Buy to Let Improvements Can Be a Waste of Money

Landlords wanting to upgrade their rental properties often make the wrong decisions about spending their cash because some improvements are more cost-effective than others. 

Around one in four homeowners make improvements to increase the value of their homes or the rents they can charge but make a loss by opting for the wrong moneymaking projects. 

Spending on upgrading flooring, bathrooms and kitchens may well outweigh any added value, says a study by financial comparison website GoCompare. 

The projects returning the most profit include installing a new boiler or heating, energy-saving improvements and upgrading security. 

Their Property Investment Calculator gives the estimated price boost - and reduction - related to the most common improvements. 

Here’s how the spending works out on a property valued at the Land Registry average price for January 2018 of £225,620:

 Average costEstimated increase in valueEstimated profit or loss
New boiler£1,995.00£9,024.84 (4%)£7,029.84
Fit central heating£4,250.00£9,024.84 (4%)£4,774.84
Garden make-over£1,500.00£2,256.21 (1%)£756.21
Knock through rooms£1,750.00£4,512.42 (2%)£2,762.42
Fit double glazing£8,450.00£9,024.84 (4%)£574.84
Paint and decorate£2,500.00£2,256.21 (1%)-£243.79
New flooring£2,200.00£0.00 (0%)-£2,200.00
New bathroom£4,250.00£2,256.21 (1%)-£1,993.79
Fit new kitchen£7,000.00£4,512.42 (2%)-£2,487.58
Fit solar panels£5,000.00£-4,512.42 (-2%)-£9,512.42

Source: GoCompare

Ben Wilson, the company’s home insurance spokesman, said: “Our calculator gives homeowners an understanding of the typical costs and benefits of undertaking a range of projects before they start the work, allowing them to see the potential financial benefits. 

“Our calculator provides valuations and estimates based on national data.  Depending on local housing market and labour conditions, the extent of the work undertaken, and materials used, figures for individual projects will differ and we always recommend people shop around to get quotes for work as well.”

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Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.