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Recommended Renovations for Rental Properties

Whether you're renovating your rental property to get a higher rent, or your property is in dire need of repair, here are some tips on what type of flooring, paint and appliances to use.

Flooring

Every Landlord has their own opinion on what type of flooring is best, but the one thing that most Landlords agree on is that carpet, while it can be the most economical choice, will often give you the most headaches. Why? Carpet stains and odors are notoriously difficult to remove.  A tenantís pet, cigarette smoke and food odors will be absorbed into carpets and padding and will permeate the air in the rental unit, as well as the sub-flooring below. 

Individual adhesive-backed vinyl tiles are a first choice of many Landlords, often for bathrooms, kitchens, and sometimes even the entire unit. They are inexpensive, easy to install and easy to replace.  Some Landlords prefer commercial-grade tiles over the less-costly home variety because they hold up better.

Hardwoods floors are a huge hit with Tenants.  They look great and add value to your rental property.  If you do have hardwood floors, make sure you advertise that fact!  But what about caring for them?  For homes that are lived in for years, itís not as big an issue as it is for rental units that might have furniture moved in and out every 12 months. Some floor refinishers will recommend a harder topcoat if you inform them itís a rental unit. Still, Tenants find ways to scratch and gouge the floors. You can always have Tenants sign an addendum to their Tenancy Agreement stating they will use floor protectors under their furniture.

Laminate flooring is popular in many homes.  It's durable and resistant to scuffs and scratching, but is no good at handing spilled water. Laminate floors can't be mopped with wet mops like tile or linoleum, they must only be damp mopped.  Any excess liquid on the floor (too wet of a mop, spilled drink, plumbing problem, etc.) means a warped and ruined floor.  If you decide to install laminate flooring, just be careful where you place it. It's definitely NOT recommended for kitchen or bathroom flooring.

Paint

Prior to painting, wipe any grease off the walls and patch up scratches, dents or holes. Choose a one-colour, light and neutral theme for the entire home and in every rental property. In doing so, you can use the same paint in any unit, at any time, over and over again. This makes repairs and touch-ups very simple to accomplish and not having to store and lug around various colours of paint for sprucing up rental properties is a major plus.  Use eggshell or semi-gloss sheen on the walls and ceilings because it allows for easy wash up, as opposed to trying to wash off something on a wall painted with a flat sheen.

Appliances

Make sure to purchase newer appliances, but do not get top of the line or complicated appliances. Go for the cheaper middle of the line basic appliances. They are much easier to operate, and have less features to break. Also, repair costs will be cheaper in the long run if the appliances are not complicated by many types of features that may need repair later on. 

 

Reno Tips

► Use neutral and soft colours

► Having long-term Tenants is always easier on paint and flooring.

► Save money by purchasing used yet higher quality appliances. Check online classifieds such as Kijiji for really good deals.

► Lay a piece of linoleum in cupboards under kitchen and bathroom sinks.  It will protect the cupboard from stains and water damage.

What Does The Law Say About Renovating a Tenanted Property?

Under the BC Residential Tenancy Act, you can give your Tenant a Two Month Notice to End Tenancy for Landlord's Use of Property.  Please note that your Tenant can dispute this notice if they feel you are unfairly evicting them. 

In addition, you must pay your Tenant an amount equal to one monthís rent.  And if you do not take steps toward the purpose for which the Notice to End Tenancy was given for at least 6 months after the effective date of the Notice, you may end up paying the Tenant an additional amount equal to double the monthly rent.  For more information, read the BC Residential Tenancy Guide. 

Financial Programs for Renovations

CMHC Rental RRAP   

Financial assistance for mandatory repairs to self-contained units occupied by low-income tenants.

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Home Adaptations for Seniors    

Financial assistance for minor home adaptations to help low-income seniors.

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

 

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