There are plenty of things that tenants consider when viewing a potential rental, but there are few things more important than the kitchen.
For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where they assemble their Thanksgiving meal, it’s where they bake their holiday cookies, it’s where they cook their meals for their family and friends. Tenants spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and a good kitchen can make that time easy, pleasurable, and fun.
But a bad kitchen? It can completely ruin the experience.
When a tenant walks into a rental unit and sees an ugly or outdated kitchen, it can be a complete deal-breaker. When it comes to kitchens, tenants are looking for updated appliances, plenty of storage space, and a layout that makes cooking and getting meals on the table as simple as possible. As the owner of the rental unit, if you want to get the best tenants into your properties, you need to deliver the kind of kitchens they’re looking for.
Luckily, most kitchens don’t need a ton of work in order to appeal to tenants. Often, a few simple renovations are all you need to boost your rental property’s appeal — which can help you boost your rental value in the process.
Here are seven simple rental property kitchen renovations that will transform your rental kitchens, appeal to your ideal tenants, and get your properties rented:
Make the Most of the Space
There’s no getting around it: some rental properties are small. And small properties typically mean small kitchens.
But small kitchens, if designed well, can be just as functional as larger kitchens. So when you can’t make your rental kitchen bigger, you need to focus on making it better and getting the most out of the space.
Look at your layout and see how you can maximize the space for efficiency. Is there an island in the middle of the kitchen that takes up too much space and makes it hard to maneuver around the kitchen? Get rid of it. Is the kitchen lacking storage? Look for innovative solutions, like pullout shelves, rotating inserts, and high pantry cabinets to increase storage options without overwhelming the space.
You can’t always increase space in your kitchen, but you can increase its efficiency — which will increase the appeal and the rental value right along with it.
Add a Skylight
Nothing opens up a small room quite like a skylight. Adding a skylight to a small kitchen will flood the space with natural light, making it feel more open and inviting. A skylight will also raise a part of the kitchen’s ceiling, visually expanding the room and making it appear larger. And the larger it appears, the more it will appeal to tenants.
Give the Illusion of Granite
Granite countertops are on just about every tenant’s dream kitchen wish list. And while granite countertops are a major investment that likely doesn’t make sense for a rental property, you can still give tenants the look and feel they want in the kitchen without blowing your budget.
The right laminate countertops can recreate the look of granite — but are only a fraction of the cost to install. This simple renovation will immediately make your rental kitchen look more high-end, making it more appealing to tenants.
Give Your Cabinetry a Makeover
Cabinetry plays a huge role in determining the look and feel of a kitchen, and the wrong cabinets can make an otherwise functional and appealing kitchen feel ugly, outdated, or unappealing.
Replacing cabinetry is a costly job, but luckily, you don’t need to completely replace your cabinets to give them a new look and feel. A fresh coat of paint, updated fixtures, and new doors can breathe new life into old cabinets — and immediately up the appeal of your rental property’s kitchen.
Are your cabinets old and outdated? Try painting them white, which can make them feel more modern. Do the cabinets make the kitchen feel small? Try installing glass doors, which can open up the space and make it feel larger.
These small (and inexpensive) cabinetry changes can have a big impact on the look, feel, and appeal of the kitchen.
Install a New Sink and Faucet
If the sink and faucet are old, stained, rusted, or outdated, they immediately make the kitchen feel old and outdated as well. Installing a new sink and faucet will give the space a newer and more modern outlook — plus, it’s a breeze to install: no plumber required.
Typically, you can get your sink and faucet installed in a few hours for less than $500. But the impact it will have on the kitchen — and potential renters — will be worth far more.
Light the Counters
Tenants are looking for a kitchen that feels warm and inviting. A cheap and easy way to make even the smallest rental kitchen seem warm and inviting? Popping some lighting underneath your cabinets.
Adding lighting underneath each cabinet to light the counters beneath creates a warm, inviting ambiance that tenants love. There are a number of lighting options (like rope lighting and puck lights), depending on the look you want to achieve, but all are inexpensive and easy to install.
Clean up Appliances
If you have appliances in your rental apartment that function well but look a little worse for wear, you don’t need to replace them to increase your property’s appeal. All you need to do is clean them up.
You can easily buff or sand out scratches on your stainless steel appliances. Dents are easy to fix as well. Cleaning up those minor cosmetic issues on your appliances can make them look brand new — and make them much more attractive to potential tenants.
Not Sure What to Do? Ask Your Property Manager
There are countless easy and inexpensive ways in which you can improve your kitchen, renovate to rent, and make your kitchen more appealing to potential tenants. If you’re not sure how to transform an old and outdated kitchen into one that will have renters lining up outside the door, ask your property manager.
A property manager can recommend ideas for improvements, updates, and rehab hacks that will increase the appeal of your rental unit without breaking the bank.