high-income tenants, but it would not be the case, for instance, with students. When you make your investment, know who you will be targeting and manage your space accordingly. The need to add extras like en suites does not mean you cannot be economical. People who prioritise one feature will be prepared to sacrifice on others. Maybe you can offer less in the main bathroom, perhaps choosing a smaller or L-shaped bath, or just fitting a shower?
There are a number of space-saving options available to investors, but there is no question that the more space you have to begin with, the easier it is to create a strong rental proposition. Some properties lend themselves to investment more than others. Victorian properties are ideal for buy-to-let investors, offering larger dimensions than you find in newer properties and generally good build quality. What is more, if you can find a property with period features, such as original skirting, flooring, fireplaces or sash windows, your chances of attracting and retaining tenants will be better, and the amount you can charge should increase, making it the perfect ROI property.