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How often should a landlord replace a kitchen in the UK?

by | Jun 7, 2023

How often should a landlord replace a kitchen in the UK?

In general, a good guide ballpark figure to go by for a landlord to replace a kitchen is every 8 – 12 years.

However, throughout this article, I will be discussing the factors that go into how long this time period is and what the different parts of a kitchen are and what parts will need replacing soonest.

As a landlord, it is vital you keep your tenants happy but at the same time, you don’t want to break the bank replacing a kitchen too often. So, read on for some money saving tips and investment hacks.

How long do kitchens usually last before they need replacing?

Every 8 – 12 years is a good number to go by but there are certainly cases where replacing a kitchen within this time frame doesn’t make sense because the components of the kitchen are completely fine.

So, you should still use your due diligence when wondering if a kitchen replacement is the right thing to do. On top of this, if tenants are pressuring you as a landlord to replace a kitchen, you are not obliged to replace it unless the kitchen is becoming clearly unhygienic or unusable.

If this is the case, then it would be within your landlord responsibilities to replace the kitchen or at least replace the parts that cannot be used due to safety reasons or because they make the kitchen unusable.

a kitchen in the UK that is brand new from a landlord

Does a new kitchen produce a return on investment?

If you are replacing a kitchen in order to add value to a house, check out our article on what not to fix when selling a house in the UK. Sometimes, a kitchen replacement isn’t the best idea.

How to make sure your kitchen replacement makes money

To make sure your kitchen makes money, follow the below steps. Unfortunately, replacing a kitchen is something most landlords will have to deal with because it is part of a tenancy agreement to provide the right services in a kitchen.

So, in order to maintain a healthy relationship with tenants and continue to rent the property out legally, you will have to replace a kitchen if it is clear repairs or renovation is due.

Consider what materials you’re using

If you use materials that are more expensive, you will have to pay more for the kitchen overall. At the same time, more expensive materials tend to be more durable and tend to need replacing less often.

The exact materials you go for depends on your budget, how likely the tenants you have in a property are to damage the new kitchen and how long you think the kitchen will last for.

Experienced landlords usually go for the same type of materials every time but it is still important to consider the overall theme of the property.

For instance, for a high-end, luxury apartment, only the most high end materials will suit the property such as granite worktops, cabinets with a luxury finish and expensive appliances.

Consider how long you want to keep the home

If you want to keep a home for a long time and rent it out to tenants, then getting a new kitchen will likely work out over time financially. On the other hand, if the property is in average condition and you are considering getting a new one despite selling the property soon, this may be something you’d want to reconsider.

Consider the type of rental property

Rental properties come in all shapes and sizes in the UK. If you have a one-bedroom house, you may want to consider a different strategy for replacing a kitchen than if you had a Home of Multiple Occupancy, (HMO).

This is because different types of rental property have different types of tenants and different expectations for the build.  

A good example is student accommodation. Typically, landlords can get away with having a cheaper kitchen for students but they will have to replace it more often because they use the kitchen a lot and don’t always take the best care of the property.

On top of this, because student accommodation uses the same type of furniture and appliances, you may be able to find kitchen fitters and appliances that specialise in providing services to students, reducing your costs.

an old kitchen a landlord needs to replace

Use the expense to reduce tax

A kitchen replacement is a business expense for a property business. However, some landlords may forget to include all of the costs of renovation and leave some things out.

Remember, small things like petrol miles, the labour costs and the cost of materials can all be accounted for as a business expense when replacing a kitchen, as long as you can justify it as a ‘repair’ rather than a ‘renovation’.

Renovations that are deemed unnecessary to keep the property running and are purely done for aesthetic reasons or reasons that aren’t mandatory to rent a property out will not qualify. So be sure to make sure you are repairing a kitchen if working on it.

Also, within a limited company, if you do not make any money or you are able to keep the money you make under a certain threshold you can find here, you may be able to get away with not paying tax for the year.

Hence, by timing the renovation of a kitchen, you may be able to reduce the amount of tax you pay, even though at the end of the day, a new kitchen will only add to the property’s value.

How often should you begin replacing the parts of a kitchen?

Kitchens are often the centre of a home and under HMO requirements, it is one of the only areas that will be shared with multiple people.

This is why when the question of when to replace components of the kitchen arises, it is often difficult to come up with an answer. Kitchens are expensive to replace, but if done right, costs can certainly be justified.

As you read on, I want to stress the importance of regular inspections and proactive maintenance, which can extend the lifespan of these components and potentially save you significant amounts in the long run. 

How long before you replace a sink?

The kitchen sink is one of the most used areas in a kitchen and, as such, experiences significant wear and tear. Based on my experience, a quality stainless steel or composite sink should last approximately 15 years. 

However, this can vary depending on the usage and level of care of the kitchen by the tenants. It’s crucial to remember, though, that faucets typically have a shorter lifespan, usually around 10 years. Therefore, landlords should budget for this a bit sooner. 

Replacing a sink including labour may cost around £300 – £500, with high-end models, of course, costing significantly more.

a new kitchen that has been replaced

How long before you replace a kitchen backsplash?

The kitchen backsplash can add a unique aesthetic to your kitchen while protecting the walls from stains and splashes. And generally, a well-installed backsplash can last up to 15-20 years. 

However, it’s not uncommon for landlords to replace it sooner to keep the kitchen looking fresh and modern. It is a relatively inexpensive piece that can have a lot of impact on a property’s look. 

Depending on the material, a typical backsplash replacement could range from £200 to £600. However, bear in mind that opting for high-end materials like natural stone can push the costs upwards.

How long before you replace a kitchen countertop?

Kitchen countertops are often what gets damaged easily because they go through a lot of wear and tear. From hot pans to spills, they face a daily barrage of rough use. 

Their lifespan depends largely on the material used. For instance, laminate countertops usually last around 10 to 20 years, while solid surface countertops can last 15 to 20 years. 

Granite and quartz countertops have even longer lifespans, generally exceeding 20 years. Regular sealing and maintenance can extend their life. Replacement costs can range from £500 for laminate countertops to over £2,500 for high-quality granite or quartz.

Keep in mind that the longevity of these components is also heavily dependent on tenant usage. Regular property inspections can help assess wear and tear, allowing you to budget accordingly for future replacements and incentive tenants to take care of their home. 

How long before you replace kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets are crucial elements of any kitchen, not just for their utility but also for their impact on the aesthetics of the space. 

Generally speaking, high-quality wood cabinets can last up to 50 years, but this can vary depending on the type of wood, construction quality, and how well tenants take care of them. For cheaper materials like particle board, the lifespan can be considerably shorter, around 10 to 20 years.

Replacement cost can vary depending on the quality, design, and whether it’s custom or off-the-shelf, but you can typically expect to pay between £2,000 and £10,000 for a replacement in an average kitchen.

How long before you replace a stove in a kitchen?

The kitchen stove or cooker is an essential appliance, and its lifespan hinges significantly on the model type and how frequently it’s used. 

On average, gas stoves tend to last approximately 15 years, while electric models can last a bit longer, around 13 to 20 years. If you notice the frequent need for repairs or declining performance, it might be time for a replacement. 

The average cost for a new stove ranges from £400 to £1,200, not including installation. As always, consider energy efficiency as it can provide long-term savings in gas and electricity bills.

A broken kitchen a landlord needs to replace

How long before you replace a fridge?

Refrigerators, even cheap ones like these, are among the most durable appliances, often lasting up to 15-20 years. Regular maintenance like cleaning the coils and ensuring seals are tight can extend their lifespan. 

However, models with ice makers or water dispensers may not last as long due to the added complexity. When it comes time to replace, consider energy-efficient models. 

While they might cost more upfront, around £500 to £2,000, they can provide savings on utility bills over time.

How long before you replace kitchen flooring?

The durability of kitchen flooring greatly depends on the type of material used. Vinyl or linoleum flooring often lasts about 10 to 20 years, while ceramic tile can last 75 to 100 years, and natural stone even longer. 

However, trends and aesthetics play a significant role in the replacement decision. 

Landlords should also consider the comfort and safety of tenants, as certain materials can be slippery or uncomfortable to stand on for long periods. 

The cost of replacing kitchen flooring can range from £500 to £3,000 depending on the chosen material and size of the kitchen.

Who’s responsible for replacing the parts in a kitchen?

For general wear and tear, a landlord is always responsible for replacing the parts of a kitchen However, if a tenant damages a property and it is their fault, then this may be able to be taken from the security deposit that is given to a landlord at the start of a tenancy.

This must be done following the right protocol and a landlord cannot just help themself to their tenant’s deposit, even if they know that it is clearly their fault and they have evidence for it.

First of all, the landlord must contact the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) they are using to keep the tenant’s deposit in, then submit evidence that the property has been damaged by the tenant, wait for approval and only then will the deposit be able to be given to the landlord.

Sometimes, it may be suggested that the tenancy deposit can only be taken at the end of the tenancy so the landlord should keep any evidence they have and ask to keep the tenant’s deposit when they leave.

How quickly should kitchen appliances be fixed?

In general and under the law surrounding landlord’s responsibility for repairs, landlord’s generally have around two weeks to conduct repairs.

However, if there is an emergency in a property then this is a lot sooner. For instance, if there was a burst pipe in a kitchen and the home was flooded, this would have to be fixed as soon as possible.

If a tenant is pestering a landlord about repairs, this is often the most they can do. As if the repair isn’t an emergency which greatly affects the livelihood of those within the premises, then there is little that can be done to speed things up.

It is useful to note though, that a landlord is also able to enter a home in the case there is an emergency in the property to do with the kitsch. For instance, if there is a gas leak, a tenant isn’t able to refuse entry to a property if they didn’t report it.

So, overall, landlords and tenants are protected under the law on both sides. It is always important to refer to a tenancy agreement and the appliances and condition that the property was promised to be maintained at.

A kitchen floor replaced by a landlord every ten years

If you are asked to replace a kitchen, should you raise the rents?

Sometimes, it may be necessary to raise the rents in a property because you cannot afford to replace the parts of a property that are within the tenancy agreement. Nonetheless, this has to be done in the correct manner and by issuing a section 13 rent increase notice.

Also, if you have already raised the rents in the past year or you are attempting to raise rent far above what the average rents are for the area, this will also not be allowed.

Raising rents isn’t always a bad thing and this usually happens every year or two anyway throughout the UK. As a landlord, it is also useful to save some of the rent and budget for things like the cost of replacing a kitchen.

This means you won’t be forced to raise rents to deal with emergencies and you can better strategically raise the rents in a property.

In summary

Throughout this article, one of the main points I want to reiterate is that I hope you are able to understand that as a landlord, it’s crucial to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and tenant satisfaction.

A property business has to make sense numerically and if you are spending more on expenses like your kitchen than you are making from rental income, you will never pull a profit and investing in property will likely not be worth your time.

Also, planned replacements and renovation can serve as an effective tax reduction strategy. Costs incurred during repairs, replacement, and renovation are often considered business expenses, potentially lowering tax liabilities. 

However, I advise landlords that they must be careful to distinguish between ‘repairs’ and ‘renovations’, the former being the only eligible for tax deductions.

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andreas gerazis

Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.