Let's face it: you're a busy landlord, and you don't have time to do major overhauls, remodels, or renovations of your properties on a regular basis. Your goal is to keep your units clean, in good shape, and appealing to tenants so that they'll stay around and keep renting from you. However, you're probably open to devoting a bit of time and resources to key upgrades that will allow you to raise rents and still have your pick of quality tenants.

That's the focus of this article; here are five of the easiest and most cost-effective upgrades you can invest in to boost rental value and draw in quality tenants that will stay around:

1. Remove the Carpeting
Carpeting tends to be a headache for both landlords and tenants alike. It gets stained and dirty all too quickly and can harbor germs, allergens and pet dander. Laminate flooring is much easier to clean and retains its look and quality much longer than most carpet types. These days, laminates can help create the illusion of just about any flooring style, from hardwoods to bamboo to simulated slate tile. Choose a neutral, timeless style and color so that tenants can enjoy and easily accessorize the decor of this new flooring for years to come.

2. Update the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart and soul of every home, and for most people, liking (or not liking) the look and feel of the kitchen will be a strong determining factor in whether or not they decide to rent from you. If the appliances and decor are in dire need of an upgrade, make the investment. At the very least, simple, affordable cosmetic changes in the kitchen can make a big difference. Repaint the walls, and consider cabinet refacing and/or changing out the hardware of the drawers and cabinets for a more contemporary look and feel.

3. Sanitize, Deodorize, and Repaint (if needed)
A rental that emanates odor from pets, dirt, smokers, or past renters who didn't do a very good job cleaning regularly will not be appealing to new tenants. Hire a cleaning service to deep clean your units from top to bottom, including the walls, floors, ceilings, and window treatments. Another great way to "clear the slate" from past tenants is by having the interior repainted while it's vacant. Repainting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help freshen up your units and restore a "like new" look and feel.

4. In-Unit Washers and Dryers
Having access to a washer and dryer within a rental unit is a feature and convenience that can take your properties to new levels of desirability. If the unit is small, an all in one stackable washer and dryer combo can be the perfect solution. This type of washer and dryer can be conveniently tucked away in a closet, and your tenants will love it.

5. High-Speed Internet
Internet service can be expensive, adding to tenants' total monthly utilities cost. You can help reduce this for them and make them more prone to renting from you by providing high-speed internet to the entire building. You can still build it into the cost of your rents (and add a markup), but the net result will still be a lower cost per person and save your tenants a separate Internet service provider bill.

With resources tight, it's important to be selective about the changes and updates you make to your properties. Use these five targeted upgrades to help boost your rents without putting too much strain on your time, energy, or bank account.


POSTED April 16 2015 1:07 PM

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