As a property owner who struggles to find tenants and receives few applicants, there might be several factors and reasons. But one of these reasons could be that your rental property is outdated. Being outdated can mean that the kitchen appliances look like they’re on their last life, or it can mean you have a strict screening process or stipulations for would-be renters.
So, to spark more interest to potential tenants, you need to make some updates–whether it’s to the interior spaces or the lease itself. Here are a few tips on how to modernize an outdated rental property and bring it into the new age.
Create an Open Floor Plan
One of the most outdated features of an older home is a cramped floor plan. If your rental property has tight rooms, consider knocking down a few walls to open up space. This will make a rental property feel more spacious and inviting.
You can do this by simply removing upper walls between a kitchen and dining area, creating an unsegmented area. Just be sure to consult with a professional about any load-bearing walls.
Install New Flooring
Available to property owners are numerous varieties of flooring options, although some are more modern and advanced than others. For a rental property, you want durable and worry-free flooring that requires little maintenance and an easily-cleanable surface for tenants to care for themselves.
One fantastic modern flooring option for your outdated rental property is luxury vinyl tile. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is exceptionally resilient to scuffs and scratches. It can also be glued down to basement spaces or even installed as a floating floor. Waterproof hardwoods are truly revolutionary modern flooring, particularly beautiful since they’re made with premium hardwood.
Installing new flooring throughout the rental can be a considerable expense. But at the minimum, be sure to update the areas that need it the most: the kitchen and bathrooms. And just remember that this modern upgrade is certain to increase the resale value, should you ever decide to sell.
Think Energy-Efficiency and Sustainability
Throughout the rental, think energy-efficiency and sustainability. This can include numerous updates–from LED lighting to water-saving, low-flow faucets and showerheads.
Look for Energy Star labeled products, as these meet certain government standards. These Energy Star products can be anything from refrigerators to dishwashers to even windows.
Using smart home devices, like a thermostat and lighting, can also reduce energy consumption. Plus, these devices will truly modernize a rental!
Update Appliances and Fixtures
Appliances and fixtures can truly show their age. And because they are installed in a kitchen or bathroom–the most coveted rooms in a home–an outdated style or broken equipment can turn off modern-day renters quickly.
Inspect appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher and washers and dryers before showing a rental property to potential tenants. Make certain no clunking sounds are coming from the dishwasher or hard wheezing or leaking from the fridge. Even if they’re still in working order, but look rusty or dingy, they need to be replaced.
The same goes for fixtures such as lighting, faucets or toilets. Is the toilet’s tank chipped or is the wax seal at the base completely missing? Is the exterior front porch light flickering like in a horror movie? If so, it’s time to update them into something less scary.
Hardware can make a rental property appear quite outdated. Every step into a home with shiny, golden brass hardware can feel like you’ve time-warped into the 1980s.
To get with the times, stainless steel is the way to go. From faucets to cabinet pulls to doorknobs, replace any outdated hardware to give a more modern vibe.
And this is true for larger appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers, especially since they sit in the kitchen. Let’s hope they’re not avocado green, but even if they’re a standard white, it’s a good idea to replace them with stainless steel. Not only will it attract potential tenants, but it will increase your home’s resale value as well.
Install New Window Coverings
If you have thin vinyl mini blinds attached to your windows, it’s time to replace them with something more modern. Today, there are many more attractive and affordable options to replace standard white blinds, such as wide faux wood slats, cellular shades and roller shades. Some blinds and window coverings also offer sound absorption from outside traffic and even act as an extra energy-saving thermal layer against glass windows.
As a landlord, it’s a simple and affordable way to modernize a rental property as well as increase its value. It’s also these final touches that attract tenants, as it lends a more charming, homey vibe.
Make It Pet-Friendly
According to one recent survey, 46 percent of renters have pets. So, if you decide to prohibit pets, it means you miss out on nearly half of interested applicants. This is why it’s time to put fears aside and allow pets in your rental property. By doing so, it broadens your applicant pool, meaning you can pick the most reliable-looking tenant, regardless of them being a pet owner.
With this comes lots of concerns for property owners. Dogs bark and annoy close neighbors and cats can leave quite nasty urination stains. However, there are a few precautions you can take. At a minimum, require a pet deposit to cover any damages that occur. You can also ask for and contact referrals on the application, inquiring about the pet. You can also meet the pet in person, if you so choose, to get a better idea of their disposition. Ultimately, though, this is one way to modernize a rental property that goes beyond aesthetics.
Offer Online Payments and Flexible Leases
Since on the topic, there is another way to modernize rental properties that go beyond aesthetics: Offering online payments. Long gone are the days of writing checks. Today, payments are made by credit cards and online through various methods.
By setting up an auto-pay system, payments are efficient (and checks never get lost in snail mail). It also means rent payments can be scheduled to deposit straight into the account. If this concept is new to you, explore some of the best online rent payment services to learn more.
Have you discovered a way to modernize your outdated rental property? Maybe you were even enlightened, previously unaware that your no-pet policy was discouraging so many tenants. Or perhaps you had never thought of installing energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. Whatever new tips you discovered, it’s time to put them to use. Not only will modernizing attract better tenants, but it can even increase your rental property’s resale value!
Remember, caveat emptor still applies when buying a property anywhere. Some of the information contained in this article was pulled from third party sites mentioned under references. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Norada Real Estate Investments makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, as to whether the information presented is accurate, reliable, or current. All information presented should be independently verified through the references given below. As a general policy, the Norada Real Estate Investments makes no claims or assertions about the future housing market conditions across the US.