There are a lot of aspects of being a landlord that can be both costly and time-consuming. This can range from routine maintenance to the time spent trying to place tenants in your property. Some of the issues around maintenance and tenant placement can depend on how outdated your rental property is.
There are other factors that impact this as well like the supply of housing in your region. If the supply is low and renters are competing for housing, this may not be a big concern unless you want to get the market rate for your property. Here are some ways to save you time and increase the appeal of your rental property:
Replace the carpets
Carpets can be a nightmare for both regular maintenance and tenant placement. It needs to be ripped up and replaced often during turnover as well as requires regular deep cleaning. Wood floors can be expensive, but for rental properties, laminate floors are a better option than real wood. They are more scratch-resistant, hold up against water damage better, parts of the floor can be easily replaced, and they are much cheaper. This can also save you time in the future when it comes to turnaround and filling your rental with a new tenant.
Paint the rental unit
After a tenant moves out, give the interior a fresh coat of paint. This is a cheap and effective way to increase the appeal of the rental unit. Be sure to paint the home the same way you would your own. Some landlords just try to paint the interior quickly and don’t bother removing screws from the wall or taping up windows and outlets.
This leads to paint on light switches and outlets as well as on windows and can make your rental property less appealing. While you’re painting the interior, this might be a good time to replace your outlets and light switches as well. If your exterior is looking out of date, one way to improve the curb appeal is to give a quick paint job.
Energy costs are high and when it comes to picking a home to rent, tenants may opt to lease a home with newer and more energy-efficient appliances. These costs can be considerable so you’ll need to consider the specifics of your property before replacing them. IF your appliances are more than 10 years old, you might want to consider replacing them. If you do, this will help fill your property faster and decrease the amount of time your property is vacant in between tenants. It can also help with the retention of long-term tenants.
Upgrade the windows
One of the easiest ways to spot an outdated rental home is to look at the windows. If it is a single pane window with a metal frame, it may be time to upgrade the windows. A new double-pane window will improve the insulation, helping your tenant save money on energy as well as reduce street noise. This can be costly, but if you want to get top dollar in your market, this will help.
Install low flow water features
If you cover the costs of water on your property, installing low-flow water features can save you a lot of money. With a family of four, these upgrades could save up to 20,000 gallons of water over the course of a year. That’s a lot of money, especially considering a rental property is a long-term investment where you’re expecting returns for over 20 years.
Upgrade kitchen and bathroom
This can be costly so you’ll have to consider how competitive you want to be for market-rate and how difficult it is to fill your rental property with outdated features. All things being equal, a tenant is going to opt for an updated kitchen and bathroom. It doesn’t need to be top of the line, but if you haven’t updated anything since the 70s or 80s, it might be time to upgrade the cabinets and the vanity.