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Landlords may find it challenging to renovate rental buildings. Learn how to improve your home while keeping your tenants satisfied.

What you will discover:

How do I decide which improvements to do first?
Can I improve my house while it is rented out?
When do I need a permit to renovate my home?
What should I keep in mind while discussing home improvements with contractors?

It might be difficult to renovate rental buildings. Renovations often need permits, and if the property being renovated is inhabited, there may be state or municipal regulatory requirements. This article will explain what you should think about before beginning renovations, how to get the most out of your investment, and how to contract and satisfy the essential legal criteria for your project.

How do I decide which improvements to do first?

If you are planning a significant renovation of your home and have a large list of tasks and objectives, you may be wondering where to begin.

As a general guideline, you should examine which improvements will have the most influence on the property’s value, taking into account how much you may realistically raise the rent. However, you may want to start by repairing anything that is in desperate need of repair, such as leaking faucets or broken appliances. These issues are often the topic of tenant complaints or Maintenance Requests, and they frequently take precedence.

Consider the following questions as you choose which projects to undertake first, presuming you have previously addressed pressing needs:

What is the market worth of your home?
What is your monthly rent?
What does your rival charge for rent? This can help you estimate how much, if any, rent increase you can make while staying competitive.
What is the size of your remodeling budget?
What is the worth of your house after renovation?

The answers to these questions may provide you with an excellent notion of what you are dealing with. Then, prioritize renovations that will raise the value of your home or boost the rent you can charge. These projects usually involve the following components:

Simple repairs and routine maintenance. Depending on your skill level, this may just be a time investment.
Bathrooms and kitchens. Kitchens and bathrooms that have been updated or refurbished often deliver the highest ROI in terms of both property value and tenant happiness.
Appliances. New appliances might occasionally save you money if your old ones need regular maintenance or use a lot of energy.
Paint. While it might be time-consuming, a new coat of paint can drastically improve the appearance of a rental home.
The curb appeal. Simple external enhancements such as pressure washing the siding, planting planter boxes, and other little changes may make your house stand out.

Can I improve my house while it is rented out?

You may remodel occupied property, but you must offer sufficient notice and make additional modifications as needed. These regulations vary by state and are influenced by the kind of renovations and other factors.

Some improvements may create annoyance, but they may be completed with renters present. You might offer a rent reduction or relocate them to another property if one is available. Other suggestions include:

Be open and honest with your renters about the extent of your renovations, timescales, and any problems that may emerge.
If possible, try to reach an agreement. For example, if the washing facilities would be temporarily unavailable, you might offer a cheaper rent as a concession via a Lease Amendment.
If you need to enter their apartment, always give a Landlord’s Notice to Enter.
Keep tenants updated on the status of the refurbishment, including any noteworthy changes.
Prepare to pay for any harm or loss caused by remodeling work.

Even if you have great aspirations for renovating an occupied rental property, your renters have the right to deny your request and continue to live in their house for the life of the Lease Agreement. If you want to perform improvements that require the tenants to temporarily vacate and they refuse, you may not be allowed to just remove them while their lease is still active.

Alternatives to issuing an Eviction Notice or waiting until their lease expires include proposing to relocate them to another property and assisting them with relocation fees if they agree to terminate the lease early

When do I need a permit to renovate my home?

Although permits are often necessary whether you are remodeling your own home or a rental property, the licensing procedure for rental homes is generally more severe. Depending on local and state restrictions, this may entail extra stages and inspections.

If you are knowledgeable enough to manage the procedure on your own, you may opt to apply for permissions on your own. Otherwise, you may want to consider hiring a seasoned general contractor or construction management firm. They will know which permissions are required and will keep you up to date on the status of your project.

Permits may vary depending on state and municipal rules, but these are some of the most frequent permitting needs for large rental property renovations:

Heating and cooling.
Building or construction.

What should I keep in mind while discussing home improvements with contractors?

Before meeting with contractors and getting bids, conduct your own research to obtain an idea of how much the job would cost, how long it might take, and what issues might develop.

Consider receiving quotations from at least three contractors for any particular remodeling task after completing your study. Also, do some research on the contractors you are thinking about employing. Remember that the cheapest quotation is not always the best offer. You may wish to examine the costs of supplies and labor in each contractor’s estimate. If they are a touch pricey in comparison to other contractors, you might use that as leverage while negotiating the sale.

Here are some strategies for bargaining:

Wait until contractors are less busy, which may be during down seasons.
Offer to buy materials for yourself. Contractors often get discounts, but they may also charge markups.
Make it plain to a contractor that you are receiving quotations from other contractors.
Develop a relationship with the contractors. Based on your findings, pose questions.
If you do not like the terms or do not get along with the contractor, be prepared to walk away.

When the improvements are finished, you may wish to charge a higher rent for the renovated property. While it may be tough to persuade current renters to pay more rent, you may send them a Rent Increase Letter alerting them that the rate will be increased upon lease renewal. It is advisable to give them plenty of advance notice.


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