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Hi! This is Paul Kankowski with HouseMatch Property Management, and today I’m going to be talking about the 7 Must Have Amenities in a Rental home or Apartment. Now, these are going to sound kind of funny, some of them, because you’re going to be like, of course! we would do that, but with my years and years of being in property management and having rentals, it’s surprising how many properties that I’ve taken over do not have this.
The first amenity that you must have is to have the home immaculate clean before you start showing it, and when someone moves in. So many people do a half job at cleaning it, they have drawers with hair in them- it’s just gross. Your tenant moves in, and they don’t feel great about the property; they don’t feel like you cared when you moved into the property. This is something that you need to make sure as an owner that you do. It’s not fair to your tenants to move into a dirty property; we have a long checklist at HouseMatch that we require, and that we check off before a tenant moves in. We meet with the tenant on moving day, and make sure our properties are in a tip-top shape; so, that the tenant feels welcome when they move into the property.
The Second must-have thing is to have the carpets professionally cleaned. Don’t just vacuum them, and have the tenant move in. Have them professionally cleaned. At HouseMatch, when we do a cleaning, our carpet cleaners have to require that they use a pet deodorizer whether there were pets in the property or not, because every once in a while, even though you say no pets, they either illegally had a pet in there, or grandma came by into petting them. Whatever is, we want a pet deodorant because we want to do whatever we can to help prevent allergies for the next tenant to move in.
The third amenity is to have a service that sends air filters, so that the tenants change their air filters regularly on the HVAC machines. So, you put it in the lease that the tenant must change air filters. Most tenants don’t, and the air filters get dirty and gross which means that your air conditioner is going to break at a quicker rate. Your heater is going to break; you’re going to have a lot more maintenance on air conditioners or heaters. We use a service that mails air filters with the exact size of the tenant, so the tenant gets them at their doorstep; they get an email. Everything is told to that tenant – Hey! You need to change the air filter. It’s great because the tenants don’t have to go to home depot and try to find out the random size that their air filter is. It’s not that tenants don’t want to change their air filters – it’s just that we get busy in life – in six months, three months, whatever your rate of changing is go by very quickly, and you’re just forget it. This is a reminder that hey you got to change your air filters.
Fourth thing – if you’re going to do a remodel, there are certain areas that you’re going to get more value for a tenant to remodel. One of those is KITCHENS – having a nice kitchen is a great feature for tenant, and the next thing if I was to remodel my 1970 shaped house, I would start with the kitchen, and the master bathroom. You’re getting the most bang for your buck by having those modernized. So, if you’re going to spend some money, those will be the first areas I’d spend money on.
Another amenity for tenants is to have a yard that’s easy to maintain. Sometimes you have a yard – it’s very difficult or there’s a really high-water bill, and if you have a $400 a month water bill – there’s two things a lot of times the tenants going to do: a) They’re going to turn off your water and kill your yard or (b) They’re going to move out sooner, because they’re going to be like I’m paying this much rent, plus I have $400 water bill each month, and so, it’s not economically feasible for the tenant. So, when you are doing changes to the front and backyard – try to think of changes that are going to be more water efficient for your tenants. So, if you’re going to put a patio, put a bigger patio in. If you’re going to put grass in, don’t make the entire backyard grass – make part of it with some more drought tolerant plants. I’ve seen backyards that were like 2000 square feet of grass to 3000 square feet of grass; they were huge. I mean you could play football back there – it’s great if the tenant wants to pay, but the tenant’s going to get very tired of paying those water bills, and that’s going to create more turnover. These are things that attract tenants. Tenants want to move into a clean house that feels good, they don’t want paint chip stains all over the place. If there’s a couple nail holes on a wall, that’s acceptable, but don’t make the house look dirty, don’t make the house gross.
Now, I’m not telling you that I have rental properties that I can afford to go change out all the appliances and all the fixtures, and make everything brand new looking. That’s not the point, the point is there’s going to be different times for every type of house, and so if you have a house that was built and is 30 years old, make sure it’s clean, and when you have, and if you do revisions later, then go with what’s going to be the best value add for the tenant. But you don’t have to completely change your house around – you just need to make it warm and inviting for a tenant moving in.
This has been Paul Kankowski with HouseMatch, and you have a wonderful day!