How often should I re-decorate or repair a Buy-to-Let?


It can be difficult to keep your business hat on when assessing the need to redecorate in the upkeep and renewal of essential items, particularly if the property was somewhere you once called home yourself. But if you are going to maximise your investment then it is essential that you factor unrealistic maintenance costs in the long term.

Keeping your property well maintained by regularly refreshing décor and keeping on top of minor maintenance will keep good tenants happy which in turn reduces your void potential. Taking the opportunity between tenancies to update and upgrade your property will also help boost the appeal and help achieve the maximum market rental when it goes back on the market.

We have put together this guide for the lifespan of décor and furnishings to help you plan your maintenance schedule over the full life of your buy-to-let investment.


We would recommend that you plan to redecorate in the following rooms at these minimum intervals:

Hall 3 years
Stairs 3 years
Landing 3 years
Kitchens 5 years
Bathrooms 5 years
Lounge 5 years
Bedrooms 3 years


Common furnishings

Carpet (cheap cord) 3 years
Carpet (medium quality) 10 years
Sofa/Armchair 7 years
Mattress 5 years
Washing machine 5-10 years (depending on quality & spec)
Cooker 5-8 years (depending on quality & spec)
Fridge/Freezer 10 years


Refrigerator 8 years
Toaster 3 years
Kettle 3 years
Microwave 3 years
Lawnmower 5-8 years


These figures are given as a guide only and you should be ready to repair, replace or redecorate any items in your property as and when required. All rented property in Scotland must meet the Repairing Standard, as well as being certified as having safe gas and electrical installations along with mains wired smoke alarms and appropriate CO2 detection.

It is also worth being mindful of the recent reforms to the wear and tear allowance for private landlords. The allowance has been replaced by a relief that enables all private residential landlords to deduct the cost they actually incur on replacing furnishings, appliances and kitchenware in the property.

Relief given will be on a like-for-like or nearest modern equivalent, replacement asset plus any costs incurred in disposing of old items. These changes are now in place and will affect your tax return for the period April 2016 to March 2017 and onwards. So, it is worthwhile replacing, repairing and redecorating items as and when they are needed rather than storing up potential problems for the future.

Braemore has a dedicated Maintenance Teams on hand to deal with any maintenance issues as and when they arise. If you would like to discuss any repair requirements you have contact your Property Manager who is on hand to advise and assist in ensuring your investment works for you.

To enquire about Braemore and our services, get in touch with us, here.

To find out more about decor and refurbishment, click here.