The purpose of owning a rental property is to make money; some landlords are so focused on this goal that they ignore the fact that they have to put some of that money back into the property. Rental properties that are in disrepair, or unkempt will not entice new renters, or keep your current ones satisfied. Ultimately, they move out and you’re left with a vacancy that will be hard to fill.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure that your property is safe to inhabit and that everything is functioning properly.
Here are 3 ways you can improve your rental property, and gain new respect as a reputable landlord.
Just a bit of landscaping can add a tremendous amount of curb appeal. Pull those weeds, plant some flowers, mow the lawn, and rake the leaves. You want everything outside to look fresh, clean, and maintained. A house with a pathway to the front door that looks like a jungle has already been judged before anyone steps inside. Bottom line? You want good curb appeal to get people to want to see beyond the front door.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
These are two rooms where most people spend their time, so it makes sense that these should be top priority for renovations and updates. The appliances don’t need to be brand new, or top of the line, but they should be functional, clean, and modern. Bathroom faucets should be completely functional (no leaks).
Repairs and Maintenance
As a landlord you will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance on your property. The biggest maintenance jobs will be plumbing, furnace or HVAC system, and the roof. Regular maintenance will ensure that needed repairs are not overly expensive. Make sure you budget for these big ticket items. If there are renters in the house, then make sure repairs are done as soon as possible, when they alert you to problems. If there is a wood stove, ensure that the chimney is cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. Carbon monoxide detectors are also a good idea.
If you don’t think you have time for all of these tasks, then consider hiring a property management company to do it for you. Yes, it will cost you some money, but not keeping up with your property and having no renters will cost you even more. A property manager will ensure that all necessary work is done to keep your house in the best shape possible. They will coordinate repairs with technicians, landscapers, and can even collect the rent for you.
Investing in rental properties is a great way to grow your wealth and save for retirement. Everyone has heard nightmares about rogue landlords, don’t become one. Just as you have to do your due diligence in finding reputable renters, you have to ensure that you’re a reputable landlord that people will want to rent from. With technology and social media, today’s renters can spread the word fast about properties that are in disrepair and landlords who don’t care.