The London rental market is very competitive. Properties let quickly if they are beautifully presented and furnished but prospective tenants will walk away if an apartment looks tired and unappealing. To avoid this, we recommend refreshing the décor and updating furnishings in rental apartments every two or three years.
What tenants want ……
Even an apartment in a relatively new block can be slow to let, or fail to achieve the market rent, if its presentation isn’t up to scratch, as a client of ours recently discovered. He owns a rental apartment in the Waterside Tower at Imperial Wharf in Fulham but was unable to achieve the market value of £575 per week for the two bedroom, two bathroom property. There wasn’t a lot wrong – the apartment
Itself was bright and spacious, in a great location with fantastic river views. And it was less than seven years old. But it had been rented out for several years and the wear and tear had taken its toll, particularly on the furnishings which were starting to look worn. So he brought us in to give the apartment a much needed revamp.
The project was managed by our Head Designer Max Prychidko and he takes up the story: “This was a lovely apartment but the décor was tired and the furnishings didn’t do the property justice. It needed a more contemporary feel to appeal to the professional tenants that our client was keen to attract,” reports Max. “So the project didn’t involve major structural work or refurbishment, simply refreshing the décor. At this stage a tenant viewed the property but still couldn’t decide so we added stylish, new furnishings and this really give the apartment the ‘wow’ factor – in fact, when the tenant went back the next day to see the newly furnished property, he made an offer for the full asking rental on the spot.”
Neutral kitchens and bathrooms won’t date
“We painted the apartment throughout, adding a feature wall in the reception room and master bedroom to give a really contemporary look. We fitted new oak flooring and carried out some general maintenance work. The kitchen and bathrooms were in good order so didn’t require any work. Keeping kitchens and bathrooms simple and neutral ensures they don’t date.”
“Next, we transformed the interior with some stunning new furnishings, based on our Exclusive range of furnishing packs. In the reception room, we used sophisticated, neutral tones and added a lovely, khaki corner sofa which fits the space perfectly. We used a mix of black oak and walnut furniture to keep the look warm and inviting.”
A splash of colour
“In the master bedroom, we used a natural yet luxurious feature wallpaper from Romo’s Folia collection, dressing the upholstered bed base in a glazed fern colour and crisp white bed linen. In the second bedroom we injected a splash of colour to the plain, grey colour scheme with bright citrine lamps and a beautiful moss stitch throw to add texture. Black and white framed prints complete the room perfectly.
We didn’t need to replace any of the window dressings as they were in good condition and their neutral colours meant they still looked smart and contemporary.”
Refurbished apartment achieves £75 per week increase in rental
The letting agent showed the apartment to a corporate tenant after the initial redecoration but the applicant was still unsure. This is what prompted us to replace the furnishings – the tenant went for another viewing and liked it so much he made an offer immediately for the full asking rental of £650 per week – £75 per week more than the previous rental. Furnishing the property really made the difference, allowing the tenant to imagine the lifestyle he could enjoy in the apartment. Happy tenant, happy landlord.
If you own a property in a smart residential development and are hoping to attract a high calibre, corporate tenant, remember that presentation is just as important as location and amenities. A stylish and contemporary interior will help you attract a tenant quickly, minimising void periods and increasing your rental yield.