Whether you’re renting it traditionally or through services like Airbnb, you are going to need to regularly renovate in between tenants or guests.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, there is one thing you need to know: This is not your home. While you may worry about certain things there, your tenants only need a decent place to stay in. Forget the luxuries and focus on making the property functional, at first. We have compiled a list of rental renovation tips to help you increase your income and save money.
Rental Renovations Tip #1: Repair Before You Replace
I cannot stress this enough: do no replace if something can be repaired. This is a major buck saver. Do not rush to replace an item that can otherwise be fixed or repaired. Consider giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint or a re-face instead of installing new ones. Try to fix the cables of the coffee-maker before getting a new one. Consult an electrician regarding your broken washing machine before you decide it is time to throw it away and buy a new one. You get the idea.
On a similar note, always to try to prevent damage before having to fix it. Cover your coffee table with a protective tablecloth to protect it from stains and scratches. Lubricate the door hinges to avoid rust and squeaking. Regularly keep track of the plumbing in both the kitchen and bathroom to avoid plumbing disasters. Using these easy tips, and more, you are saving yourself money and inconvenience.
Rental Renovations Tip #2: Concentrate on the Kitchen and Bathroom(s)
They are the first things a tenant sees and focuses on. These two areas need not only attract, but impress the tenant as well. Nobody wants to rent a property with dirty, worn-out kitchens or moldy, old bathrooms.
Think of ways to attract the tenant. Consider back-splashing your kitchen. Paint the walls or cabinets. Change the toilet seat. Install a new showerhead. Adjust the lighting to highlight the best features in these areas. Small changes make big impacts!
If you can go the extra mile, see if you can get a permit to add an extra bathroom in your property. Tenants usually prefer an extra bathroom, especially if the renters are a family, or roommates sharing the property.
Rental Renovations Tip #3: Know Which Materials to Use
You need to know which materials are cost effective, and which ones are not.
We generally suggest you do put in carpets in a rental property. The number of things that could spill and stain is endless. Instead, invest in decent hardwood floor. It is much more cost effective in the long run, and it is very easy to clean. Install tiles for the kitchen and bathroom. Again, easy to clean, and they require little maintenance.
Do not use expensive materials when inexpensive ones will fulfill the same purpose. Granite and marble are a common option for kitchen table counters. For a rental property however, they are just not necessarily. They require high maintenance, and can chip and crack easily. Try to choose a more inexpensive alternative such as laminate counter-tops that look like granite to save money on installation, maintenance and upkeep. However, don’t go cheap! Cheap materials will just wore out out sooner, and you’ll be back at square one. You get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to create your dream home.
Do use melamine for kitchen cabinets, doors, drawers, etc. It is a low cost wood that is durable, easy to clean, and easy to re-coat.
We suggest you do extensive research in regards to materials when renovating your property. Read about the pros and cons and make decisions accordingly.
Related: 5 Tricks To Save On Fix-and-Flips
Rental Renovations Tip #4: Keep it Clean
There is no way to stress this enough. Keeping your property clean is a very simple, yet crucial rental renovation tip. You need to thoroughly clean your property at the end of every tenancy or short-term stay.
It is very important that your property is spick and span. Make sure there’s no moldy leftovers in the fridge. Clean the film of grease on the stove. Unclog the drains. Remove the cobweb in the corner by the entrance. You know what to do. And if you cannot do it on your own, hire a professional service. I assure you, it is worth it.
Rental Renovations Tip #5: Curb Appeal is Important
Curb appeal is very important, even for rentals. It’s what the tenant sees first. If you have a front yard or a garden make sure it is well kept and taken care of. Additionally, if your property overlooks nice views, make sure to highlight them.
Mind the safety of your property. Fix the broken fence, gate, glass, or step(s). Have the tenant feel like this is a safe place to live in.
If you have a parking spot for your property, that is yet another advantage. Make sure the tenant sees it, and that you present it in the best possible manner.
Rental Renovations Tip #6: Your Tenants Have Imagination
You’ve been taught that you only get to make a first impression once. The same applies to the rental property. You need to allocate the same amount of energy into presenting your property in order to leave a great first impression. At the same time, remember that running rental renovations does not require much creativity. Keep it simple. It is very important not to go overboard. Allow the future tenant to envision what the property can look like if they were living there.