5 Hacks to Enhance Your Rental Property Without Breaking the Bank
- Apr 26, 2016
Ideally landlords would never have to spend money maintaining their rental properties. Unfortunately things break, go out of style, or are made obsolete by new inventions. The reality is anyone offering properties for rent needs to keep them current in order to sustain demand. Keeping costs down during these upgrades is key to turning a profit. Here are 5 hacks for landlords to keep address common problems and keep their buildings looking great without breaking the bank.
1. Problem: Boring or Scuffed Up Floors
Solution: Buy cool rugs or mats to change a room’s look or cover up stains on your floors while you save up for a proper renovation.
Floors arguably take more abuse than any other part of the house. They’re also among the most expensive to replace or repair while being one of the first things potential renters will notice. Whether you need to distract from floors that just don’t look good anymore or trying to hide actual cracks, a rug is the way to go. Styles change way faster than most care to renovate, but rugs are relatively easy to sub in and out. Shaggy rugs work to make a room homier and have built in 70s/psychedelic vibe while there are also plastic rugs or mats that look more futuristic. These are incredibly handy in hallways during the winter, especially when wet boots are involved. Of course if you own a property long you’ll eventually have to replace or update the actual floor. In a pinch, a new rug can effectively hide a scuff mark while upgrading the room’s look.
2. Problem: Lack Of Natural Storage
Solution: Grab as many portable bins and hangers as you can before even thinking about a full renovation.
Many tenants complain about a lack of storage space. This leads to a corresponding number of landlords agonizing over renters moving somewhere with more room for their stuff. Thankfully there are plenty of reasonably priced storage solutions that can prevent someone from having to move in order to accommodate their things. Something as simple as buying extra bins to leave around the house can go a long way. Hanging retractable shelving units in a closet essentially turns every hanger into another mini chest of drawers. Even better, talk to your tenants and see what specific kind of storage they’re looking for. Chances are there’s a product much less expensive than finding new renters that can potentially add to your property’s value while improving your relationship with your tenants.
3. Problem: Poor Lighting
Solution: Adhesive touch lights in problem areas can solve the problem faster and cheaper than a new permanent fixture.
When people say a room is too dark or the lighting is bad they’re really talking about an inability to clearly see whatever they’re doing. The lighting is technically fine, it’s just not shining where they’d like. These small $5 adhesive light strips put light exactly where the tenant wants it without disrupting a room’s look. Needless to say they’re much cheaper than a new lighting fixture without the need for a time consuming and potentially stressful installation. Other styles of adhesive or portable lighting exist depending on your design needs. In most cases they’ll keep a room functional so tenants will stop looking for a new place to live.
4. Problem: Wear and tear on doors
Solution: Add plywood panels to cover any damage, reduce future stress, and improve the overall look before replacing the entire door.
This is a great tip for homeowners in general. Some $25 pieces of plywood, paint, and nails will add years to a door’s life and make it appear more sophisticated at the same time. Just paint the wood and nail each piece evenly spaced across the door. You can also use this method to cover any small holes in a door. Cross beams reduce stress on any structure. Since doors are among the most regularly broken household fixtures it’s worth considering any cost effective method of increasing their lifespan.
5. Problem: Weak shower
Solution: Remove the reducer or simply clean the old shower head before buying a new one.
The reducer is there to regulate pressure and help save on water bills. Like most things they become less effective with use. Sometimes it is possible to remove them entirely and end up with a comfortable shower that does not raise your utility costs. The bill is obviously irrelevant if the tenant pays for utilities. Reducers tend to be the brightest things inside a shower head and can be easily removed with a screw driver. Cleaning shower heads every few years is also a good idea. Many times low pressure is caused by mineral deposits that build up over time and restrict water flow. Soaking the shower head in boiled vinegar is the cheapest way to remove the deposits without damaging the rest of the head.