Landlords want to avoid vacancies and retain quality Tenants. Staying on top of necessary repairs and keeping your rental property in good condition is an essential first step to help accomplish this goal and Increase the Value of Your Rental Property . However, completing periodic projects and upgrades can also help.
That said, deciding which projects to take on can be challenging. While some projects will lead to better rental outcomes and improved returns, some upgrades won’t increase the value of your property, and that won’t be well-maintained by Tenants.
The key for Landlords is being strategic about improvements, avoiding overspending, and investing in areas that improve the Landlord’s overall return on investment (ROI).
Benefits of Repairs
Projects at your rental property take time and money. As a result, many Landlords are reluctant to take them on especially during times of skyrocketing inflation. Landlords that understand the short and long-term value of ongoing improvements are more comfortable taking on these projects and end up with better rental property outcomes.
When done right, rental property projects lead to:
- Improved renter satisfaction and Tenant retention
- Reduced vacancy costs
- Increased property value and resale value
- Less tax liability, as Landlords can deduct repairs. Note: Landlords may deduct repairs but not improvements. This means that some projects are not deductible. Landlords should keep this in mind when deciding what repairs or upgrades to take on.
Projects That Add the Most Value
To achieve these goals, it’s helpful for Landlords to prioritize two things when considering repairs: 1) attracting and retaining quality Tenants and 2) improving the Landlord’s ROI.
The bottom line is that you only want to take on the projects that will add the most value to your rental property. Here is a list of the best projects to consider based on research, data, and experience.
Tenants spend a lot of time in the kitchen and place a high value on the look, function, and feel of the kitchen when selecting a rental property. While a complete gut and remodel of the kitchen is expensive, there are small projects that Landlords can take on that make the kitchen more attractive to renters or future buyers.
- Upgrade appliances. It’s common for rental properties to have a mismatched set of appliances that have been upgraded as needed throughout the life of the property. Updating appliances – and having them match – can be a huge improvement for the look and functionality of your kitchen. If you’ve got a relatively recently updated appliance, just keep that one and update others to match it. As you do, keep in mind that current rental trends show a strong renter preference for stainless steel appliances.
- Sand and paint cabinets. Unless your cabinets are really old or in bad condition, it probably doesn’t make sense to replace them. However, you can make them more attractive by sanding them and repainting them. This is especially true if your cabinets are dark or particularly dated. Painting them a light and neutral color can really make your kitchen look fresh and inviting.
- Add a backsplash. This is a trendy addition that will help to modernize your kitchen. Plus, adding a backsplash above the sink or stove helps to make the kitchen easier to clean and maintain.
Improve Curb Appeal
The first thing that potential Tenants see is your property’s exterior. This is what forms their first impressions of the property as well as their impressions about how you, as a Landlord, maintain and value the property. The good news is that there are a few easy and expensive things you can do to improve your property’s curb appeal.
- Add low-maintenance landscaping
- Plant new grass or lay sod
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Add planters, ideally with a splash of color
The bathroom is another area that Tenants pay attention to, and updated bathrooms can add value to your property. Rather than fully gutting the bathroom, consider some small improvements like changing the toilet seat, adding a new shower head, upgrading the vanity, and adding shelves and storage.
As you make improvements, keep in mind that mid-range, as opposed to top-end, improvements will add the most value to your rental property.
Flooring in rental properties often shows lots of wear and tear, and repairing damaged, dirty, or outdated flooring can help your property look, feel, and smell better. While replacing flooring can be expensive, keep in mind that you don’t have to replace all of the floorings at once. Focus on areas that are in poor condition and replace the flooring in those rooms.
When replacing flooring, avoid carpet as much as possible as it’s less durable than other surfaces. While hardwood is often a renter’s favorite, consider installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP), as it’s affordable, durable, and attractive.
Updated Hardware and Fixtures
Finally, one simple thing you can do to modernize and brighten up your rental is to replace the hardware and fixtures throughout. Updating the kitchen and bathroom hardware is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to make your spaces more inviting. Plus, changing out fixtures throughout the home and coordinating fixtures throughout can help to warm up a space and make it more inviting.
Ready to Attract Quality Tenants
Once you’ve made some strategic upgrades to your property, you’ll be ready to attract and retain quality Tenants. Effective Tenant Screening is the best way to ensure that you’re renting to the most qualified Applicant and setting yourself up for success as a Landlord. Start by sending your Applicants a free Rental Application or learning more about the complete Tenant Screening Services every Landlord should use.
Emily Koelsch, ezLandlordForms Contributing Writer
Emily Koelsch is a freelance writer and blogger, who primarily writes about business, real estate, and technology.