So, your old tenants have left you saddled with a mess of a house and you have no idea where to start. Landlords who have properties out in the real estate market know this feeling very well. For new landlords it can be especially trying because the task of repairing the damage they see in their property can be quite overwhelming.
Today, we’ll help you understand and plan basic renovation for your rental property so you can not only maximize your rental income but also be in a much better position to deal with renovation when the next tenant leaves.
Survey the Damage
The first step would be to take a look around the whole property, apartment or house, and note down all the damage. Sort your list according to the following categories:
- Most visible
These are damages that are clearly visible to anyone who takes a cursory glance around the house. For example, peeling paint, missing doorknobs, cracked or scratched floors etc.
Things like kitchen cabinets not closing properly, grease under the stove or inside kitchen cabinets etc that would be visible to a visitor who takes a close look.
- Least visible
These are easy-to-miss things like wall sockets not functioning or phone line crackling etc.
After you have your list, note down before each item whether it affects the livability of your house or not. This will help to prioritize the renovations required.
Planning the Renovation
Remember to look at your house as a building not as you would your own home. Tenants will usually not view a rented property as a home because it does not belong to them. Therefore, they will not take care of it the same way.
This is why it is always better to follow the simple rule: Repair – Reuse – Replace. If something can be repaired, go for that option instead of buying a new one. For example, if a bathroom shower tap is broken, you might be able to repair it, if not; you can always replace the tap with a used one instead of buying the whole shower unit. The next tenant might break it again anyway.
Always keep in mind that a rental property will require, more or less, the same amount of renovation each time a tenant leaves. Adding features like landscaped gardens, carved wooden wall panels etc will definitely increase the appeal of your home, but repairing or replacing them every time would be an increased expense.
In our next post, we’ll talk about renovating the floors of your rental property. What do you need help with? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of Martin Grube (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons