Rental properties can be a lucrative enterprise — but if your property faces harsh weather or disrespectful tenants, it can be an expensive one, as well. When you purchase a new piece of rental property, what can you upgrade to damage-proof your investment?
Opt for Gloss or Semi-Gloss Paint
The last thing you want to do when a tenant moves out is to repaint the entire property. It’s expensive, time-consuming and leaves the property smelling like new paint. The first time you paint it, opt for gloss or semi-gloss paint. It will make the interior look fantastic, and the finish will make it a lot easier to clean any dirt, debris and scuff mark off the walls between tenants.
If you don’t want super shiny walls and still prefer something that will be easy to clean, opt for a semi-gloss paint in an easy-to-replicate color. That way, it’s easy to find a replacement next time you need to paint — and this easily cleanable material will make repainting less frequent to begin with.
It’s the age-old debate for rental properties — carpet or tile? You might choose tile for some areas of the home and carpet for others. For high traffic rental properties, though, skipping the carpet is probably the best idea. Engineered hardwood, vinyl and even old-school linoleum are all wonderful options because they’re durable, easy to clean and long-lasting.
Carpet, on the other hand, often needs to be replaced between tenants. Frequent replacements can become expensive — as a landlord, it’s not something you can deduct from a security deposit because it falls under regular wear-and-tear for the property. Pass on the carpet for something more durable to help you protect your investment. If your tenants strongly prefer soft flooring, they can always put down a few throw rugs.
Choose Durable Roofing Material
More than just the inside of the home needs to be damage-proofed. You’ll also need to protect your property’s exterior, especially if it’s located in an area that experiences harsh weather. Wooden shingles — especially those made from Western red cedar — are ideal for roofs in dry climates. In Southern California, for instance, Western red cedar shingles can last between 30 and 50 years.
Look at the annual weather your property gets to determine the kind of roofing you’ll need. Talk to local roofing experts to figure out the best options for your locale.
Install Gutter Guards
If you’re a landlord or property owner responsible for maintaining the rain gutters as stipulated in your lease, one way to make your job easier is to install gutter guards. These prevent your gutters from getting clogged up, overflowing and potentially dumping rainwater into the home or damaging the foundation.
If you don’t have guards on your gutters currently, give them a good cleaning and then install the guards to protect your investment from the elements.
Place Your Own Window Blinds
Blinds take a beating during a tenancy, so installing cheap versions keeps you from spending too much money when you refresh a property for a new tenant. Installing your own blinds also prevents your tenant from having to drill holes in the wall that you would need to repair later.
The rules on allowing residents to drill holes in the walls are entirely up to you. Keep in mind, though, that you will likely want to repair these holes between tenants, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
While you will always find new ways to tenant-proof your property, you can take plenty of steps now to ensure you save time and money on repairing unnecessary damages between tenants.