Being a landlord isn’t easy. Taking care of your properties, your tenants, the repairs, maintenance, landscaping, and everything else can challenge even the best landlords.
One of the biggest responsibilities of a landlord is making sure that each unit stays in tip-top shape for renters. That means that, as a landlord, you’ll be doing a lot of maintenance and rehabbing on your properties to keep them looking updated, functioning well, and in great condition for your renters.
But rehabbing isn’t easy! It can be a time-consuming, challenging, and expensive task. Luckily, there are some shortcuts that can help make the rehab process a little easier, more cost effective, and, in certain cases, more enjoyable.
Here are 7 rental property rehab hacks to help ease the responsibility that’s par for the course in landlording:
Rubber Band Paint Can
Whether you’re updating a room in one of your units, preparing a unit for new renters, or fixing damage caused by a tenant, painting is something you’re going to be doing a lot of as a landlord. While painting isn’t difficult per se, it’s certainly messy. Paint splatters all over the floor, and you end up wasting a lot of paint: either you take too much onto your brush and have to wipe it off, or you spill excess on the floor.
With this hack, you can save your paint and save yourself from having to clean up the mess. Take a rubber band and wrap it tightly around an open container of paint. After you dip your brush in the paint, use the rubber band to wipe off the excess paint before you remove the brush from the can. No excess paint and no messy spills.
Skip the Blinds
Typically, rentals come equipped with mini-blinds. However, these blinds can get expensive (typically between $8 – $10 per window) and are easily broken by children, pets, or careless tenants.
Instead of outfitting your windows with mini-blinds, why not try curtains? When you hear “curtains”, you probably think “expensive”, but they don’t have to be. You can find curtain rods for between $1 and $2 at home improvement stores, and you can easily find gently used curtains at a local thrift shop for the same amount. Not only will you cut your cost per window in half (or more), but curtains can make your space feel more designed and visually impactful, which your tenants will love.
Refresh Old Appliances
If your appliances are looking a little worn down and worse for wear, before you go out and drop a lot of money on something new, try refreshing what you’ve got. Appliance paint, which you can pick up at a hardware store for as little as $3.99 for white paint or around $9 for stainless steel, will have your appliances looking as good as new for a fraction of the cost.
Keep Your Units Uniform
Typically, the rehab process starts to get expensive when each of your units is different. If every unit has different flooring, carpeting, or paint colors, each time a unit needs to be repaired or updated, you have to go out and buy the specific flooring, carpeting, paint, or whatever else for that specific unit.
By keeping all your units uniform, you can buy all your materials in bulk, which will save you money, time, and the hassle of constantly sourcing new and different materials.
Freshen Up Built-Ins and Cabinets
If your unit has built-ins or shelving that are looking a little worse for wear, there’s no need to replace them. You can easily add new life to worn-out cabinets or built-ins with a little wallpaper. Wallpaper the bottoms, backs, sides, or all of the above with an interesting wallpaper pattern to add new life to your built-ins and cabinets. Added bonus: the pattern will add a nice design touch, making the cabinets or built-ins look more high end, which your tenants are bound to love.
If you want to showcase your properties in the best light — literally — changing the lighting in the room can make a huge impact for a minimal investment. If you want to give the appearance of a brighter, more open unit, try replacing your lights with bulbs that have higher lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light, and the brighter the space will appear.
For rooms where you want to create a more cozy, inviting atmosphere, like the bedroom, try a soft white bulb with low Kelvin, which determines how harsh the light appears (the higher the Kelvin, the harsher the light).
When it comes to rehabbing your properties, there’s a lot of moving parts, and the more properties you’re responsible for, the more overwhelming it can be. Use digital apps to keep the process streamlined and organized.
Get an app like DocuSign, which allows you to sign and manage all your rehab-related paperwork quickly and easily. Put all the dates on which your properties are getting worked on or materials are getting delivered into your Google calendar, and set alerts so that you’re reminded the day before. Use store apps, like the Home Depot app, to order the materials you need directly from your phone.
The more you can take care of and organize digitally, the less you have to worry about.
Landlording will never be an easy job, but with these 7 rental property rehab hacks for landlords, it’ll at least be a bit more manageable.