Are you a flexible enough landlord to ensure that your tenants stay long-term?
When tenants do feel like a rental is their home, they tend to stay longer and enjoy the property more. Flexibility in allowing minor home modifications is the key to keeping tenants happy. Although some modifications cannot be considered such as replacing all the flooring, or repainting the entire home allowing minor modifications does usually allow tenants to feel like a rental property is indeed “homey.” Tenants adore renting properties that allow them to make it feel like home! Allowing tenants as much leeway as possible with modifications will makethem happy campers who stay a long time!
Cookie-cutter type properties are not that appealing. A rental property that allows no modifications many times can feel like a blank canvas. Allowing modifications to a rental property may deem it necessary to fix minor flaws upon vacancy, but renters can become more excited about a property if they feel they have made it their own space. Allowing pets is a great idea. Tenants with pets WANT their fur families with them! If a landlord allows dogs, tenants may seek to install a dog door for easy access to the outdoors for their fur baby or babies. A new door that serves a dog is easy to switch out, and the old door can be saved for later use. The door should be stored in a cool, dry place, to prevent warping.
Other modifications that many tenants might seek are the installation of ceiling fans, the switching out of light fixtures and shower heads, and the addition of dimmer switches to existing lighting. Tenants seek these for various reasons. Usually they are looking to save on utility costs and create ambience. Properties that suit tenant’s needs in types of shower heads and lighting ensure longer residencies and create excitement for tenants.
Repainting of a wall(s) for decorative purposes might be sought, or a mural in a child’s bedroom. However, the painting of any wall in question should be preapproved, and a tenant should ensure the original paint can with the color code of any wall to be painted is located and kept. A sample of any new color should also be provided before proceeding. Landlords should leave a can of paint for a tenant to make minor touch ups during their tenancy.
Some tenants thrive on gardening. Whether fruit, vegetables, herbs or even flower gardens are many times requested. Discussions with the tenant should precede. Plantings might need removal by the tenant before vacancy as they may require routine maintenance. Reasonable accommodations can be either fixed or undone easily. Working with a tenant is always wise before denying any modifications.
Shower heads, digital thermostats, and dimmer switches can be replaced easily. Walls can be repainted. Ceiling fans, and other less removable additions, however, depending upon the lease and the agreement between landlord and tenant, sometimes simply get left behind and become the property of the landlord. Ceiling fans and other less removable changes are too costly and difficult to remove. Appliances that were purchased by a tenant, however, under most circumstances, are the tenant’s property and can be removed by
the tenant when relocating.
Each party, both landlord and tenant should know upfront which modifications are allowed and which are not, and this should all be spelled out in a good solid lease agreement to ensure that no misunderstandings occur. <