Tenant Proofing Your Property

Tenant Proof

If you plan to rent out your property then there is one thing you must do – get it rent ready!  I know – obvious, but there is more to it than that.

There is a difference between getting a property rent ready as opposed tenant proofing a property.

Getting a property rent ready usually entails items such as a repaint, some dry wall patching, replacing carpets and cleaning among other things.

Tenant proofing your property does all the same things, but also makes it durable for the wear and tear of tenants living in it, thus reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

Tenant Proofing Your Property

Let’s discuss actions you can take and the type of items you can use in your property to increase its durability.

 Flooring

  • Tile in kitchen, common areas and bathrooms.
  • Laminate or vinyl plank in bedrooms and 2nd floor if applicable

These are low maintenance durable flooring options that you will be able to keep on tenant turnover.  Yes, the tile may need to be cleaned or you may need to replace a vinyl plank or two, but that’s usually it.

(Success note:  Be sure to teach your tenant about laminate.  Laminate is not meant to be cleaned with a soaking wet mop or have standing moisture.  Bedrooms and common areas are best for this flooring.)

Still, with all that said about flooring – you must know your market!

Tile floor is common and desired in the southern states of America.  In Florida, Georgia, etc. you will see tile as the norm, but in the Pacific Northwest that is not the case.  Tile is not desirable in the states of Washington and Oregon, as of the time of this writing.  In that area carpet or original hardwood floors are desired and considered the norm.

So know your market and then find the most durable or cost effective options within that.

Example – If carpet is what you need to put in your property then decide whether it’s better to put down cheap carpeting that you will replace every tenant turnover or if you will pay top dollar for the stain resistant stuff that you can just have cleaned and keep several years.

Replacing Valves

A good practice is to replace all old or plastic water valves and shut offs.  The plastic water valves not only break easily if abused, but many times don’t do the job of stopping water.

The last thing we need is a leaky toilet turning into a flooded bathroom because the valve failed to perform.

Putting in the metal half turn valves are worth the cost for the peace of mind.

Paint

When it comes to paint neutral colors are best.  For interior walls a beige type color is a safe play.  It gives the property a little life as opposed to a plain white and is universal among tastes.  The color I use is called Navajo, which is a BEHR product color.

There are several different paint enamels to choose from, but eggshell works great for the interior walls.

For trim and baseboards a white semi-gloss enamel gets the job done and creates a nice offset from the walls

For ceilings an interior latex flat white paint gets the job done.

Door Stops

I know this seems like something trivial, but here is why we it’s important:

  • Avoids damaged dry wall (holes in wall, etc)
  • Damaged door knobs

If nothing is present to stop the door from hitting the wall or if the doorstop is hanging on by a thread – then the door knob is swinging straight for your wall.  Thus, damaging the wall and banging up the knobs.

Make sure all door stops are present, solid and installed securely.

Addition by Subtracting

Sometimes landlords will remove non-essentials to reduce the number of potential maintenance problems.  It may be difficult to do this on higher end rentals, but I’ve seen it done on lower priced units.

Removing Items Like:

  • Ceiling Fans
  • Garbage Disposal

The thought process is if these items are not needed to rent out the property, then why have the potential cost of repair?

A disposal can break from tenants dropping things in it that don’t belong.  Next thing you know you are paying for a service call.

Ceiling fans can begin to make noise or have the motor fail all together – opposed to a light fixture that just has a bulb.  Again, the thinking is why have a potential cost of replacement if the fan is not required.

Your given market will dictate whether such items are expected or not, but the two examples above are actually considered upgrade features.

These are decisions that each property owner can make for themselves.  However, be prudent where applicable to help mitigate your operating costs.

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