Storage space is always valuable. Ample storage can encourage tenants to choose your property over another. If the provision for storage in your rental properties is rather thin on the ground, you may be considering taking action to create more storage for your tenants.
But where do you begin? Well, you know the problems. You've seen the piles of shoes and stumbled over the toys, clothes, papers and IT equipment which crowd the place.
Get every nook and cranny working for you
Older houses are full of quirky alcoves and niches, but use them imaginatively. The alcoves beside chimney breasts may cry out for shelving. But would it be more effective to turn them into a home office? And the unused space under the stairs? What do your tenants need? A walk-in cloakroom cupboard where they can store the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board? Or a more open area for books or files?
Make the dead space work too.
You can never have too many shelves in the bathroom, and you can probably fit a good many in the dead space at the far end of the bath. In the kitchen, replace the kick boards beneath the kitchen units with drawers for your tenants' baking and oven trays. Use the same idea in the hallway – replace the risers of the bottom few steps with shoe drawers.
Don't forget to look upwards.
Let the shelving grow right up to the ceiling. Don't waste available wall space. You can then make sure a ladder is nearby to allow tenants to retrieve what they need.
Create your own nooks and crannies
If your buy-to-let property is modern, it may not have nooks and crannies, but you can create your own. Putting up a whole wall of shelving and cupboards across one side of the lounge will only knock 30-40 cm off the dimensions of the room. Your tenants will gain far more than that in living space when they don't have to squeeze round mess that they cannot tidy away.
Create a secret cabinet behind a full-length mirror by hanging it 15-20cm from the wall. As well as looking stylish, the shelves inside will hold all manner of items.
Make your furniture do double duty
When you buy beds, invest in beds with storage drawers, or go for loft beds and gain space for a full chest-of-drawers.
Alternatively, fill a bay window with a unit which doubles as a seat and storage. Or you can find wardrobes that go right up to the ceiling rather than opting for a small standalone cupboard. If the property place is small or is an apartment, look out for sofas and chairs with storage boxes beneath the upholstery.
A bonus tip: always measure up.
There's no point in installing a tenancy-selling home office with shelves too small for A4 files, or bathroom shelves that won't take toiletry bottles.
Decent storage doesn't need to cost much, and keeping clutter under control will help your tenants keep your property in good condition. If you want more ideas, come and have a chat with us. We've seen hundreds of properties round Brixton and Battersea and know how storage problems can be solved.