If you own a rental property, it’s important that you make big upgrades once or twice per year. The only way you’re going to make money as a rental property owner is if you have tenants constantly occupying the place. But if your property is run-down or has notable deficiencies, you might have a more difficult time attracting tenants.
But even if you have a terrific property, there’s always more you can do to make improvements—after all, the better your property, the higher rent you’ll be able to charge. So here are 5 great upgrade ideas for your rental property.
#1: Remodel the Kitchen
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most important rooms to upgrade. We don’t live in the Victorian Era anymore, where many kitchens were essentially relegated to an outdoor box. In this day and age, kitchens need to be one of the most extravagant places in the home. Remember, this is where your tenants will have some of their fondest memories. It’s where holiday dinners will be cooked, where wine bottles will be popped open, and where your tenants will cook meals every evening. Nothing draws tenants better than a nice kitchen.
First, do a kitchen inspection and figure out which things need the most work done. Do you need revamped plumbing? A better refrigerator? New countertops? Find areas where you can make both cosmetic and functional upgrades.
New kitchen sink plumbing is probably the most important functional upgrade. But if the kitchen workspace is a little small, consider buying a rolling kitchen island (which is an incredibly effective, yet budget-friendly addition). So far as cosmetics are concerned, consider installing brand new glossy granite countertops and new tile flooring.
#2: New Payment and Request System
Your landlord responsibilities include collecting rent and responding to your tenants’ maintenance requests. Most people nowadays have access to the Internet, so why not bring your landlord duties into the Internet era, too? Consider using an online rent payment and maintenance request platform.
Both you and your tenants can benefit from this addition. First, you won’t have to field phone calls from your tenants about maintenance issues. Your tenants can easily submit a request online to alert you of any issues on the property. Second, you won’t have to worry about collecting a physical check, and you won’t have to go to the bank to deposit it. Instead, your tenants will be able to make online payments with their credit cards. Rent payments will be deposited into your account much faster than through the check method.
#3: Revamp the Attic
Lots of rental property owners forget entirely about the attic. For most owners, the attic is a dark and dusty place that’s better used for storage. But there are lots of ways you can improve the attic of your home and make it useful.
You can improve the heat circulation in your home by installing the furnace in the attic rather than the basement. You could even turn the attic into a fun hangout space. Lay down a carpet, add some better ventilation, brighten up the walls and sweep up the dust. Then, add some lighting equipment and some cozy furniture. When the attic becomes a habitable hangout room, it’s less likely the place will get infested by pests—and your tenants will enjoy the added amenity!
#4: Prep for the Winter
If your rental property is located in a very cold area, consider making upgrades that make it warmer during the cold weather months. One of the most effective things you can do is to get a new water heater if your current one is outdated. Old water heaters take a longer time to get water heated, which is annoying for your tenants and which could cost you a lot of money. If you don’t have the budget to get a brand new water heater, consider doing maintenance on your current heater.
You might also consider installing baseboard heaters in the home.
#5: Install New Alarms
One of the most important upgrades you can make is to install the newest, top-of-the-line alarm systems in the home. Your property should have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Many properties have these alarms, but they’re installed in inefficient locations. Learn where to install alarms, and re-install them in better locations of the home if need be.
You should also consider installing a home security system at your property to deter break-ins. Your tenants will feel much safer on the property, and you could charge a slightly higher rent cover the costs.
Whether your rental property is in dire needs of modern upgrades, or if you’re just trying to enable yourself to charge higher rent, these 5 upgrades are sure to be appreciated by your tenants.