Performing a rental renovation is a good way to up the value of any rental property. But, which one should landlords make first?
The Most Important Rental Renovations Landlords Should Make
Renovating a rental property may seem like a no-brainer at first glance. But, some renovations are actually more valuable than others. Landlords have to make sure their rentals appeal to a wide range of tenants. More than anything else, these renovations should be both functional and comfortable. After all, tenants have a right to a habitable home.
These are the top projects landlords should consider when undergoing renovation for rental property:
1. Start With the Small Stuff
Rental renovations can seem like a huge undertaking, but they don’t have to be. Even the smallest of fixes can make a big difference.
Start with making small changes to the rental property. Make all the needed repairs and replace anything that needs replacing. This includes air filters, water filters, window screens, doorknobs, etc. Change up the lighting fixtures for ones that look simpler and cleaner. It also helps to apply a fresh coat of paint in between tenants.
2. Install Some New Floors
Many older apartments still have carpets as their flooring. But, carpets have since become outdated. Tenants also don’t usually prefer carpet floors because they require more cleaning and maintenance. Plus, they stain easily and can trap odors.
As a way to upgrade your rental, consider replacing carpet flooring with hardwood floors. Hardwood is a popular choice among many landlords and tenants because they effortlessly add to the appeal of a rental property. Additionally, hardwood floors are much easier to clean and maintain.
3. Switch to an Open Floor Plan
Walled-off rooms were trendy in the past, but it’s all about open floor plans now. An open floor plan allows for a smoother flow and makes even small rooms seem spacious.
Of course, this rental renovation will take more time and effort than some of the others on this list. To accomplish an open floor plan, you will need to knock down the walls that divide the rooms. While you’re at it, consider adding a few more windows to really brighten up the room and let some natural light in.
4. Remodel the Bathroom
For a lot of tenants, a clean and updated bathroom is non-negotiable. After all, the bathroom is where tenants are supposed to maintain their own hygiene. How do you expect them to do that if the bathroom is dirty and worn?
To start, make sure the bathroom looks spotless. You can either give it a deep cleaning yourself or hire a professional cleaner to do it for you. Then, you can move on to replacing the toilet or toilet seat, the faucet, and the showerhead. If you have a small bathroom, adding some storage space is a good way to attract tenants. You can also go for a sliding door instead of a standard one to maximize space.
5. Renovate the Kitchen
Aside from the bathroom, the kitchen is another common non-negotiable. Tenants often look for apartments with kitchens where they can actually cook. With the younger population pivoting towards a healthier lifestyle, home-cooked meals are a huge sell. Plus, it’s a bonus if they can do it in a kitchen that’s aesthetically pleasing, too.
One way to easily upgrade your kitchen is to update the cabinets and cupboards. Make sure the colors mesh well with the countertops. Kitchen appliances should also have a cohesive look. To achieve this, they must have similar finishes. Then, add a nice backsplash to tie the whole kitchen together.
6. Give the Outside Some Love
No rental renovation is complete without paying attention to the property’s outdoor area. Whether you rent out a single-family home or an apartment, there’s bound to be some green space.
As a landlord, landscaping and yard care generally falls under your list of duties and responsibilities. That means making sure the trees are trimmed, the hedges are sculpted, and the grass isn’t overgrown. You may also want to invest in a professional landscaping service to give the outdoor area a more stylized look.
7. Increase Appeal With Amenities
Lastly, a rental renovation every landlord should consider is to add amenities to the rental unit. Amenities add value to a property, and they also give you a reason to charge more in rent. Tenants also love it when a rental has the amenities they are looking for.
Some common amenities you can incorporate into your next renovation project include:
- Air conditioning and heating
- Washer and dryer
- On-site parking
- Storage space
The Benefits of Rental Renovations
Some landlords believe that their rentals are perfect the way they are. And while there might be some truth to that, there is always some room for improvement. Why even go through a rental property renovation? Let us count the reasons.
1. Minimize Maintenance Costs
Older appliances and fixtures are bound to break down sooner than later. They also tend to malfunction more often. This will result in higher maintenance and repair costs. Instead of paying for these repairs over and over again, it makes more sense to just replace them with newer ones. Doing this not only adds to the appeal of the property but also gives landlords a warranty on new products.
2. Attract More Tenants
It’s no secret that finding tenants — in particular, quality tenants — is hard to do. Older, rundown apartments usually attract tenants who are looking for something cheap, whereas newly renovated ones tend to attract tenants who are more willing to pay rent and take care of the property. When you update the rental and add amenities, your rental becomes more enticing. This, in turn, will lead to more applications and reduce the vacancy period.
3. Raise Your Rent
Another benefit of a rental renovation is that it gives you a reason to raise your rental rate. Because renovations offer value, it’s not unusual to expect something valuable in return as well. Of course, the extent and nature of the renovation should reflect the rent increase. It would be absurd to charge an extra $300 per month if you only added a fresh coat of paint.
4. Stand Out from the Competition
Tenants have so many options to choose from nowadays, so much so that it’s hard to make your property stand out from the rest. In a sea of older-looking apartments, though, one way to get noticed is to look new.
5. Increase Property Value
While not every landlord will eventually sell their rental property, those that do will find that renovations can significantly increase the property’s value. Thus, after making bank on renting out the property for years, you can also earn a profit by selling it off for more than what you paid for it.
Can Landlords Do Rental Property Renovations While Tenanted?
Most landlords start a rental renovation project when the property is unoccupied. But, what happens if the renovation takes place while there is a tenant living there? Is that even allowed?
Renovation regulations can vary from state to state. Generally, though, landlords must be careful not to inconvenience their tenants when undertaking renovations. Otherwise, this could be considered a breach of the lease agreement and a violation of the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment and privacy. This could result in both legal and financial consequences.
To avoid legal repercussions, landlords must obtain their tenant’s permission to start a renovation project. It’s best to communicate all the details of the project, including estimated start and end dates. While a tenant can’t stop paying rent because of the inconvenience, a good compromise is to consider a rent reduction. Additionally, landlords must not forget to send ample notice before entering a tenant’s unit.
The Pros Outweigh the Cons
Rental renovation projects can seem costly and time-consuming. And, for the most part, they are. But, they also bring in a lot of advantages to landlords. Don’t get left behind the times. Update your rental property by undertaking the most important renovations listed above.
Overseeing renovations can be a hassle. Luckily, landlords can outsource this and many more tasks to a property manager. Start looking for a property management company in your area using Rental Choice’s online directory.
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