Popular Features in Rental Housing

Posted by Teresa on October 1, 2010 under Housing Trends, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Remember avocado ranges and harvest gold refrigerators? They’re not that crazy compared to appliances from the 40s and 50s, when baby blue, turquoise and pink were once considered fashionable in the kitchen.

tenantscreening, tenant background checkColor trends come and go, but it looks like stainless steel appliances are here to stay. Tenants love that stainless goes with any kitchen color scheme, always looks clean, and blends into the room. And when viewing a rental property, tenants really respond to stainless steel. Investing a bit more in stainless steel appliances can mean the difference between a signed lease and a great tenant walking away.

It’s also important for all the appliances to match. A black refrigerator, almond stove and white dishwasher just don’t look good together—which is fine if your potential tenants don’t care about how things look. But wouldn’t you rather appeal to tenants who care about appearances? It’s usually a sign they like to keep things looking good and will take better care of your rental property. And if you don’t care how things look in your rental property, what is that saying about you as a landlord?

High efficiency, “green” appliances are also becoming more popular. When replacing appliances in your rental units, look for the Energy Star accreditation. Potential tenants will be impressed that they’ll save money on energy bills. Besides, they’re better for the environment.

Bathroom Flooring
For bathrooms, the #1 worst idea is carpeting. Moisture, mold, and crawly things love hiding in carpet fibers. If you have carpeting in a rental unit bathroom, rip it out and replace it with something easy to keep clean and sanitary, like ceramic tile.

Some of the new engineered woods are also good choices because they are moisture-resistant and tough. Stone tiles can be slippery—and they’re expensive. Ceramic is cheaper, and looks fantastic. Another good choice is sheet or tile vinyl. It looks good, is inexpensive, and easy to clean. Keep in mind vinyl won’t be as desirable to some tenants as ceramic tile.

Kitchen Countertops
Where ceramic tile is preferred by many tenants for bathroom floors, it’s not the best choice for kitchen counters. Not only is it difficult to install, it’s a bear to keep clean. The grout will chip and fill with crumbs and water. It also needs resealing or it will crumble. With the abuse some tenants can inflict on counters, ceramic tile might not last.

Laminate is layered, like laminate flooring. It’s usually made of paper and resin pressed together under pressure, with a core of composite chip wood. Inexpensive and easy to install, it is also easily damaged. Laminate is generally acceptable to most tenants.

Solid surface counters, like Corian and Earthstone, differ from laminate in that they are one solid piece. Scratches and gouges can be sanded out—so they’re tough and durable. They will crack and scorch if exposed to high heat. Design-savvy tenants love the look of solid surface countertops.

Remember, appealing to your tenants‘ sense of design and style is a great way to help improve your vacancy rate.