Damage-Proof Your Rental Properties With These 5 Suggestions

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Successfully managing investment properties is all about efficiency and profitability. This is especially true when you have multiple investment properties in your portfolio. You can’t afford for any one unit to eat up your time and dissolve all of your profits. That’s why it’s important to invest in materials and processes that make your investments more durable.


Prevent Damage With These 5 Tips


Durable rental properties have fewer issues and allow for greater flexibility. You have to find a balance between cheap and high quality. Sometimes this means sacrificing aesthetics for functionality. (Though this isn’t always the case.)


Regardless, here are some steps you can take to prevent damage, protect your properties, and increase profitability:


  1. Install the Right Flooring


“Choosing flooring for a rental property is different than choosing flooring for an owner-occupied home,” landlord Kasia Manolas writes. “Rentals endure more wear and tear and tenants don’t take care of the flooring the same way an owner would.”


The best flooring for a rental property is affordable, low maintenance, durable, and somewhat aesthetically pleasing. You have no shortage of options – including carpet, vinyl, laminate, linoleum, and hardwood – and your decision will ultimately come down to practicality. Vinyl planks are a favorite among landlords and can be installed directly over another hard surface (like tile or linoleum). If you install vinyl yourself – which is extremely easy – you can save even more.


  1. Go With Laminate Countertops


The kitchen absorbs much of the wear and tear tenants put on a home. It’s the place for cooking, eating, and socializing. If you don’t design it in a manner that embraces durability, you’ll end up constantly investing in repairs, maintenance, and upgrades.


Countertops are a big focal point. Assuming granite and quartz are out of your budget, laminate is your best bet. It’s cheap, durable, and doesn’t scratch easily. However, it’s best to avoid white. A darker color will allow you to hide blemishes and prevent the need for frequent replacements.


  1. Simplify Landscaping


Good landscaping can add to a rental property’s curb appeal, but it’s time-consuming over the long haul. Be sure to simplify landscaping so that it doesn’t become a major drain on your budget (or a point of contention for neighbors).


Assume that your tenants won’t care for your landscaping. This means you need to invest in low-maintenance features and do away with anything that requires frequent watering, pruning, or care. Using native plants and durable grass will help you out.


  1. Paint Walls With Satin or Semi-Gloss


Expect the walls in your rental property to take a beating. This means you’ll likely need to repaint your interior walls every year or two. But you can enhance the longevity of your walls by using the right type of paint.


High-gloss paint might look good, but it’s going to be less durable than other options. It shows every little flaw on the wall – including nicks and dents – and needs to be cleaned regularly in order to shine.


“Semi-gloss paint offers many of the benefits of high-gloss paint without being quite as shiny,” home blogger Kathy Adams writes. “Less reflectivity means it doesn't show off the wall's imperfections quite as much as high-gloss paint does.”


Satin is also a good choice. It’s washable, durable, and looks great. It is, however, a bit more difficult to apply than other options. If you’ve never done much painting, you may find it hard to avoid roller marks.


  1. Set Clear Responsibilities

“Clearly outline responsibilities for you and your tenant before move-in,” real estate blogger Lindsey Schober advises. “Typically, your renter is responsible for minor maintenance and regular upkeep, such as changing lightbulbs or trash removal. Landlords are responsible for larger projects and issues such as plumbing, heating and electrical.”


All of the responsibilities and rules should be outlined in writing in the lease agreement. If they don’t exist in writing, they don’t exist at all. Walk your tenant through these requirements on the front end so there are fewer issues down the road.


Adding it All Up


You’re in the business of turning a profit. It doesn’t make sense to continue using materials and processes that cost you money. Instead, adopt some of these techniques and improve your cash flow. You’ll find that it’s far easier than you realize.




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David Jackson, MBA

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