Inexpensive Upkeep Tips for Landlords

Posted by Teresa on October 12, 2009 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

inexpensive-light-fixture on tenant screening blogLandlords often share their ideas for maintaining and improving their properties without spending a fortune. Tenants do not always take as much care with rental property as landlords would like, so it makes sense to keep prices in mind when planning maintenance or improvements. And, since most everyone seems to be budget-minded these days, we’re passing on some of the best ideas we’ve seen lately. Perhaps we can help you save some cash while keeping your rental property in great condition!

Supply inexpensive mini-blinds for the windows. While this will require a small investment up front, landlords save in the long run, because tenants will not be installing hardware, drilling into window frames, ruining the wood work, or covering windows with unattractive bed sheets, blankets, or other unsightly coverings. These mini blinds are easily cleaned or replaced between tenants.

Install your own cabinet and shelf liner. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s better than cleaning or repainting the insides of all the cabinets. After the tenant moves out, just strip the old paper and replace it with new. The new tenant will appreciate it, too. Alternatively, you can buy rolls of clearance or inexpensive shelf paper and leave them for the tenant to install.

Hit the dollar stores for cabinet pulls, switch plate covers, and vinyl shower curtain liners. Shower curtain liners? Yes—having one in place when new tenants move in means they won’t try to use the shower without one.

Look for mis-tint paint at the hardware store. Stick to the neutral or earth tones (no yellows or purples!). You will often find high-quality paint for $5 per gallon. If the shades are close enough, you can even mix a few gallons together to cover an entire rental unit.

Look for countertops on clearance at big-box or your local independent hardware store. Ask them who they would recommend to install them, and you might get a lead on kitchen and bath remodelers who can supply you with countertops directly. Offer to take odd sizes off their hands, and they will often help design the space to use them.

Check for appliance deals. Dishwashers for $50, stoves for $100, and refrigerators for $200 are the norm. Of course, you won’t have the warranty that comes with new appliances. The idea here is to stay within a small budget!

Buy light fixtures in bulk at recycled building supply stores or hardware stores. You can often find them for under $5 each. Then, keep several on hand to replace any that your tenants break.

Keep in mind that most everything a landlord installs will need to be replaced, so use standard fixtures and cabinet pulls so you don’t have to replace them all when one or two are broken or “lost” by tenants!