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Refurbishment services

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It is always important to present your property in a way that allows it to stand out as more appealing than other similar properties in the area. This increases the prospects of a long term tenancy at the best possible rental value and reduces the length and incidence of void periods during which the property remains vacant.

Conversely, a home that has become run down is quite likely to lead to an uncomfortably long void period before you can fill it. If you hold on to your investment property as long as is normally considered wise, there will come a time when you will need to refurbish it to ensure that it remains attractive to tenants. Even the best tenants do not look upon your property in the same way that you do and each new occupancy will take its toll in terms of wear and tear.

Unless you are very well connected with local tradesmen who you trust, trying to refurbish the property can be a real nightmare. A number of businesses have become aware of this fact and now offer full property refurbishment services. There are various levels of service on offer, ranging from the basic spruce up through to the a complete reworking of the interior.

The service provider will make a visit to your property, where they will discuss your requirements and advise you what work needs to be done. The adviser will give you help in deciding what level of quality furniture, hardware and appliances to go for, as well as passing on their knowledge of current trends in décor. Taking advice on this is a good idea as demands can vary a great deal depending on the type of tenant you are looking to market to, and the companies will have plenty of experience of working within the lettings market.

The refurbishment service will then prepare an estimate, using a network of contractors with whom they have their own arrangements. This is a real benefit, as they will handle all dealings with the contractors, meaning you don't have to get involved. No chasing them up because they haven't finished their work, no quarrelling over payment and a much less stressful approach, all in all. The refurbishment company will have their own contracts with the tradesmen they use, and the tradesmen will generally work to a good standard to ensure that they continue to enjoy the benefits of the business passed onto them.

One of the other main advantages of using a refurbishment service is speed. The service provider will not get paid in full until the work is complete, so it will be in their interest to make sure that the contractor works efficiently. If you are in a hurry to revamp your property and are willing to pay for a fast turnaround, this could be the right solution for you.

One of the main disadvantages is cost. This is not a solution for every landlord. A full refurbishment for a furnished two bedroom flat at the high end of the market could cost anything up to twenty five or even thirty thousand pounds.

Furthermore, the agencies make their money by charging you a commission on your total expenditure (often around 10 or 15 percent), so make sure that you don't get steamrollered into parting with cash you haven't got or can't really afford to part with.

It is only worth spending this sort of money if you are going for very upmarket clients in high class locations. In such areas, it is sometimes possible for you to recoup the money you spend within two to three years in terms of the higher achievable rental values. The trouble is, you will have to keep spending in order to maintain the standard. Over time though, expect a range of new service providers to emerge, that offer a broader range of services aimed at the middle and lower end of the market.

One thing to bear in mind, is that a well maintained property with a high quality professional finish that has been looked after throughout its life, will certainly attract a premium when it comes to selling up.

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