Keeping your rental property clean and updated not only improves the value of the property, but it also helps to attract and keep better tenants by allowing you to charge higher rent. Before you break out your wallet, make a plan of action by prioritizing what needs to be updated in your unit and how much each job will cost.
Listen to Tenant Feedback
Ask for feedback from your tenants about what they like and don’t like about the property. Most tenants are more than willing to provide opinions on what they think should be updated or replaced. Put yourself in the shoes of a tenant — what would you want fixed if you were living there?
Weighing Costs vs. Benefits
Unless you’re renting out a luxury suite in a trendy part of town that can demand high rent, you probably don’t need high-end finishes such as granite or quartz countertops and walk-in rain showers. You need to consider whether the improvements you’ll be making will justify the costs and if they’ll bring added value to your property and for your tenants.
Most of the time, standard, middle-of-the-road countertops and fixtures are more than adequate. It also doesn’t make sense to invest in expensive countertops if your bathtub is badly damaged. Replacing or refinishing a bathtub would not only be less costly than splurging on unnecessary high-end countertops, it would make tenants happier.
Before investing in cosmetic updates, don’t forget about the structural or “behind the scenes” upgrades that could affect the safety of the property. While upgrading things such as plumbing or electrical systems to ensure they’re up to code is not as noticeable or fun, it could improve the safety and comfort of your property while also lowering the costs of landlord insurance.
Choose Timeless and Durable Updates
While it may be tempting to outfit your suite in all the latest home decorating trends, it’s best to keep your décor classic and timeless. Before you invest in new light fixtures or flooring, ask yourself, “Will this still look nice 5 or 10 years from now?” Go for neutral colors and durable, easy-to-clean finishes.
Commonly Updated Features of Rental Properties
Updating your rental property doesn’t have to make a huge dent in your finances. There are many budget-friendly updates that can provide great bang-for-your-buck.
- Fresh coat of paint. A pleasing neutral color and a fresh coat of paint can transform the look of any unit.
- Replacing baseboards. Scuffed or damaged baseboards are easy and economical to replace.
- Changing knobs and handles. An easy way to update your property is to replace old doorknobs and kitchen cabinet handles with more modern ones.
- Flooring. There are a variety of flooring options available in different price ranges and looks. Rip out that old, stained carpet and replace it with something more durable and stain-resistant such as vinyl or laminate.
With a few well thought out updates and replacements within your budget, your rental property will be transformed for the better.
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