Best carpets for rental properties
Carpets may not be top of many lists when home hunters are looking for a rental property – but if the floor covering is stained and tatty, it is one of the first things guaranteed to put prospective tenants off. Your carpets will have a limited lifespan, so making the best choice is not just a practical question – it’s also about getting a return on your investment.
What carpet works best in rental properties?
While you might opt for something more luxurious in your own home, landlords generally choose man-made fibres for rental homes. “For run of the mill properties, synthetics such as polypropylene and nylon are the best choices for carpet materials,” says Cherry Carpets in south east London. “These materials are affordable and very stain resistant.” A loop – as opposed to cut – pile is also generally preferred, as it doesn’t flatten out. The key criteria are that the carpet wears well, that it doesn’t stain easily and that it can be cleaned repeatedly with chemicals without being damaged. In a more upmarket or expensive rental property, where tenants might expect to find more premium fittings, you might consider wool or an 80% wool mix to give a more luxurious feel. There are carpets at all prices, but you should expect to pay between £12-20 per square metre for a man-made carpet.
Things to consider: Wear and tear
Consider where the most footfall will be – usually in hallways and common areas – and consider whether to use more hardwearing materials there. Laminates can be a good solution, but they can also be noisy in a shared house. “I would expect to replace bedroom carpets every five years, and common areas in slightly less than that,” says student landlord Calum MacInnes. However, many carpets in rental properties never reach the end of their natural life, as stains are the most common reason for replacement. Ideally you should clean carpets between tenants, and truck mounted cleaners – using a hot water extraction process – are the most effective. It’s also worth noting that if the carpet is badly stained or otherwise damaged during a tenancy, you may be entitled to claim back at least part of the cost from the tenant’s deposit if you can prove the stain occurred in their tenancy.
Things to consider: Design and comfort
The simple rule in choosing the best carpet for rental properties is to opt for a colouring and design that will hide stains and wear as much as possible. Focus on practicality rather than aesthetics. Grey and beige are both ideal so long as they are not too pale, and a discreet pattern can also help to hide any marks. In terms of comfort, the most important consideration is to have a good underlay, the thicker the better. Underlay also reduces noise and acts as an insulator, cutting energy bills. A good underlay will last for up to 25 years, so you may never have to replace it, and some landlords take the view that it’s worth investing more there – so you can spend less on the carpet.