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 tenant’s 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.
Vinyl plank flooring is a first choice of many landlords, often for bathrooms, kitchens, and often now the entire unit. The click together version is fairly inexpensive and easy to install. Some Landlords prefer commercial-grade glue-down tiles over the less-costly home variety because they hold up better and it’s easier to replace just one tile.
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, it’s 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 it’s a rental unit. Still, tenants find ways to scratch and gouge the floors. You can always have tenants sign an addendum to their Rental 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 handling 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. You can also save money by purchasing second-hand yet higher quality appliances. Check online listing for really good deals.