As any experienced property manager or landlord will tell you, if you plan to rent your property furnished, furniture and other elements in rental properties have to be replaced after some time. This is simply unavoidable. Of course, this does not imply you should skip regular and thorough maintenance of the property. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to pay attention to the condition of furnishings in your rental. The reasons are clear – your tenants’ satisfaction and safety depend on it. Here is the landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture in rental properties.
How should I manage a furnished rental?
The best approach to keeping your rental crisp, fresh, and inviting is to keep tabs on when you have replaced furniture, carpeting, appliances, and other essential items your tenants’ comfort and well-being depend on.
Also, it would be best if you always were responsive to your tenant’s needs, requests, or concerns regarding the condition of the furniture. If they report a leak or some other emergency going on in your rental, be sure to react promptly. And it is not only the safety of the tenants that could be compromised. These kinds of issues could damage everything inside the home if left unresolved. Make sure you respond to such complaints immediately.
Your responsiveness and timeliness in dealing with worn-out or broken furniture will pay off big-time. Not only will you extend the lifespan of the furniture, but you will also make ground for establishing a good tenant-landlord relationship. So, this is just one way you can ensure your rental attracts and retains trustworthy long-term tenants.
Regular rental inspections extend the lifespan of furniture
However, relying exclusively on your tenants’ reports is not the best strategy for maintaining your furniture in check. First of all, they might be perfectly content with using worn-out furniture. This is especially true if you mostly rent out on a short-term basis.
Also, if you do not thoroughly inspect your rental after tenant turnover, you might be clueless about what condition it is actually in. This sometimes happens if the landlord manages the rental remotely. Hence, regular rental inspections, fixes, and upkeep are a must for ensuring and extending the lifespan of the furniture inside your rental. Ideally, you or your property manager should address all issues before new tenants move in.
Update the following items at least once in 5 years
Pillows, sheets, towels…
Naturally, some items are quicker to break or wear down than others. In some cases, throwing out things is even a question of maintaining proper hygiene in your rental.
For instance, it is appropriate to bring in new towels, pillows, and sheets every 1-2 years. If you want to avoid this liability, you might settle a deal with your tenants and have them use their own. Changing the shower curtain each year is also a good idea. Yet, you should wash and dry the shower curtain regularly to extend its durability.
Other items that are considered relatively expendable by experienced landlords are mattresses. Mattresses you might have inside the rental go through regular wear-and-tear much faster than the bed structure itself. Your tenant’s quality of life depends on the possibility of having a good night’s sleep.
So, be sure to check from time to time if the mattress provides proper back support. A good mattress can last up to 7-8 years, but if you switch between tenants frequently, it is best to change it every five years.
Scratched or damaged non-stick cookware may compromise the tenants’ health by releasing toxic substances into the food. Hence, update the pots and pans at least once every 3-5 years.
Upgrade furniture and appliances at least once in 10 years
Remember that the furniture update periods we mention here are more guidelines than strict rules. So, if your current tenants have kids or pets, the quality of the furniture might diminish faster than usual.
In our experience, office chairs, armchairs, beds, and most appliances should be updated at least once every ten years. However, if the furniture is only damaged on the surface and the structure holds just fine, you can reupholster the piece rather than buy a new one. Yet, keep in mind that the upholstering costs can sometimes exceed the price of your IKEA sofa.
In some cases, the incentive to invest in a new appliance or piece of furniture will be more cosmetic than practical. So, new tenants like to see that the rental is being updated, even though realistically, your old fridge may work just fine. If you need help with moving in new furniture into your rental, be sure to hire pros from the area to give you a hand. A professional moving crew will be able to finish the transportation within a day, which is extremely helpful if you have new tenants coming in soon.
Carpeting and flooring
The lifespan of your carpets also depends on their quality. If you invest in low-grade carpeting, it can rarely last more than five years. Rugs that are slightly more expensive should last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. However, if you buy top-notch carpeting and maintain it well, you can keep calm for 15-25 years!
Just make sure you do not fall into the trap of assessing your carpeting through the price tag. So, if you notice spills, stains, or damages at the end of a tenancy, fix the problem immediately. You can designate a part of the tenant’s deposit for deep cleaning, repair, or replacing the carpet if needed. Also, it makes sense to take quality photos of the property prior to the new tenant’s arrival.
As for bathroom and kitchen floors and walls, you may want to explore the possibility of investing in quality tiles and non-scratch surfaces.
It is best if you do not wait for the furniture piece to wear out completely
If the furniture is left unchecked for too long, you might be setting the ground for complaints or unforeseen expenses. It is better to nip these kinds of issues in the bud.
So, instead of being forced to splurge on a new bed if the old one goes bust unexpectedly, a conscientious landlord will do their best not to inconvenience their tenants (and their budget) by always making sure that the furniture is in good condition. In other words, buy new furniture before the old one wears out completely.
In addition, remember that replacing one aged or damaged furniture piece at a time is much more budget-friendly than having to replace the entire furnishing in your rental all at once. So, as much as you hate the idea of wasting time and money on buying new furniture too often, do not postpone changing worn-out furniture. Otherwise, you just might be setting yourself up for more than what you can manage – a complete rental remodel.
All in all, we hope this landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture has helped you devise a tenable furnishing plan for your rental.
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Article courtesy of: Betty White