With costs rising across the UK, everyone is looking for ways to make some extra cash. One option that’s growing in popularity is converting an old flat or even a room into a studio flat.
Photo de Jean-Philippe Delberghe sur Unsplash
Studios are easy to rent out to single occupants and couples, and they can bring in quite a bit of money depending on their location. But how do you convert a space into a studio, and what technically qualifies as a studio flat?
We’ve got the advice you need below.
What is a Studio Flat?
A studio flat is a flat consisting of a single room that contains all of the necessities of an entire apartment. That means the bedroom, living room and kitchen all exist in the same space. This type of flat is common in densely populated areas, and it’s ideal for young people, students, single people and couples.
A studio flat must provide for a tenant’s electrical, heating and water needs just as any other flat would. It usually includes a private bathroom, though in some cases a bathroom is shared between multiple studios.
A studio flat also has a private entrance, meaning a tenant doesn’t need to walk through someone else’s living space in order to access their flat.
How to Convert your Space into a Studio
Here’s what you’ll need to do to convert a room or a flat into a studio.
1. Ensure there’s a private entrance and plumbing
Before you get excited about decorating (and collecting cheques), you’ve got to get the basics down—and that might require a significant investment. In order to claim you’re renting out a studio, you need to provide a private entrance and running water to the flat.
If you’re converting an entire flat to a studio, you probably already have these things in place. If you’re converting a room, you may need to create an additional entrance or have some electrical/plumbing work done first. Otherwise, you’ll just be letting a room.
2. Designate “spaces”
A studio is a single room that serves multiple purposes. When you design it, you’ll need to consider the utility of different spaces. One space will be for the bed (sleeping). Another will be for dining/working, and another will be for relaxing. Some of these spaces might serve multiple purposes. For example, the kitchen will obviously be for cooking, but it might be for dining too.
Each space should have its own vibe and appeal in order to make the small space feel like an accommodating flat. One way to do this is by separating spaces with furniture. A sofa can separate a leisure/social area and a bed area. A dresser or standing shelf unit can separate the kitchen and dining areas.
3. Decorate to make the space seem larger
As you may have gathered by now, one of the challenges of creating a studio space is making a small room seem larger. There are some clever decorating tips that can accomplish this surprisingly well. For example, painting the room a light colour can make it seem more open. Windows also help a flat feel less claustrophobic. If you don’t want to punch a window or two into your wall, mirrors can also increase the perceived size of a space. When in doubt, a little feng shui goes a long way!
4. Make safety a priority
Studio flats are prone to accidents, and it’s not hard to see why. When you’re cooking, washing, sleeping and socializing in the same space, risks can compound. As a landlord, you’ll need to do everything you can to ensure the space is safe for tenants, which means avoiding clutter and fire hazards and performing regular inspections.
A studio may seem like a “cheap” flat, but tenants are due the same amount of protection no matter what type of rental they occupy. Landlords who let their safety standards slack may be subject to fines or legal trouble. In the worst case, you may be issued a rent repayment order, which would require you to repay the tenant up to 12 months’ rent. Consult your local town council to learn about your legal requirements.
A Studio Flat, Made Simple
If no major renovations are involved, converting your property into a studio flat is so easy that it can be accomplished in a weekend. That means you could be just a few weeks away from letting your extra space and bringing in hundreds of pounds per month. With the tips above, you’ll be able to turn your property into a lucrative studio in no time.