Top 5 renovations for landlords

January 14, 2012

A run-down property invites abuse and tenant turnover, while smart home improvements can make your rental attractive to better tenants. Here are five projects designed to increase your rental's bottom line.

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1. A friendly yard

Set your home apart by fencing in the yard for the safety of your tenants' children and pets. Adding an inexpensive play or picnic area may help you find a nice family to rent your unit for years.

2. Energy savings

While energy-efficient improvements, like new ENERGY STAR windows, aren't obvious from the street, they can help you get--and keep--a reliable tenant. Many of today's renters are former homeowners who are extremely aware of what high energy costs can do to a family budget.

3. Convenient parking

Renters planning on long-term occupancy hate jockeying for scarce parking with neighbors, schlepping groceries 100 yards in bad weather, or hiking down a dark street when they come home late. You can attract a better class of tenant if you designate parking space on your lot--and covered parking is even better.

4. Laundry facilities

Even if you like taking clothing to a laundromat and hanging out there for hours, your tenants probably do not. Fortunately, it's easy to convert a closet to a mini laundry room with smaller-scale appliances.

5. Creature comforts

Former homeowners are accustomed to air conditioning, dishwashers, garbage disposals and cable TV. These might be the best home improvements of all.

If you want to attract tenants who respect your property, impress them with a rental they'll think of as a home.


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