Rental Property Upgrades to Set Your Property Apart from the Competition



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
August 30, 2023

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Rental Property Upgrades to Set Your Property Apart from the Competition

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Investing in strategic renovations for your rental property can enhance its appeal to potential tenants. It provides existing tenants a more delightful experience and ultimately allows you to command a higher rental rate for the property.

Beyond the immediate boost in rental income, these well-thought-out renovations can also positively impact the long-term value of your investment property. Whether you plan to hold onto the property for years or consider selling it in the future, these regular improvements can significantly contribute to securing a higher sale price.

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Notably, rental properties that are well-maintained and exude a high standard are in high demand among tenants, making it remarkably easier for landlords to find reliable occupants and reducing the risk of prolonged vacancies.

When your rental property boasts a modern and well-kept appearance intelligently designed to optimise space usage, it speaks volumes about you as a landlord. By actively caring for your property and making necessary renovations to enhance its overall quality, you demonstrate genuine concern for the property's condition and the comfort of your tenants. This dedication can significantly enhance your reputation as a landlord and foster stronger, more positive relationships, increasing tenant satisfaction and loyalty.

Landlords Can Brighten Up Their Rental with Beautiful Lighting

Creating a home that reflects your unique style and personality has become more accessible than ever, even in rental properties. However, adhering to the rules set by your landlord to maintain the property's condition can pose challenges when adding a personal touch. But fear not, as with a dash of creativity, you can work wonders with rental lighting.

Your new rental home can be styled with simple additions like ceiling lights and table lamps in the living room. Consider your landlord, but don't sacrifice your style. Find the look you want with a little research.

Moving on to the bedroom, consider a beautiful bedroom set with matching table lamps to create a cosy and personalised space.

Of course, some barriers will always be overcome when decorating a rental property. However, worry not, as we've done the research for you and have all the answers you seek. So sit back, relax, and explore ways to unpack your new rental decor.

Let's address some common barriers faced when decorating a rental property:

  • Unable to Add a Personal Touch: Often, restrictions might limit your ability to personalise the space. However, there are clever ways to add personal elements without violating rules.
  • Reluctance to Buy Large Items: It's understandable not to invest in large furniture that might be challenging to transport when you move out. We'll share alternatives that won't weigh you down.
  • Difficulty Moving Furniture: Transporting bulky furniture, especially to higher floors, can take time and effort. 
  • Avoiding Excessive Modifications: If you're hesitant about making changes you'll have to undo later, we have suggestions for reversible modifications that won't leave a trace.

Here are a couple of lighting extras to consider:

Property upgrades: Landlords Can Brighten Up Their Rental with Beautiful Lighting


Installing dimmers is an excellent lighting upgrade that gives your tenants greater control over the ambience and mood of each room. Dimmers allow them to adjust the brightness of the lights according to their preferences, whether they want a soft and cosy atmosphere for relaxation or a brighter setting for reading or working. Dimmers are relatively easy to install, but hiring a professional electrician is best to ensure safe installation if you're not confident in electrical work.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Using energy-efficient lighting is a wise decision for the environment and your wallet. LED bulbs are a great example of energy-efficient lighting, using about 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. By switching to LED bulbs in your rental property, you can reduce energy use and save money on utility costs for you and your tenants. LED bulbs also last longer and need replacing less often, making them a cost-effective choice.

Painting a Rental Property Can Generate a High Return on Investment

If you're seeking a simple yet effective rental property upgrade to attract tenants effortlessly, all you need is a paintbrush! The power of a fresh coat of paint can yield one of the highest returns on investment. It has the remarkable ability to metamorphose a tired-looking property into an irresistible rental opportunity. We recommend using neutral colours, which have proven universally appealing for optimal results.

One winning combination we've discovered is painting the walls in a soothing grey shade with crisp white trim. This elegant pairing can elevate the overall aesthetic and create a modern and inviting atmosphere. Alternatively, you can't go wrong with alluring beige walls, which exude warmth and complement various interior styles.

Once you've identified a splendid colour scheme, consider adopting it as a signature choice for all your rental properties. Doing so establishes a consistent and recognisable look across your portfolio, enhancing your brand identity as a reliable and thoughtful landlord.

Register your local shop's specific paint brand and colour for added convenience. Your workers can find the right paint easily, so they won't mix up the colours. When you use nice colours to paint your rental property, it will look really nice, and people will want to live there.

Save Money as a Landlord by Installing Low-Flow Water Features

Upgrading to low-flow toilets can save a lot of water in a rental property, especially for families with many members. It's a simple change that can make a big difference. For example, a family of four can save up to 20,000 gallons of water annually. Plus, there are other benefits to saving water. You can multiply these savings by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets throughout the property.

Regarding faucets, it's essential to monitor their condition, especially older ones. Leaky faucets not only waste water but can also lead to unsightly rust stains and even promote mould growth. This latter concern is particularly critical, as mould can pose health risks, especially for tenants with compromised immune systems.

To ensure your renters are healthy and happy and your building looks nice, using water-saving fixtures and fixing any leaky faucets immediately is a good idea. This will help save water and prevent mould from growing, which can harm people's health.

Increase Your Rental’s Energy Efficiency by Upgrading to New Windows

Upgrading your rental property's windows can be smart, offering energy efficiency and enhanced aesthetic appeal. Old or low-quality windows can lead to higher utility bills for you or your tenants. During the winter, such windows allow cold drafts to seep in, leading to heat loss and frequent maintenance of the heater, significantly increasing utility costs. Similarly, in the summer, inefficient windows can make keeping the indoor temperature cool challenging, leading to higher air conditioning expenses.

Property upgrades: Increase Your Rental’s Energy Efficiency by Upgrading to New Windows

Replacing old windows with energy-efficient options like double-pane windows can yield multiple benefits. Not only will your rental become more energy-efficient, but the improved insulation provided by double pane windows can also create a more comfortable living environment for your tenants. Additionally, double-pane windows have the added advantage of reducing noise infiltration, helping to create a peaceful and serene atmosphere inside the property.

To ensure you make the right decision regarding window replacement, it's crucial to observe certain signs indicating that it's time to upgrade:

  • Deteriorating Appearance: If your windows look worn and shabby, investing in new ones can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your rental property, potentially attracting more tenants.
  • Drafts: Feeling drafts near the windows clearly indicates poor insulation and an urgent need for replacement.
  • Difficulty Opening and Closing: If the windows are becoming increasingly challenging to operate, it's a strong indicator that they require an upgrade.
  • Water Leaks: Water leaks during rain suggest that the windows no longer function optimally and may need to be replaced.

New windows, especially when they are energy-efficient double-pane options, can be a compelling selling point to present to potential renters. These upgrades demonstrate your commitment to providing comfortable and efficient living space and can justify a rent increase, given the added benefits and value they bring to the property. 

Increase Your ROI by Renovating Your Rental Property’s Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is a focal point for many tenants, and the condition of the cabinets can significantly impact their perception of the rental property. Outdated, worn, or cheap-looking cabinets may deter potential tenants, while new and attractive cabinets can increase the overall rental value.

Upgrading your rental property with new cabinets is a worthwhile investment, and there are ways to make it more cost-effective. By consulting with your contractors, you may be able to access good deals from local wholesalers on cabinet purchases. This can help you obtain high-quality cabinets at a more affordable price, maximising the return on your investment.

If your rental already has solid wood cabinets, you can consider refinishing them rather than replacing them entirely. Refinishing can give the cabinets a fresh and updated look without the expense of purchasing new ones. Simply replacing the cabinet furnishings, such as handles and knobs, can also make a noticeable difference in the kitchen's appearance.

As a landlord, you must be mindful of your tax burden and explore legitimate ways to minimise it. Incorporating your rental property can offer various tax advantages that may not be available otherwise.

Upgrade from Carpet to Durable Flooring to Increase the Value of Your Rental

Switching from carpet to durable flooring can be a game-changer for landlords, offering various benefits that make your life easier and increase the value of your real estate investment. Here are some key discussion points to consider, highlighting why this rental upgrade is a top recommendation:

Property upgrades: Upgrade from Carpet to Durable Flooring to Increase the Value of Your Rental

Carpet vs Wood Flooring – Which One is a Smart Upgrade for Landlords?

While plush carpets can add a cosy and comfortable feel to a room, they have several downsides that make durable wood flooring a more practical and cost-effective choice for rental properties.

Now, there's no denying that a nice plush carpet can add a cosy and comfortable touch to any room. But, alas, it comes with its fair share of woes that outweigh the advantages. Oh, those pesky stains! A simple stroll with muddy shoes can turn your carpet-cushioned sanctuary into a cleaning nightmare. And don't even get me started on the dreaded red wine mishaps, especially on those neutral-coloured rugs. It's a disaster waiting to happen! If furry friends or mischievous felines roam the house, their occasional accidents might soak into the carpet and its padding, leaving a lingering reminder of their antics. Oh, those corner-tearing cats!

The cycle of carpet replacements after each tenant leaves is no walk in the park. It's a big hassle and a hefty expense that can add up pretty quickly.

But now, picture this: the grand entrance of durable wood flooring! With a wood floor, life suddenly becomes a breeze. Tracking in the dirt? No problem—just a simple wipe is all it takes to make it vanish. Spilled wine? No worries, my friend! A quick mop-up, and it's like it never happened. And the best part? Wood floors don't soak up a single drop, hold any unwanted odours, or give in to the playful shenanigans of pets pulling up the flooring.

Ah, life sounds so much easier with durable wood flooring, doesn't it? The practicality and ease of maintenance are simply unbeatable. Plus, the timeless elegance it brings to any space is truly captivating.

Installing hardwood flooring might seem like a splurge at first. But, in the long run, those frequent carpet replacements can stack up to an even greater expense. And here's a clever trick, keeping the carpet in lower traffic areas, such as bedrooms, can help you strike a balance and keep the cost of hardwood floor installation in check.

Carpets vs. durable wood flooring: wood wins for elegance and ease of maintenance.

Easy Laminate Flooring – A Less Expensive Alternative to Real Wood Floors

In some neighbourhoods, the rental market may not justify the substantial investment required for real wood flooring. Fortunately, a practical and cost-effective alternative still offers the aesthetic appeal of wood laminate flooring!

Laminate flooring provides the perfect solution for landlords seeking an affordable yet attractive option. With laminate flooring, you can achieve the look of real wood without some downsides. Real wood flooring can be expensive, making it a less viable choice for budget-conscious landlords. Moreover, it is susceptible to scratches and dents, which can diminish its pristine appearance over time. Moisture can also be a real enemy to real wood floors, causing damage that can be challenging and costly to repair.

In contrast, laminate floors offer many advantages, making them a popular rental choice. They are notably more budget-friendly, allowing you to achieve the desired wood-like look without breaking the bank. Laminate floors are impressively scratch-resistant, making them durable and capable of withstanding the wear and tear of rental properties.

Also, moisture resistance is a strong suit of laminate flooring, providing peace of mind and reducing the risk of damage due to spills or humidity. Should any damage occur, laminate floors are easy to repair by replacing sections as needed, ensuring a smooth and straightforward maintenance process.

Floor Heating – Is it Easy or Hard to Include as an Upgrade

Adding floor heating to your rental property remodel or upgrade is undoubtedly a thoughtful consideration, but weighing the associated costs and time investments is essential. Landlords install heated floors to attract tenants. They are energy efficient, easy to use, and provide comfort in cold weather.

Installing heated flooring can be manageable if you possess the necessary expertise or hire a professional to handle the installation. Adding heated floors to your rental property can increase its value and attract potential tenants. Although it requires more time and effort, the result is worth it. With this feature, your flooring will stand out among competitors and offer the comfort and luxury tenants seek. This can even lead to tenants being willing to pay more for the added benefits of energy efficiency and comfort.

Adding floor heating to your rental property can be a valuable investment. Not only does it enhance the overall appeal and comfort of the living space, but it also has the potential to justify higher monthly rent, allowing you to maximise your returns as a landlord.

Before proceeding, carefully assess the costs, time commitment, and potential benefits of installing heated floors. A well-informed decision will help you create an inviting and desirable living space for your tenants while elevating your rental property to new heights of sophistication and value.

Reduce Costs for You or Your Tenants by Upgrading to Energy-Star Certified Appliances

As a considerate landlord, upgrading to Energy-Star-certified appliances can be smart even if you're not directly responsible for paying your rental property's electric bill. These appliances offer several benefits, reducing your tenant's energy bills while maintaining optimal appliance performance. Energy-Star-certified appliances benefit both tenants and the environment, helping them save on monthly expenses. This thoughtful gesture can contribute to a positive tenant-landlord relationship and tenant satisfaction.

Property upgrades: Reduce Costs for You or Your Tenants by Upgrading to Energy-Star Certified Appliances

When you invest in Energy-Star-certified appliances, your tenants can save hundreds of dollars annually on energy costs. These appliances earn the Energy-Star certification by meeting strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy. Keep an eye out for the blue Energy-Star logo on your purchased appliances.

Besides energy savings, upgrading to Energy-Star certified appliances can also lead to fewer maintenance issues than older, less efficient appliances. These appliances' modern technology and energy-efficient design result in better performance and increased durability, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.

It's also worth exploring if you qualify for any tax breaks or incentives when using energy-efficient appliances. A professional tax advisor can guide you in understanding the potential tax benefits associated with such upgrades and suggest other property improvements that may help reduce your tax burden.

Attract Tenants with Eye-Catching Countertop Upgrades

Considering eye-catching kitchen countertops, granite is usually the first choice because of its elegance. However, landlords should be wise and think about the cost and rental market before investing in it. While granite is a fantastic choice for upgrading your rental property, some neighbourhoods may have more economical options.

A more budget-friendly alternative that still delivers a stunning look is Formica laminate countertops, designed to mimic the appearance of granite. These countertops offer a cost-effective solution while maintaining an attractive and upscale appearance in the kitchen. With Formica laminate countertops, you can attract tenants and potentially even increase your rental income as they create a visually appealing and inviting space.

Upgrading your old countertops with new Formica countertops brings several advantages. Firstly, they are significantly less expensive than granite, making them a practical choice for landlords seeking a balance between cost and visual impact. Also, Formica countertops are long-lasting and durable, ensuring they withstand the wear and tear of rental use for many years. They are heat resistant, making them suitable for kitchen activities, and they retain their stylish look over time.

Upgrade the Bathroom Vanity to Improve the Look of Your Rental

Upgrading your old bathroom vanity is a smart and straightforward improvement that can significantly affect the overall look and appeal of your rental property's bathroom.

A bathroom vanity, comprising a mirror, sink, countertop, and storage space, is a focal point in the bathroom. By replacing the outdated vanity with a new one, you can instantly transform the entire bathroom's appearance and create a more modern and stylish atmosphere.

An array of vanity styles, sizes, and colours is available, allowing you to select the perfect one that complements the overall aesthetic of your rental property. Whether you prefer a sleek and contemporary design or a more classic and traditional look, a vanity option suits every taste.

Not only does a new bathroom vanity enhance the visual appeal, but it also improves the bathroom's functionality. Modern vanities often come with additional storage options, making it easier for tenants to keep the bathroom organised and clutter-free.

As a relatively simple upgrade, replacing the bathroom vanity is a cost-effective way to give your rental property a fresh and inviting feel. Investing in this upgrade can increase tenant satisfaction and attract prospective renters with an updated and well-designed bathroom space.

So, if you want to make a noticeable impact with minimal effort, consider replacing your old bathroom vanity with a new and stylish one. The possibilities are endless, and with the right choice, you can create a bathroom that will leave a lasting impression on your tenants.

Improve Your Rental Property with Incredible Landscaping Upgrades

Landscaping upgrades can work wonders in enhancing the appeal and value of your rental property. Let's explore some fantastic ideas you can implement:

Property upgrades: Improve Your Rental Property with Incredible Landscaping Upgrades using Xeriscaping
Source: Home and Gardens

Save Money and Time by Upgrading to an Xeriscape Outdoor Area

Landscaping can be time-consuming for some tenants, and that's why xeriscaping is an excellent solution to make their lives easier while maintaining an attractive outdoor space. Xeriscaping involves using native plants that are well-suited to the local climate, are naturally drought-resistant, and require minimal maintenance.

For properties located in regions with limited rainfall, xeriscaping with natural stone and succulent plants is a great idea. These choices add beauty to the landscape and help conserve water and reduce the need for frequent watering.

On the other hand, if your rental property is situated in an area with heavier rainfall, planting ivy on slopes can be beneficial. Ivy helps prevent water damage and soil erosion, eliminating the need for tenants to mow the lawn frequently.

By xeriscaping, you reduce the burden on tenants and save on landscaping costs. Redoing your lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping may require an initial investment. Still, it is a cost-effective choice in the long term because you won't need to hire regular landscaping services. In certain counties, landlords can receive rebates for replacing water-inefficient grass with drought-tolerant landscaping, making it a smart financial decision.

Install a Sprinkler System to Maintain Your Rental Property Lawn

If xeriscaping isn't your preferred landscaping option, installing a sprinkler system is an excellent alternative to ensure that your rental property's front and back yards are well-maintained and lush throughout the year.

Requesting tenants to water the lawn weekly may seem fair, but it is important to consider that not all tenants may be capable or willing to fulfil this task. One alternative solution is to hire a gardener, but this can be expensive and increase the overall maintenance costs of the property. Watering the lawn can also be time-consuming and impractical, especially if managing multiple properties.

This is where a sprinkler system truly shines. It provides a reliable and automated solution to water the lawn on a set schedule, ensuring that the grass and plants receive adequate moisture without relying on the tenant's availability or your time. A sprinkler system offers convenience and efficiency, taking care of lawn maintenance with minimal effort.

With a sprinkler system in place, you can rest assured that your rental property's outdoor areas will remain healthy and appealing, creating a positive impression on potential tenants and contributing to the property's overall curb appeal.

Update with Potted Greenery for Great Curb Appeal

Adding beautiful potted greenery or flowers to your front yard, porch, or backyard can significantly impact your rental property's curb appeal and create a wonderful first impression for potential tenants.

Exterior upgrades like this are relatively inexpensive yet highly effective in transforming the look and feel of outdoor spaces. The addition of vibrant and well-maintained potted plants instantly adds charm, warmth, and character to the property, making it more inviting and appealing to prospective renters.

Property upgrades: Update with Potted Greenery for Great Curb Appeal

Seeing colourful flowers or lush greenery at the entrance or on the porch creates a welcoming atmosphere, giving tenants a positive and memorable experience right from the start. It sets a pleasant tone for their visit and makes them envision the potential beauty of the living space.

Tenants often appreciate and value these decorative touches as they enhance the property's overall aesthetics and make it feel like a charming and delightful place to call home. It shows that you, as a landlord, care about maintaining an attractive living environment for them. Potted greenery and flowers offer versatility, allowing you to switch out the plants seasonally or according to changing trends.

Essential Considerations Before Renovating Your Rental Property

Before landlords start renovating their rental property, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a successful and profitable renovation process:

  1. Research and Planning

Conduct thorough research on the local rental market and property values to identify renovations that will add value to the property and appeal to prospective tenants. Plan the renovations carefully to ensure they align with your long-term goals for the property, whether it's increasing rental income or preparing for a potential future sale.

  1. Return on Investment

Focus on renovations that offer a high return on investment. Consider the preferences and needs of your target tenants when deciding which renovations will make the most difference to their quality of life. Tailor the renovations to suit the specific needs of your tenant demographic.

  1. Budgeting

Set a realistic budget for the renovation project and stick to it. Avoid getting carried away with unnecessary expenses. A well-planned and controlled budget will help ensure the renovation remains financially viable and profitable.

  1. Tenant Considerations

If the property is currently occupied, consider the impact of the renovations on the tenants. Some renovations may be disruptive and require careful planning to minimise inconvenience to tenants. Schedule renovations during vacant periods or coordinate with tenants to ensure their comfort if necessary.

  1. Optimal Timing

Plan renovations strategically to maximise efficiency and minimise financial losses. Complete the work in the shortest possible timeframe, especially if tenants are temporarily relocated during extensive renovations.

  1. Compliance and Permits

Ensure that all renovations comply with local building codes and regulations. Obtain any necessary permits before starting the work to avoid legal issues and delays.

  1. Quality Materials and Workmanship

Invest in high-quality materials and professional workmanship to ensure the renovations are durable and stand the test of time. Well-executed renovations will increase the property's long-term value and attract satisfied tenants.

  1. Property Maintenance

Along with renovations, prioritise ongoing maintenance to keep the rental property in good condition. Regular maintenance ensures tenant satisfaction and helps prevent larger and more costly repairs down the line.

Houst - Elevating Rental Management with Excellence

Houst is a company that manages rentals and is highly regarded in the industry. They provide excellent services to both property owners and tenants. They take care of everything from screening tenants to maintenance and rent collection. Houst uses advanced technology to inform property owners in real-time and maintain transparency throughout the management process. They offer personalised and professional management services. Houst's commitment to compliance and legal expertise ensures that properties under their management always follow local regulations. Their dedication to continuous growth and innovation makes them a trusted name in the rental management space. For property owners seeking a seamless and stress-free experience and tenants looking for top-notch services, Houst is the go-to choice for elevated rental management.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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