Whether you are landlord looking to update the kitchen in an existing property or have purchased a house or apartment as an investment and need to fit a kitchen, choosing the right kitchen for rented property can feel very different from making choices in your own home.
The most important thing to bear in mind when choosing kitchen fittings for a property which will be tenanted is that, while you should always choose options that will look good, there is no need to go over the top on costs and fittings.
Most tenants are looking for a kitchen which is well equipped and functional.
For landlords, it’s important to bear in mind that you want to choose kitchen elements that will be hard wearing and last throughout successive tenancies.
With this in mind, we explore how to choose the right kitchen for your rented property.
What to look for when choosing a kitchen for a rental property
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and this is no different for tenants. Often the space will be one of the most well used rooms in your property, so it’s important that your kitchen cabinets, flooring and accessories are hard wearing.
opt for kitchen units that come in standard sizes, rather than custom measurements, as this will allow you to easily replace kitchen doors later on, saving your costs on buying an entirely new kitchen.
It’s also a good idea to invest in the little touches that will protect your kitchen from damage for as long as possible, so opt for soft close hinges for drawers and cabinets – this will stop wood from getting damaged or chipped.
While kitchen trends come and go, when choosing a kitchen style for a tenanted property, always consider the likely demand in your area. It’s always wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to your kitchen cabinet styles – so think long term rather than get caught up in the latest kitchen trends.
Consider your audience
When choosing the kitchen for your tenanted property, it’s wise to think about who is most likely to be renting your property.
If you have a city centre apartment, it’s far more likely to be tenanted by professionals who want a contemporary looking kitchen. Think high gloss finishes and handleless kitchen doors.
A countryside house however may suit a more timeless look. Have a look at shaker kitchens in more traditional tones.
When thinking about who is likely to be renting your property – think beyond aesthetics. Adding some touches that will win over a tenant, but not break the bank can mean that you find tenants faster, therefore reducing void loss. From a wine fridge to snazzy accessories, little additions can make your property more attractive over others.
However, be mindful that what you provide, you must maintain, so avoid expensive gadgets that may need replacing while tenants are in situ.
Replace kitchen doors in a rental property
If the carcasses in your kitchen are in good shape, it’s worth considering whether you can just replace your kitchen doors.
Here at Kitchen Warehouse, we have a huge range of kitchen doors to choose from, so you can update the look of the kitchen in your rental property for a fraction of the cost of replacement.
Replacing your kitchen doors can be a great option when your existing kitchen is basically sound in structure, but perhaps the style has gone slightly out of fashion, or you the existing doors are not at their best.
When it comes to appliances, even if you are offering a property as unfurnished, it’s standard to provide an oven and hob, fridge freezer and washing machine.
However, it’s becoming more popular to also include items such as built-in microwaves and also drying machines (whether as a separate tumble dryer or including a washer dryer).
The cost of white goods can vary hugely, so it’s worth shopping around to find a good deal. However, just like the rest of your kitchen, longevity is key. While you may find a super cheap deal, if it doesn’t stand the test of time, it’s likely to cost you more in the long run, and not keep your tenants as happy as you would like. So read reviews and go for the best options.
Remember, any electrical goods will need regular testing as part of your obligations as a landlord.
Will adding a kitchen add value to my rented property?
The answer to this is yes and no.
In terms of your rental income, and attractive kitchen will mean that your property is more likely to be chosen by tenants faster, therefore reducing void periods. Void periods cost more than just lost rental income – as while a property is vacant you will generally be paying the bills including electric costs and council tax.
However, it’s not likely that tenants will pay much more for a home with a luxury kitchen if the rental value is not in line with the market, so it’s always worth ensuring that you stick to a reasonable budget.
If you have any eye on disposing the asset though, a good quality kitchen can add up to 10% of the value of your home.
What is the best material for a kitchen in a rented property?
As mentioned previously, the best kitchen materials are durable. On average a kitchen in a rented property should last around 15 years as long as it’s fairly well looked after.
Choosing solid wood kitchen cabinets can be tempting as they are long lasting and often offer a timeless look, so will remain desirable even if fashions change. Solid wood kitchen units are more resilient than their chipboard counterparts, but that doesn’t mean a solid wood kitchen makeover should break the bank. Here at Kitchen Warehouse, we offer a wide range of solid wood kitchen units which make a great option for rental properties.
However, if your rental property is more on the modern side, it may be more fitting to opt for acrylic or gloss units which give a contemporary aesthetic. Check out our ultra-modern Ashton Cole collection which are incredibly durable and also easy to clean, a long lasting bonus for a rental property.
When it comes to choosing kitchen cabinets, remember that one of the top requirements for many tenants is storage space, so be sure to offer as much as possible within the kitchen design itself. Additional kitchen cupboards can be added by including higher units and corner units where there would usually be wasted space.
You can also get creative by adding clever kitchen mechanisms which allow for more storage within existing kitchen units.
Best coloured kitchen for tenants?
When it comes to kitchen colour for a rental property, consider your wider audience.
Often it can be wise to stick with neutral shades as while one tenant may adore bright coloured kitchen units or dramatic dark colours – another may hate them. And the lifespan of your kitchen will usually be a lot longer than that of a single tenancy.
But it doesn’t always have to be the case. Bear in mind the style within the rest of your property – particularly if the kitchen is open plan. If you are offering a property unfurnished and have an open plan space, the tenants will want a kitchen colour that does not clash with their furniture.
However, if you are letting out a country cottage, opting for some classic blues or greys may blend seamlessly with the surroundings.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to colour, but by opting for a shade that is fairly neutral will likely make your property more attractive to a wider range of tenants.
Kitchen worktops for tenants
Like your kitchen cabinets, your worktops need to be durable.
Will in an ideal world every tenant would look after the kitchen well, that’s not always the case, so it’s wise to avoid kitchen worktops that need regular treatment, or stain easily with water or food splashes – so natural wood is probably best avoided.
If you have the budget, opting for a hard stone such as quartz can give you a luxury looking finish, and a worktop that is hard wearing.
There are also a huge range of good quality laminate finish worktops that are ideal for tenanted properties.
What flooring should I choose?
When it comes to choosing kitchen flooring for tenants, you are looking for something that is both aesthetically pleasing but also durable. The last thing you will want is to be going through the time consuming and costly process of replacing flooring between tenancies.
Vinyl can be a great option for kitchens as it’s easy to keep clean, can be pretty durable and nowadays can be made to look like natural stone flooring, or a wooden board. However, be aware of the risk of rips and tears as furniture is moved in and out. Due to this opting for vinyl tiles can be an excellent choice as they allow for easy replacement between tenancies.
Good quality floor tiles are another excellent choice, as they are resistant to water damage and often have a very long lifespan. While they may be more time consuming an expensive to install, they do offer a good, durable choice for your kitchen floor.