When Renovating a Rental Property, Choose Finishes WiselyIf you own a Guelph rental property that needs some repairs or renovations, be sure not to fall into the trap of overspending. With tenant turnover, higher foot traffic and the occasional mishap, your rental property will likely be subject to a fair bit of wear and tear. As a result, it makes sense to ensure that your reno budget and the finishes you choose reflect those realities.

Here are some rules to live by:

  1. Remember it’s a tenanted property. Hopefully, you are a responsible landlord and you’re making a concerted effort to maintain good tenant relations. Still, even if you’re the world’s most beloved landlord, your rental property is likely to take a little abuse now and then. Pride of ownership is, obviously, something that coincides with home ownership. Expect tenants to respect your property, yes – but if you assume that your tenants will be treating your investment with kid gloves, you’re likely to be disappointed.
  2. With that in mind, think in terms of durability. Select finishes that can withstand the tests of time, perhaps a house party now and then, pets, and other day-to-day wear and tear that will be more or less outside of your control. Finishes that are highly durable and easy to clean (when your tenants vacate, as they eventually will) are good choices.
  3. Straight-up repairs aside, if you are doing a renovation to add value to your home, focus on areas and amenities that will appeal to tenants and add value to the home. Putting an extra bedroom and bathroom in a basement? Great idea! Paving the driveway with interlocking brick, just because you like the look of it? Not so much.
  4. Don’t add features that could increase your liability or home insurance premiums, such as a swimming pool or a hot tub.
  5. Don’t overspend. Always avoid falling into the trap of over-renovating for the neighbourhood, whether you’re renovating your own home or a rental property investment. The only thing that ever results from over-spending on renovations is disappointment when, down the road, you’re ready to sell your tricked-out property and a real estate agent sits you down and gives you a hard-to-digest lesson in the concept of diminishing returns.
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