Buying a kitchen for your new buy-to-let property? 

This article is a quick guide for those purchasing kitchens for the rented housing market, i.e. buy to let landlords, to get the best value. Having said that, many of the tips below are appropriate for anybody requiring a workable kitchen!

Select a design of furniture that can be easily modified, repaired and refinished.

Choose either a tall freestanding fridge freezer or appliances that fit below the worktops (860mm high max). Try not to position a tall fridge or unit in a position where it breaks up a run of worktops.

Try to arrange so that the Work Triangle (between cooker, sink and fridge/storage) is reasonably convenient and compact. For safety the path between the sink and the cooker should not cross a thoroughfare.

Consider choosing freestanding appliances where possible, so that the person delivering can usually install the appliance (unwrap and plug in). If the washing machine is not in a separate area choose to have the washing machine one side of the sink and the dishwasher on the other. It may be possible to install one of these appliances under the draining board to save space. Install taps and electrical connections for the machines in the cupboard under the sink to allow easy isolation if there are problems.

Use Speedfit fittings and plastic pipe for all plumbing, except gas.

Speedfit fittings are a push fit jointing system which is suitable for most plumbing applications, including hot and cold water and central heating installations including pressurised and combi systems. JG Speedfit fittings have also been designed for use with copper meaning that is a great choice for retro fitting as well as new installs. The products are expertly designed for a range of domestic and commercial needs.

~ Screwfix

Use only a Corgi registered (now ‘Gas Safe Registered’) installer for gas work. Find out more about such landlords’ obligations here.

Use push or quick fit connectors for waste. These will allow easy dismantling of the system to clear any blockages and modification work. If you are a landlord or agent try to stick to one make of fitting for all your properties.

Ensure integrity of electrical earth bonding of all metal in the kitchen in full accordance with the current regulations. Use stainless steel sink for long life. Stainless steel seems to age better and stand neglect better than any other material, although it may not be so stylish. Plastic tends to age quickly, ceramic sinks require care in use. Consider a sink and a half if a dishwasher is fitted. Consider using a 1 1/2 or double sink if no dishwasher is required.

Traditional porcelain sinks are excellent but never use a plastic washing up bowl inside them. Dirt embedded in the base of the bowl will damage the surface of the sink.

Inexpensive freestanding appliances can be hidden behind ordinary furniture doors in Border County Kitchens, provided room layout allows for 650 to 700mm deep worktops. This will represent a major saving on integrated appliances and save considerable time on subsequent maintenance and replacement. Fridges and freezers can usually be arranged so that their doors open with the furniture door.

Particularly if you specify laminate worktops, with limited life, do not have tall wall units or “fireplace” cooker surrounds mounted on the worktop, making subsequent worktop replacement a major task.

The above advice is based on many years experience in the kitchen business, in both the owner occupied and rented sectors.

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