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Rental Upgrades to Attract and Maintain Long-term tenants

By Jamie Richardson | February 25, 2018

As a landlord, maximizing occupancy rates and rental income often means investing in periodic upgrades to your property. With the right upgrades to your property, you’re not only ensuring low turnover rates but you’ll also be able to attract quality, long-term tenants.

These upgrades not only benefit them – they also profit you as well. Smart locks, for instance, help reduce chances of theft and vandalism. Fire extinguishers help improve tenant safety and decrease the risk of fire damage.

These are just some of the advantages that home renovations provide. They’ll provide better levels of efficiency, security, safety, and most of all, provide better tenant retention.

The following are 8 rental upgrades to attract and maintain long-term tenants.

1. Hardware and appliances
Switch out the hardware for something modern but simple. Do this particularly for the plumbing fixtures and kitchen cabinetry. For the hardware, get rid of the ancient showerheads and dated cabinets.
Do the same for the appliances. Aside from replacing them, look for appliances that’ll help with energy efficiency. Such appliances include washing machines, dishwashers, lights, water heaters, air conditioners, and refrigerators.

2. Smoke detectors
Smoke detectors are important for the early detection of fire in your home. Every year in the US, there are more than 350,000 home fires, resulting in over 2,500 deaths. To optimize your tenant’s safety, take these proactive steps to keep the devices in working order:
• Have the smoke detectors installed by a qualified commercial electrician
• Have the smoke detectors tested every month
• Install the proper number of smoke detectors for your units

3. Fire extinguishers
Apart from smoke detectors, fire extinguishers also help improve tenant safety. In many cases, they are a first line of defense and often contain or extinguish a fire, preventing costly damage.

To make sure the fire extinguishers are in top working order, make sure you check for adequate pressure and corrosion whenever you visit your rental property. Also have them inspected by a professional protection company every year.

By doing this, you not only ensure the device is in top working order but you are also compliant. Most extinguishers come with warranties from four to six years.

4. Flooring
A quick upgrade of your flooring can make a world of difference. As such, if you have carpets, consider replacing them with tile or hardwood flooring. Tile or hardwood flooring are your best choices because they don’t require much maintenance.

Tile floors require mopping every once in a while. Wood floors only need routine sweeping and the occasional cleaning with a suitable product. In addition, these kinds of flooring are an easy fit to your budget.

5. Motion-sensing exterior lights
Use automatic exterior lights for better aesthetic appeal and improve rental safety. These sensors don’t cost much and can be installed anywhere inside or outside of the rental property.
You can place your front entrance light, garden lights, flood lights, and other outdoor lighting on motion sensors. Adding motion sensor lighting provides an automated, hands-free way to turn on lights when you need them, and off when you don’t.

6. Smart locks
Smart locks have become some of the most popular home tech products in the US along with other connected devices like home-access controls and security systems. A smart lock will notify you if a stranger tries to enter the premises, reducing your chances of squatting, vandalism, and theft.
Smart locks also allow you to create temporary mobile “keys.” Once the key expires, the tenant can no longer gain entry to the property. Also, smart keys are convenient for elderly and physically impaired people. A senior citizen or a disabled person no longer needs to struggle with keys as smart locks can be opened with a smartphone.

7. Security systems
In addition to investing in fire protection, also consider other safeguards, such as a security system. Installing a home security system in your rental property goes beyond caring for your tenants. It is, after all, your valuable possession.

Security systems from trusted providers are maintained and repaired by the provider. However, periodical maintenance is necessary if you opt for homemade systems comprising lights, motion sensors, and cameras.

Besides making tenants feel safer, prospective tenants also see security systems as an added appeal of your rental property.

8. Heating and Cooling Systems
Upgrading your heating and cooling systems is more cost-effective compared to repairing them. Inefficient systems could cost you up to $200 per year on your utility bill aside making the rental unit unlivable.

Some of the benefits of installing new high-efficiency HVAC systems include:
• Longer operating life
• Peace and quiet
• Superior air flow
• Cost savings

Prepare your rental checklist along with these upgrades if you want to improve your rental property. You’ll see greater curb appeal, energy efficiency, security, safety, and interest from your long-term tenants.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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