There are many proven strategies to increase rent and income from your rentals. Performing some basic rental property renovations can make your property more desirable and will justify charging market rents. And it doesn’t have to break the bank!
In this article, we discuss how landlords can increase the rent from their properties by performing renovations for rental property that are inexpensive and yet enticing to renters. These simple tasks will improve the property and are worth the costs.
Note: This is the 1st in our series exploring the best ways to increase rent. You can read our other installments here:
- Part 2: Collect Fees for Pets in Rental Property
- Part 3: Furnished Rental Apartments
- Part 4: Submetering Water and Electricity Utilities vs RUBS
- Part 5: Additional Sources of Rental Income
- Part 6: The Top 8 Apartment Amenities Renters Want
- Part 7: Tips to Make Your Rental Listing Stand Out
- Part 8: How to Write a Rent Increase Notice
Rental Property Renovations Landlords Should Make
Renovations for rental property have several long-term benefits for landlords. It allows you to increase rent rates and profitability. It can even mean less property upkeep over the long run.
The good news is that you can achieve all of these benefits without spending a lot of money. A remodel or renovation is about being smart with your investment, not necessarily throwing money at the home.
Let’s take a look at six rental property renovations for updating your unit while keeping your return on investment (ROI) in mind.
1. Fix or Replace Broken Fixtures
If there’s anything damaged in your rental home, it needs to be fixed – whether it’s a broken dishwasher, a faulty light, or a leaky tap. You should also upgrade light fixtures to more contemporary replacements. Consider using LED lighting in your rental as it can boost your property’s value by at least 1-3%, according to Consumer Reports. If you are paying the utilities, this will also reduce your energy costs.
Many fixture issues are quite easy to repair and do not require extensive work. And fixing them can make the rental property much more attractive to prospective tenants. Moreover, how can you expect your renters to respect the space if they start out with problems? So fix all broken fixtures upfront to start off on the right foot.
2. Upgrade Flooring
If your home is carpeted, consider hiring professional carpet cleaners. They can make carpets and rugs look new, helping them last longer and even improving indoor air quality. A professional carpet cleaning service can make a big difference to your carpet.
A better approach is to replace your carpet with easier-to-maintain flooring. Hardwood or other surfaces such as luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) look more modern and don’t trap in smells and stains the way carpet does. Plus, they are amazingly cost-effective and much easier to clean than a carpet.
Most tenants appreciate and value hardwood flooring, and it could be a deciding factor for them, especially for those with kids or pets. Such flooring will quickly elevate the look and feel of the space while reducing the amount of maintenance required for tenants, and for you.
3. Modernize Kitchens and Bathrooms
According to these statistics, kitchen or bathroom renovation is one of the most lucrative projects you can do in your rental. Both these rooms have some of the highest returns on the money you can spend on renovation.
When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, focus on upgrading appliances, painting cabinets, upgrading countertops, and replacing cabinet hardware. All these changes will make a big impact on the overall look and functionality of your kitchen. Likewise, in the bathroom, add inexpensive touches like new faucets or modern backsplashes to complete the look. They can also mean easier cleaning and turnover between future tenants.
You should also consider upgrading the light fixtures in both rooms. Remember, kitchens and bathrooms are smart places to invest in improvements, as they go a long way toward the overall perceived value and aesthetic of the property – and little fixes can be enough.
4. Paint the Walls
While you might not do this at every turnover, painting the walls will spruce up the appeal of your rental. Freshly painted walls brighten up the space and give it a clean and updated look. Painting your property is one of the easiest improvements you can make.
For a small cost and less time, you can cover up any dings or scratches that have appeared on your walls over the years. Begin with high-traffic rooms like living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms, and then work your way to less lived-in spaces, if required.
Even though you might prefer bold or bright colors, it is best to stick with light, neutral colors such as beige, off-white, or light gray. A neutral color palette helps renters envision the home as their own. Therefore, sticking with neutral paint colors will appeal to the widest pool of tenants.
We also suggest using the same color throughout the entire place. This results in a more cohesive design, less hassle for the painter (which typically means a better price for you), and allows for easy retouching and patching if a repair is required.
5. Improve Landscaping
First impressions matter. If you ask any realtor what the most essential factor is when showing a property to prospective renters, they are very likely to say curb appeal. When potential renters first arrive at your home, they will often decide if it’s “the one” or not based solely on the exterior.
A neatly trimmed yard and fresh landscape add curb appeal and set a good first impression. Upgrading outdoor living spaces such as new pavers or new concrete are highly sought after these days as well. Also, consider fenced-in yards for a more pet-friendly property to attract an ever-growing segment of renters.
6. Consider Professional Photography
Hiring a professional photographer may seem like a huge expense, but it will pay off in spades. Great images of your property have the potential to attract good tenants. The key is to make a good listing that stands out with good photography. According to the Wall Street Journal, homes with professional photography get 61% more views than those without them.
Professional photographs are able to present your property well, bringing in more interest from renters through your online listings. If you have made any new overhauls or decorations, high-quality photos will highlight all the best features of your place and portray a unit worthy of higher rent.
Similarly, consider posting 3D floor plans and video tours to your listing. More and more renters want to get a true sense of the property before scheduling time to view in person.
Also Read: How to Create Successful Advertising to Attract Tenants
Rental Property Renovations: Landlord Gurus Takeaway
Performing required maintenance and additional renovations and improvements will increase the value of your property. It will also allow you to increase rent and operating income. Rental property renovations also differentiate your unit from others on the market. You can reduce operating costs by adding new energy-efficient fixtures and appliances. Get a rental estimate to see how much additional rent you can bring in with these improvements.
Start using RentCast 100% free and then upgrade at any time to unlock additional features as your rental portfolio grows. Use promo code GURUS and receive a 20% discount on any pricing plan.
To simplify rental property maintenance, we recommend using a property management software tool like RentRedi, Hemlane, and Marble. All these products offer robust features that make maintenance request management a breeze. These tools create one portal where tenants and landlords can communicate and coordinate property repairs and upkeep, whether they’re routine or urgent problems.
If you need help with these tasks, you can compare quotes from top-rated contractors through HomeAdvisor.
Also Read: Manage Maintenance on Rental Property using Property Management Software
You can also use our rental property calculators to see how the rent increase affects your net operating income, or how the additional expenses affect your operating expense ratio.
Last but not least, make sure you understand laws regarding how and when you can increase rent to existing tenants. We recommend using a notice to increase rent form from ezLandlordForms along with a new lease agreement or consulting a lawyer.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.