So the lease ended, your tenant left and now it's time to advertise your rental property again. But before you do, you may want to consider doing something more than the basic clean-and-repaint work in preparation for the next tenant.
It might be worth making some bigger home improvements now, even if there is no immediate opportunity in your local market to raise the rent. There would certainly be an advantage, for example, in being able to attract better quality tenants the kind who always pay their rent on time, look after your property as if it was their own, and are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the current economic climate.
And if that is what you aim to do, you should know which renovations are most likely to increase the appeal of your property. These include:
Nothing says "dated" like scuffed floors or old carpeting, no matter how clean it is, and installing new low-maintenance tiles or wood flooring throughout will immediately give the home a more modern and attractive look. Alternatively, if there is parquet flooring under the old carpet, it is well worth having it restored to its original gleaming condition.
No matter how well-located your property is, if the lighting doesn't do it justice, you could be sinking its appeal. A bright home is always more inviting, so get rid of old fixtures and dim globes and install some modern fittings and high power LED or long-life globes. You should also think about some additional over-counter lighting in kitchens and bathrooms.
One of the top reasons always given by tenants for moving is a lack of sufficient storage, so take a good look at your rental property to see if it really has enough cupboards, cabinets and shelves, or if there are unused spaces that could easily be converted to aesthetically pleasing storage. Bear in mind that clutter creates stress and that tenants who can't find anywhere to store their extra towels or winter woollies are quickly going to get tired of making do.
You don't have to break the bank to improve the appeal of the kitchen, but it is worth spending some money to take it from ordinary to special. The kitchen is one of the rooms that receives the most scrutiny from potential tenants and if they don't like it, they are quite likely to move on to the next property. The best kitchen "fixes" are attractive, durable countertops; new cabinet doors; tiled instead of painted walls; modern backsplashes; modern taps and handles, additional plug-points and extra spaces for appliances.
As with kitchens, bathrooms can make or break your competitive edge in the rental market, so it is worth updating them to set your property apart. The best "fixes" in this case are bigger vanities with more counter space; tiled instead of painted walls; modern taps, handles and showerheads; large mirrors; bright lighting and frameless, walk-in showers.