Often, doing a few simple rental property upgrades will pay off in the long run; the landlord will benefit from the overall value of their rental property increasing. Giving the property a quick face lift with a few renovations also allows a landlord to asking a higher rent for a unit that outshines all rental competition in the area.
Here are five rental property upgrades that all landlords should undertake to see an increased return on their rental investment.
- Landscaping -- Many would-be renters drive by a property first before making an appointment to see the inside. That means that a landlord's first tactic to woo a would-be renter into considering his rental property as their next home is to attract the renter's eyes. Landscaping should be low-maintenance and economical. Planting a variety of shrubs, trees, and perennials around the property helps guarantee that the landscape will flourish for years without needing to be replenished with new plants.
- Paint -- A fresh coat of paint on the exterior and interior gives the house a feeling of freshness. It makes the home feel new and move-in ready. A landlord should always opt to paint a rental property in neutral shades such as whites or beige so that a renter doesn't have to be concerned with his home decor matching the home's interior. Choosing paint that has a semi-gloss or gloss finish also helps keep the rental home clean because it readily washes with a wipe-down of warm water to remove dirt marks, hand prints or other blemishes left behind when a renter moves out.
- Kitchen and Bath -- Would-be renters are usually drawn to the kitchen and bath. Upgrading or revamping the kitchen and bath usually helps appeal to renters. Often the remodel doesn't have to cost an excessive amount of money, but installing new cabinets, countertops, sinks, toilets, or placing new hardware on existing cabinets helps to give the area a new appearance. Installing new (or newer) appliances in the home usually saves the landlord money because there is less chance of the appliances breaking down. Many landlords have started to provide a washer and dryer for their tenants, which appeals to many families with young children and can be a strong motivating point when a renter is considering different properties.
- Flooring -- Redoing flooring in a rental home can be expensive, but it can save the landlord money in the long run. Carpeting gets dirty and worn quickly in a rental house and requires professional cleaning between renters. There is also no guarantee that hard-to-remove stains will ever be lifted out of some carpeting. Hardwood floors look lovely, but may sustain scratches and require costly refinishing. Installing tile or vinyl flooring provides longevity, stays clean, and requires very little professional cleaning between renters.
- Cleaning -- Nothing is more important than making sure that the rental property is clean from top to bottom. Would-be renters will usually walk into a vacant rental home and look in every corner or cabinet, and they expect to see clean surfaces. Hiring a professional cleaning company between renters may seem like an excessive expense, but making sure the rental property is immaculate aids in attracting renters who care about their home's cleanliness.
Simple renovations frequently increase the rental property's overall value and usually provide a bit of a monthly rental bump, which means more money in the landlord's pocket over time.