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Just like your own home, your rental property is subjected to daily wear and tear that takes its toll on its overall condition over time. We’re not talking about major, costly damage that must be fixed so the property can be considered habitable. Instead, these are minor, inexpensive fixes that can make the world of difference in the ability to rent the property and the amount of money you can reasonably charge.
If you have a tenant moving out, it’s the perfect time to take an objective look at your rental property to determine what fixes should be made to improve its investment potential.
IMPROVE CURB APPEAL
If the first thing a potential renter sees is an overgrown yard, cobwebs at the door, and mildew on the siding, it’s hardly inviting, doesn’t say ‘home’ and certainly doesn’t speak well to the situation inside of the home. Pressure washing, mowing, and a determined effort toward weed pulling, followed up by fresh mulch and flowers, can make a dramatic difference in a potential renter’s first impression. Hiring a quality property management company going forward that can incorporate regular outside maintenance will keep things from getting out of hand again.
When you walk in the front door, does it smell funny? Are there stains on the carpet, marks on the walls, and dust dripping from the ceiling fan? Cleaning supplies are cheap and a deep clean can be accomplished in a day. Steam Clean carpets, scrub floors, wipe down baseboards, clean bathrooms fully, and consider fresh paint if the walls are visibly in bad shape. Doing all of this can make an older property look and smell new, and increase its overall appeal.
REPLACE SMALL FIXTURES
Check doorknobs, faucets, shower heads, toilet handles, and cabinet pulls. If anything is loose, broken, or not working at optimum performance, replace it. Small repairs improve the overall presentation of a unit, and reduce the tendency or need for a tenant to make unnecessary service calls for minor issues after they’ve moved in.
Storage is big these days. If your unit is light on cabinets and closet space, consider adding built-in cabinets and shelving in areas of wasted space. If the unit has a shed or basement area that’s been unused, retrofit it with shelves, bike racks, etc., to turn it into a functional storage area.
If carpeting has become badly worn or vinyl flooring is peeling up, consider replacing it with hard surface flooring that wears better over time and is less susceptible to water damage and stains. It may mean a bit more downtime for the rental, but it will save money in the long run.
With a little attention to detail, it’s entirely possible to improve the value of your rental property, putting you in an advantageous position that can reduce its time on the rental market, and legitimately increase your monthly rental revenue.
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