New bathroom before or after tenants?

(15 Posts)
Fleabagster Thu 10-Sep-20 10:49:50

We are buying a house which we will initially rent out as we live in accommodation tied to our work and move in to in 2-5 years time depending on what happens with our jobs etc. The house is old fashioned in appearance/decor but in good condition generally. We can rent it out easily as it is but when we move in we will want to do a lot to it.
First thing will be new bathrooms - would you do it now before we rent it out at all, or would you rent it out as it is and wait until we move in to put in the nice bathrooms?!

OP’s posts: |
ComtesseDeSpair Thu 10-Sep-20 10:54:15

Afterwards. As long as the bathroom is in good condition and the fact that it’s dated is reflected in the rent (i.e. you aren’t trying to charge the same for your property as for an immaculate and fully modernised similar one) then that’s fine.

fabulousathome Thu 10-Sep-20 11:21:19

Definitely afterwards. You will be very upset if tenants ruin your lovely new bathroom. As long as the current one is useable and fairly decent that's fine. Maybe charge slightly less rent.

Fleabagster Thu 10-Sep-20 11:23:09

Thank you. That’s what I thought but then felt mean for not letting tenants have the nicer bathroom! Looking at other properties that have been let out, ours in definitely in better condition than most, it’s just not to my taste. It’s how my MIL would decorate and actually, she has very similar bathrooms...

OP’s posts: |
GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Thu 10-Sep-20 12:07:39

As long as it’s clean and functional (a shower that works well, somewhere to put towels and toiletries) I would leave it for now.

RoseMartha Fri 11-Sep-20 16:00:24

Definitely afterwards. Otherwise you might be looking to update it twice

lurker101 Fri 11-Sep-20 16:03:24

Afterwards, tenants don’t tend to look after things as carefully as you might as an owner. I know we didn’t (not through any malice it’s just how it was). Plus you’ll have the joy of it being “fresh” for you and you can slowly get ideas for what you want/what will work best over the next few years

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Scrumptiousbears Fri 11-Sep-20 16:07:10

Afterwards. My tenants trashed the bathroom (and others parts of the house)

JoJoSM2 Fri 11-Sep-20 16:12:28

The properties I rent out are nicely done up which attracts better tenants who look after the place. However, if the bathroom isn’t ancient and it’s functional but just not to your taste, then I’d do it up when you go to live in the property.

Fleabagster Fri 11-Sep-20 16:36:44

Thanks all. It’s definitely more than functional. Have attached a pic of the en-suite - it’s all well looked after too.

@JoJoSM2 there is a shortage of family homes to rent in the area the house is and I have seen far worse being let out quickly so I don’t think we need to do too much but I know what you mean.

OP’s posts: |
slipperywhensparticus Fri 11-Sep-20 16:42:08

Its fine and functional

Sunny4876 Fri 11-Sep-20 16:47:56

That's absolutely fine

Rhoobarbandraspberries Fri 11-Sep-20 17:59:26

Another voice to chime “afterwards” definitely. We had quite ‘well to do’ professional tenants in our lovely five bed home (landscape architect) and they massively devalued our house. It doesn’t matter who your clientele are and how much you vet them, they just won’t care for your pride and joy like you will...

YellowNotRed Fri 11-Sep-20 18:26:37

I installed a new bathroom for our tenants because they're trusted and good tenants! Very happy for them to have the benefit of it.

WombatChocolate Fri 11-Sep-20 19:12:08

Yours looks okay. Very dated bathrooms (coloured suites etc) put people off or mean you have to charge very low rent and can then attract the type of tenant who won't look after it....not always the case of course.

It depends how competitive the market is where your property is. If there are tenants queuing up for your type of property, the bathroom is absolutley fine. If landlords have to really fight to get tenants, then a opening like a lovely bathroom will help. If you were installing for rent, it's important to consider the type of market you're aiming at and the price-level too. Even in a cheap rental there no point going dirt-cheap as the quality means it won't last, but you won't need the frills that might be necessary elsewhere. It is obvious really, but some people do get in wrong and either install luxury bathrooms or kitchens in cheap rentals where they just aren't needed, or don't go high-end enough in expensive properties, which then lets them down.

Looking at the pics of bathrooms in similar sized and priced rentals in your area on Rigtmove will give you an idea of what the local market is providing and people expect...it can vary by area. But I wouldn't think the one in your pic will be a problem....it probably won't give your property the wow factor and attract a large excess of viewers, but it won't be a pic making potential tenants immediately move onto the next property on Rightmove.

If you install a new one now, the work will delay it getting to market and given what might suit you when you live there might be differ from what would be suitable for a rental, you don't want to do it twice. If it was a horror of a bathroom though, you'd have to do it. Tenants deserve (and pay for!) decent bathrooms and kitchens and making sure they are in the property is just a cost landlords need to bear.

I haven't generally replaced kitchens or bathrooms during a tenancy but between. I wouldn't let a property with a bathroom or kitchen that wasn't decent, so I wouldn't expect to have a replace a whole kitchen or bathroom mid-tenancy, although of course odd bits can break/damaged and need replacement immediately. If there has been a good, long term tenant who has been around a couple of years at least and is wanting to stay, I'd certainly be willing to spend some money on sprucing up and decorating if they would like it done (not all want the disruption) because keeping good lomg term tenants is definitely worth spending a few hundred quid on, because the costs and hassle of getting new tenants is far greater. Wouldn't expect to install a whole new kitchen or bathroom though unless a tenant extended far beyond the norm in a very unexpected way and I've never had that kind of length of time where it would be needed.

If your bathroom is good for another 5 years, then don't do it now, but if you think it will only be good for a couple more years and you might be renting longer than that, consider it now.

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