Property Management, Tenant Management

Maximize Rent: 6 Property Renovations to Boost Income

rental property renovations

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 should choose improvements to increase rental value at their properties, giving priority to those that are inexpensive and yet enticing to renters.

internal link Also Read: Rent Pricing: How Much To Charge For Rent?

Note: This is the 1st in our series exploring the best ways to increase rent. You can read our other installments here:

Rental Property Renovations Landlords Should Make

The best renovations for rental property have several long-term benefits for landlords. They allow you to increase rent rates and profitability, and can even mean less property upkeep expenses 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.

rental property renovations flooring

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.

internal link Also Read: How to Create Successful Advertising to Attract Tenants

Rental Property Renovations: Landlord Gurus Takeaway

Performing required maintenance and choosing the best upgrades for rental property will increase the value of your investment. 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.

internal link 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.

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About Chris Lee

Chris Lee, Co-Founder, Landlord Gurus

Chris comes from a family of real estate investors, and remembers well his childhood of helping to clean and paint apartments between renters.

Chris is a licensed real estate broker and now manages a mix of his own property and others for family, consisting of single family homes, multi-family complexes, and the occasional condo unit in and around Seattle. He also has particular insight into the issues around short-term rentals as he has managed those for himself and for other owners on AirBnb, VRBO, and other platforms.

Prior to Landlord Gurus, Chris worked in website development and digital marketing, assisting firms across a wide range of industries. He, along with his wife and two kids, also found themselves living and working overseas for several years.

Upon his return to the US, Chris often turned to Eli for property management advice and help with property maintenance. At this point, the two decided to start Landlord Gurus to help the countless others searching for answers to similar problems.

In his free time, Chris enjoys outdoor sports and activities including baseball, skiing, golf, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

- BA, Economics - Whitman College
- MA, Pacific International Affairs - University of California, San Diego
- MPA, Public Accounting - Open University of Hong Kong

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