Spring Cleaning: Spruce Up Your Rental Without Breaking the Bank

If you live in Boston and have been buried under 50 inches of snow, it may not feel like spring yet — but the groundhog notwithstanding — spring is right around the corner.

That means it is time to spruce up your rental properties without breaking the bank.

We’ve compiled a few tips that we believe will help attract new tenants to vacant properties or encourage current tenants to extend their lease.

  1. Once that snow is gone, apply pre-emergent to lawns to discourage weed growth and apply fertilizer to give your landscape a head start toward a vigorous and healthy lawn.
  2. Paint the front door and add new door hardware. This is an inexpensive way to make your rental property look appealing.
  3. Plant some colorful flowers out front and don’t forget to add mulch. If you don’t have a landscaped area where you can plant, then buy a nice ceramic pot for the front entrance and fill it with greenery and flowers.
  4. Inside, repair drywall cracks and patch the paint where needed. Consider repainting an entire room or even several rooms for a fresh look.
  5. Provide storage. Add shelving to the garage, pantry, laundry room and bathrooms. Install organizers to bedroom closets. Closet organizers can be an inexpensive but highly appreciated perk for your tenants. Consider adding an outdoor shed if your tenants need a place to store bicycles, toys or lawn equipment.
  6. Do you have broken, ugly or outdated blinds? You might want to do away with them entirely. One option is to replace them with curtains and stylish curtain rods. Or you might consider switching from blinds with strings (dangerous around young children) to cordless cellular shades, which have a more modern feel and are inexpensive.
  7. Paint or refinish the kitchen cabinets and replace the cabinet hardware if the cabinets are more than 15 years old. Painting is far cheaper than all-out cabinet replacement and you’ll be surprised at how you can get an updated look with little cost. (Pinterest is a great source for ideas.)
  8. Have carpet in your rental? Clean it.
  9. Replace outdated fixtures. This might involve replacing all of those shiny brass doorknobs with a new finish that is in style such as oiled bronze or brushed nickel. Or it could involve replacing light fixtures in the main living area or a ceiling fan or two to provide an updated feel.
  10. Don’t forget the backyard. Make sure it is neat and tidy. Trim trees and shrubs, and repair and stain the fence if needed. Consider adding amenities to a back porch such as a brightly painted pair of Adirondack chairs.

The ideas for sprucing up your rentals are virtually endless, and the good news is there are plenty of options that don’t cost a lot of money. So, spruce up your rentals this spring and show your tenants that you appreciate them and your property. You want them to live in a rental that they are proud to call their home.

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