Congratulations! You have purchased yourself a house. Now, after taking advantage of the detached housing market that has slowed down and following our advice to buy a house with a rental suite, all you need is good tenants. Let’s look at some minor changes that will not cost you much, will get you to rent fast, and have the right tenants. Focus on the first impression – tenants like it fresh and clean. Your best tenants will appreciate the well-maintained unit, will be willing to pay for it, and will keep it in the best condition while paying your mortgage down.

Tenants Like it Fixed

A makeover on the front garden is recommended Curb appeal is important, even if tenants are not buying your house. First, fix your front gate and take care of the front garden. No tenant likes a shabby gate, so spend time giving it the right look. Tenants that encounter a neglected garden get the message that you are a careless landlord. Mess or rubbish in the front yard will turn off a good tenant before they even see the rest of the property. A hanging flower basket will help your tenants imagine themselves in this house. It’s only a $25 expense that will pay off much more. Do not forget to ensure the proper functioning of all taps, toilets, appliances and electrical fittings in the bathroom and kitchen.

Tenants Like it Painted

This may be your biggest expense if you chose to delegate it to a professional, but much lesser if you dedicate one day to do it yourself. Give a fresh coat of paint to your walls, window trims and baseboards if needed. For the sake of the tenant’s first impression, paint the front door and enjoy the result when the door looks shiny and welcoming. People prefer a neutral colour for the walls, as they can easily match their belongings to it. Smaller unit? You’re in luck – today’s trend is to go for lighter colours like light grey or cream. That way, your unit feels much spacious. Your tenants will appreciate the fresh look.

Tenants Like it New

Have we mentioned the tenant’s first impression? If needed, update door handles, cabinet knobs, and the house number at the front. Install screens for windows and doors to keep out bugs. New blinds can still be inexpensive, as long as they are matching and consistent in the house; they even provide a nicer look from outside on the street. Change out all burnt-out bulbs to bright and cost-effective ones, your future tenants will appreciate paying less in utilities. An updated light fixture in the kitchen and bathroom may cost you an additional $100 for new, and much less for second-hand online, but will create the fresh look tenants like.

Tenants Like it Clean and Tidy

Clean up the floors and carpets, bathrooms, kitchen, entrance door and windows to let the light in. A grimy suite pushes tenants away – make sure that the bathrooms are tidy, clean up the counters, kitchen cabinets, bedroom cupboards, windows and windowsills, and door panels. You can add a liner onto shelves and inside the cabinets and drawers. It’s an easy fix and the cost is less than $15 for the whole space. Tenants do not appreciate greasy appliances, so take a moment to give them a scrub from inside out. Look at your baseboards and switch panels, as they should be cleaned as well. Make sure to clean the hallway and make free it from clutter to allow a free flow from one part of the house to another.

Tenants Like it Staged

Help tenants envision themselves in your suite by adding small, thoughtful details. All you need is a flower vase and a kitchen towel, a set of nice towels in the bathroom, an air freshener near the toilet, and a new tissue box to add to the look. A new bath curtain and new toilet brush from your local dollar store in the bathroom will not hurt. All accessories are there for tenant’s viewing only. Afterwards, you may collect them and keep them for your own use once the place is rented. Light staging is the least expensive way to help your tenants imagine themselves enjoying your suite.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to impress a tenant. A mini renovation will not require much time or effort, nor big money. All you need is a day or two of concentrated effort to impress your prospective renters before a future tenant will fetch a good return on your humble investment.