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Landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture

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. Mattresses 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. Cookware 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.  Meta description: Need guidance when it comes to the lifespan of furniture in your rental? We are here to explain when you need to buy new furniture. Article courtesy of: Betty White Photos used: …

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How to attract long-term tenants

If you want to rent out an apartment, or any property in general, the most important thing is finding the right tenants. And this does not simply refer to someone willing to pay the most money! You want to be able to trust the people living within your walls. And you want to form a long-term relationship with them. Because that way, you know your tenants well and can ensure no sudden issues, misbehavior, or property damage would occur. However, it is not always easy to form such a relationship. You need to balance your own needs with those of your tenants and plan carefully for the future. To help you do this, we have written this guide on how to attract long-term tenants. Offer good amenities Amenities are one of the most important draws for tenants. People are a lot more likely to rent from you if they are assured of having good conditions. Included in this are quality appliances, parking, air conditioning, stable and fast internet, and more. The most necessary amenities right now, interestingly enough, are those that allow a comfortable work-from-home experience. There are, of course, concerns about dealing with difficult tenants. Many landlords are afraid that providing better amenities would only result in higher losses when those amenities are damaged or ruined entirely. However, if you provide them, you would both be more likely to find good long-term tenants and discourage bad ones from damaging what benefits them. Keep your property in good condition Upkeep is essential. You cannot assume that you can set everything up and never bother to renovate or update your property. A key component needed to get along well in a landlord/tenant relationship is support and understanding. And you need to show them through continuing to care about your property. Organize occasional minor renovations. Replace appliances when they break down or start to develop issues. Check in occasionally with your tenants to see if they need any repairs done. Of course, you do not need to take this to an excessive level and start losing money. Some tenants will do the repairs and upkeep themselves. However, they sometimes do not have the resources and means to do it on their own. And the support of their landlord will go a long way toward convincing them to keep renewing their lease. Negotiate on the rules and policies The rules of your property and your stance on certain topics are one of the main issues to address before new tenants move in. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to make how you feel about pets very clear. A lot of tenant-landlord conflicts happens because of this one topic. And many landlords have found themselves in shock over finding out their tenants own a pet without bothering to inform them. Additional issues you should discuss regard the remodeling, renovations, and similar things you are willing to let your tenants do on their own. If your property is furnished already, you should also make it clear whether you are okay with your tenants replacing some of the furniture or using exclusively their own. Charge a reasonable price and avoid sudden rent increases This is one of the best ways to build a better relationship with your tenants. It is only natural that you want to earn money from your property. That is why you are renting it out in the first place! However, you must remember to keep the price affordable and check whether you are raising it significantly over or under other rentals in your neighborhood. It is beneficial to coordinate with other landlords, just so none of you run into awkward situations. In addition, it is only natural that your tenants would appreciate a timely warning if you decide to increase their rent. Typically speaking, you want to inform them at least one or two months in advance. This way, they have time to plan their budgets or even move out if they decide they cannot afford it. Offer incentives If you are determined to hang onto your tenants, you might want to offer them incentives to stay. Renegotiate your property policies. Offer them a lower rent. Or even offer a flat rate for the price of their utilities. Of course, doing so might cut into your profit margins a little. And you might not like the idea of allowing pets onto your property. However, if you are confident that your current tenants are good people who treat your property with care and respect, it is probably worth it. Nightmarish tenants who ruin properties are surprisingly rare. But so are tenants who do their best to take good care of them! Show proper respect and support This can be both easy and difficult. The support part is relatively simple. You need to do what is expected from you as a landlord: organize the repairs and similar. However, ‘respect’ can be challenging to put into words. The simplest way to put it is: Do not hover. Some landlords feel the need to constantly check on their tenants, to the point of showing up unannounced at their door for surprise inspections. Tenants have their own lives and timetables, which means this behavior is disrespectful and shows an utter lack of trust. Such behavior is likely to quickly drive your tenants away, no matter how good the renting conditions and price are. Final Words The topic of how to attract long-term tenants can be an exhaustive one. However, we can sum things up by saying that you just need to treat your tenants the way you would want to be treated. Offer them understanding and support. Do not overstep boundaries in your desire to assure the safety of your property. And do not spring sudden rent changes on them. If you follow this advice, you will be just fine! Article courtesy of: Betty White Pictures used: …

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