Redevelopment guide

Developing a property can offer an excellent return in a relatively short space of time.It comes with an initial upfront cost, of course, but spending wisely and having a considered, correct end goal in mind will mean you soon recoup your outgoings and begin to pocket a profit. The aim is to increase the rent.

Step 1

Realising a property’s development potential

"Reveal its hidden potential" is a phrase we hear in many walks of life, but it’s never more relevant than in the property development game. Many landlords are sitting on a buy-to-let investment with the potential to make them so much more money – they just haven’t realised it yet.

The hardest part of property development is identifying where the possibilities start and end. Once you know the scope of the work involved and have an aim in mind, it gets a lot easier.

We offer free property reviews where we meet new and existing clients at their property and advise them of what potential their home has. During the visit we offer everything from small, inexpensive tips to help raise rent by £10-£15 per month, to advice on adding extensions and converting lofts to increase the number of bedrooms.

One thing you can’t change is a property’s location, so it’s vitally important to identify where it sits in the lettings market now and where it will sit post-development. For example, you don’t want to convert a two-bed let to a six-bed let if there’s absolutely no call for six-bedroom houses in the area.


Step 2

Planning and architect advice

It’s important to bear in mind that some work requires planning permission from the local authority before it can be started, although certain things can be done under permitted development, which allows changes to be made to buildings and use of land without the need for planning permission.

Additionally, if your property will change from one planning classification to another as a result of the work, e.g. C3 (up to two tenants) to C4 (three to six tenants), you will also need to apply for change of use from the local authority.

An architect will be able to handle all aspects of the planning application on your behalf, including the production of both current and proposed layout plans – something you will want a good deal of input on. There are also any party walls to consider – it’s best you seek independent advice on this.

We frequently work with architects, planning experts and the Cardiff Council, so we're always up-to-date on the latest planning guidance and legislation.


Step 3

Financing the work

Unless you have sufficient cash reserves, the most common way to raise the capital for work is to release equity by re-mortgaging either your own home or a buy-to-let.

Assuming you aren’t tied into any special introductory terms or reduced rates with early repayment charges with your current provider, re-mortgaging allows you to increase your borrowing and subscribe to a better deal elsewhere. There may be costs involved in switching, but are often deals involving free valuations and/or free legal work to be had when re-mortgaging.

It’s best to speak to your lender to find out what options are available to you, but we also suggest you speak to a mortgage broker who will scour the whole market and source the best deal available.

Alternative ways of raising finance include a secured loan, an unsecured personal loan, or even a credit card, depending on the sums required. However, these typically all come at higher rates than mortgages, so we suggest you consider every option available to you, particularly for larger projects.

As a final footnote, you may be able to offset some of the work you do against your tax bill, but it’s best to seek independent financial advice on this.


Step 4

Select the right contractor for the job

It’s vital that you do your due diligence and obtain quotes from a selection of building firms before committing to one, but cost shouldn’t be the only consideration you make. If the cheapest contractor is going to take the longest time to complete the work, you might as well go with the more expensive option who completes the work quicker and enables you to move in tenants sooner. After all, an empty property brings in zero income and is no good to anyone.

Giving the job to a reputable company that has completed similar projects in the past is important. You want them to hand back a property that’s been completed to the standard you imagined, so it’s important they share your vision.

We have a knowledgeable team of local trades to offer quotes and complete work to the highest standard.


Step 5

Interior design and quality

The standard of rented accommodation – particularly in student lets – has risen considerably in recent years, so having spent a significant sum of money on redeveloping, it’s important not to tarnish the project by putting in sub-standard fixtures, fittings and furniture.

You want to ensure you achieve the maximum possible rent for your property, so it’s important it stands out head and shoulders above its competition. The little touches can make all the difference, particularly when prospective tenants have a good selection of new homes to choose from.

We’ve known many landlords employ the services of an interior designer to assist them in applying the finishing touches, and we’ve helped plenty ourselves. We regularly suggest everything from the wallpaper to use on feature walls to specific kitchens and bathroom suites – including the costs to both supply and fit.


Step 6

Real-life case studies

Having overseen several redevelopment projects over the years, we thought we’d share a selection of our experiences in our Case Studies section and give you an idea of what’s possible. It’s worth a look!


Step 7

Benefit from our expert advice

With years of investment experience under our belt, we can offer in-depth advice on all aspects of your development, from quoting to completion. We regularly source properties, organise architects and plans, forecast rental income and supervise building contractors on behalf of our landlord clients.

If you’re thinking of developing a property you own, contact us today on 02920 668685 or


To find out how we can help you, e-mail us via or give us a call on 02920 668585. Alternatively, if you fancy calling in for a face-to-face chat, we'd love to see you.