One of the best things landlords can do during a recession is to pay more attention to their rental properties, ensuring the properties are in tip-top shape so they can get the most out of each unit at a time when the rental market is most competitive.
This might require some renovations, which landlords should be making periodically anyway, regardless of how strong or tenuous the economy might be.
Update the paint
Apartments are typically empty when shown to prospective renters, and any issues with the paint job are very noticeable during such viewings.
If the paint is outdated (or there is any fading), update the walls with a fresh coat of paint. It’s ideal to do so whenever a tenant moves out, but landlords whose buildings have a high turnover rate likely won’t need to repaint every time a tenant does leave.
When adding a new coat of paint, choose a light, neutral color to give the property a fresh, inviting look.
Replace the carpeting
Carpeting is another area prospective renters are instantly drawn to when viewing an apartment.
New carpeting is always attractive to potential tenants, and landlords won’t have to break the bank to replace the carpets when an existing tenant moves out.
Instead of expensive carpeting, choose a medium grade carpet with a neutral color, ideally beige or light brown, which can hide spills or stains should the next tenant prove messy and move out after the original lease terms are up.
Before laying carpet, don’t forget to lay down quality padding underneath. Such padding makes the carpet feel softer and of higher quality.
Upgrade the appliances
Perhaps nothing evokes a stronger response from prospective renters than a property’s appliances. Outdated appliances make renters speculate as to what else might be outdated and if the building is well taken care of.
On the other hand, newer appliances, particularly stainless steel items, create a contemporary feel and give the impression, true or false, that a landlord won’t allow the building to grow dated or fall into disrepair. When shopping for appliances, choose ones that are more basic so any eventual repairs won’t be too complicated or costly.
Newer appliances enable landlords to charge more rent for a given property, and many renters would agree that such properties are worth the extra money.
Install new windows
Older buildings tend to have creaky or drafty windows, which not only makes the property colder during the winter months, but it also drives up utility costs as renters are forced to turn up the thermostat to combat drafts and cold air entering the unit.
New windows can eliminate such drafts and reduce utility costs, something landlords can use to their advantage when discussing the property with potential tenants.
Landlords might even be able to earn tax breaks when installing new, energy-efficient windows. Discuss if any such breaks exist with the local municipality.
When it comes to renovating a rental property, landlords can make a handful of small renovations that, while relatively inexpensive, enable them to earn substantially more money from each unit over the long haul.