If you’re a landlord or property owner, you might think you don’t need to put a lot of time, thought or money into designing your rental kitchen, as it’s not somewhere you will be living. As the saying goes: “It’s only a rental”. But if you want a rental kitchen that will stand the test of time and be rugged enough to handle the wear and tear of daily use, then it is worth your energy. A beautifully designed rental kitchen will also add to the property’s value and ensure your tenants have a functional and aesthetically pleasing place to prepare meals.
In this article, we’ll touch on some of the things you should keep in mind when designing a rental kitchen. For more inspiration, you can check out what other landlords are doing by browsing the property listings at rentola.co.uk. Here, you’ll find kitchen ideas from rental terraces in Rochdale and inner-city Manchester apartments, as well as country homes in the Cotswolds.
Susannah Townsend, Canva.com
Know your legal requirements
Before you begin any rental renovation or installation, it’s essential that you understand your legal requirements as a landlord. Different jurisdictions have different rules and regulations, so check online what is mandatory in your area. In some cases, there may be a certain number of elements required on a stovetop (depending on the number of bedrooms in the house) or minimum standards when it comes to appliances.
You also want to ensure the design of the kitchen allows for adequate ventilation and that it meets fire safety requirements. If your kitchen doesn’t meet local regulations, then your insurance company is unlikely to issue a payout if damage does occur.
Use robust and hard-wearing materials
The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the house, with a lot of foot traffic and heavy demand on its surfaces. Rather than installing the cheapest benchtops, cabinets and flooring you can find, invest in materials that are going to last and don’t require a lot of care and maintenance.
Melamine is one of the most robust materials for cabinet doors and is easy to scrub greasy stains from, as well as being cost-effective and relatively simple to replace if it does get damaged. For benchtops, opt for a matt finish in a light colour, with gloss laminated and dark-coloured benchtops requiring more attention. A splashback is a practical addition to prevent your paintwork from getting splattered and is easy to wipe down at the end of meal preparation.
Invest in strong and functional appliances
Most rental properties include bigger appliances as part of the deal, such as a cooktop and oven, a dishwasher and maybe even a fridge. As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to manage any breakdowns or issues, so you want to invest in good quality appliances from the get-go to save you a lot of hassle later on.
When selecting appliances, keep in mind the number of tenants they need to cater to, with families generally requiring more fridge and dishwasher space than a couple. A four-burner stove is usually the standard, although more luxurious rentals often have six to accommodate private chefs or large-scale entertaining.
If you’re listing your property as a long-term rental, then tenants will usually bring their own small appliances, such as a coffee machine, toaster and blender. But for short-term stays, you may want to consider including these to ensure guests have everything they need to feel at home.
Provide as much storage as possible
One of the most important things to consider when designing a rental kitchen is the amount of storage that is available so tenants can easily find a “home” for everything. In this way, they will avoid ending up with cluttered benchtops, which are more likely to result in breakages and spills.
If cabinet space is limited due to the size of the kitchen, consider adding external storage for equipment that is in regular use. This might include a magnetic rail for large knives and hooks to hang copper pots and pans. Consider adding pull-out shelves to add a bit of extra space or mounted shelves for mugs and bowls that are in everyday use.
Make it beautiful!
If you’re going to the effort of renovating your rental kitchen, then it’s worth making it a beautiful space to be in. A quick search online will provide you with plenty of inspiration when it comes to colour choices and fittings, as well as aesthetically pleasing combinations of benchtops and cabinets.
If you don’t feel confident designing the kitchen yourself, then consider investing in the services of an interior specialist. While it will add to your budget, the kitchen you end up with will be one-of-a-kind and may even add to the rental value of your property.