Over the years, I’ve learned that there’s a balance to strike in order to be successful as a rental property owner.
Part of being successful means you need to attract quality tenants. You know…the kind that pay rent, and don’t turn your house into a meth lab. Well, just like you, good tenants want houses that are clean, affordable, and located in safe neighborhoods.
However, tenants want other things too. Things that are a little more “negotiable.” As a newbie investor, I was very accommodating and succumbed to most tenant requests for certain amenities.
Over the years, I learned a very important lesson: the more I include in the property, the more stuff I ended up fixing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t expect maintenance requests. You should. That’s part of the deal, but, as I said, there is a balance to strike.
As a result, I’ve come up with a list of items I no longer include. Here it is:
They won’t last long. Tenants will throw everything down that black hole and call you to fix the thing when it breaks because of their carelessness.
Lowes sells cheap, white, mini blinds for about $5 per window. Sounds reasonable. Why not include them? Because tenants and mini blinds just don’t get along. I don’t get it, but that’s just how it is. Give it a few months, and nearly every mini blind you put up will be destroyed.
If there is an obvious opening for a dishwasher, I’ll include one. Otherwise, tenants can wash dishes by hand. I have yet to experience a prospect saying “no” to one of my rentals just because there was no dishwasher.
Tenants destroy them. They’ll rip the screens, and you know those little plungers on storm doors? You know the thing that helps the door not to slam shut. Yeah, those won’t last long either.
Depending on where you rent, tenants may or may not expect kitchen appliances to be included. Where I rent in Springfield, MO, tenants expect it.
When it comes to refrigerators, you don’t need to provide anything more than a basic fridge. A water dispenser is just one more unnecessary amenity you’ll end up having to fix. Chances are if it breaks, it will be irreparable.
I’ve never included a washer and dryer, but I thought I’d just throw this one into the mix. Don’t do it. Your tenants can find a used set for cheap on Craigslist.
If it’s still there when your tenants move out, it will be so disgusting, that it won’t be worth keeping.
Honesty, the tenant can provide this.
Yes, I’m serious about this one. If I buy a property with an attached garage, I just convert that garage into an additional bedroom. This is a great way to add value to your property, and, with an extra bedroom, you can charge more for rent.
People just use garages for storage anyway, so providing a garage just means tenants will fill it with stuff which creates a liability for you if you must evict and clear out their stuff. Trust me, a no garage situation is better.
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