Rental Property Renovation Ideas

Rental Property Renovation Ideas


If you own rental property, be it a house, an apartment or a room in your house, you may be wondering what sort of renovations you should undertake to attract a new and well-paying tenant. Getting a rental renovation done right can pay big dividends in the bodily form of a solid tenant who pays her rent on time and at profitable rate.

Let’s explore some options you have to make a rental property renovation work for you:

First looks — How does the outside of the property look to you? If paint is peeling or if the grass is overgrown or some other physical distraction is present, quality tenants may simply drive on, not wanting to take a moment to look inside. Curb appeal is important for the home buyer and renter alike, people who won’t bother to look inside of your pristine digs if the outside is untidy.

Big three — What are the things that are most important to any tenant besides the size of your rental? Finding this out is important, but it could be three things: flooring, paint and appliances. Nothing can be done about the footprint of the apartment, but if the carpet is worn, the paint faded and the appliances aged, then these are three areas you should update to attract a new tenant. Even a small kitchen can benefit from stainless steel appliances. A bonus is a dishwasher, something many older apartments lack. A washer/dryer hookup is important too — include these units yourself if you want a higher paying tenant.

Provide parking — You may not be able to offer garage space to a tenant, but if you can assure this person that she’ll always have off street parking available, then you’ll attract a better group of tenants. In some urban areas, on street parking is expected, but not necessarily desirable. Someone who values a parking space off the street is a person you want as tenant. Always keep the space open and cleared of debris including snow.

Fix windows & doors — Older windows and doors can leak air, making it difficult to keep temperatures balanced in winter and in summer. Drafty windows, leaky doors, broken latches and a loose window pane need to be fixed. Natural light is welcome, but it shouldn’t prove to be a distraction. Wash the windows to let the sun shine in.

Install an alarm system — Lady tenants will appreciate an alarm system even if your home is secure and the neighborhood safe. Such systems are not expensive and can be wired for an apartment alone or for the entire house. Absorb this cost as this will be an expense you’ll recoup by collecting a higher rent.

Allow for pets — You may not be smitten with the idea of a pet in the apartment, but if a well-heeled tenant is attached to her cat, then by all means consider making an allowance. You can charge more on top of the rent you want to charge or simply absorb the possible cost of cleaning carpets and making needed repairs later on. As long as the pet is quiet and has all of its shots, then why not?

Include furniture — Most apartments are unfurnished, but what if the one you want to rent out comes furnished? This option can be ideal for the new in town executive who doesn’t expect to stay around for long. She may be gone in six months, but if her company is paying her rent, you’ll command top dollar especially if you provide the major furnishings. Don’t expect to attract a quality tenant, however, if your furniture isn’t attractive and in good shape.

You’ll want to compare what you might fetch in rent by checking out newspaper classified ads, online websites such as and by asking around. An updated apartment should carry a price premium, but you won’t command it unless you know what people are willing to pay.


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Categories: Home Renovation

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".