Five Interior Design Choices that dramatically affect the Tenant Purchase Decision/
1. Shades instead of Blinds
Believe it or not, the issue of using shades instead of blinds arises at night rather than during the day. Tenants want lots of light during the day time and will simply open the shade, but most tenants will prefer absolute darkness at night. As a quick refresher, blinds are a series of wooden or plastic tabs that open and close with the pull of a string. This devise still lets in a large degree of light at night. Meanwhile blinds are large sheets that block out the light almost completely.
Especially problematic on the first floor for many apartment complexes are the lights outside. Outdoor lights protect the community on the approach of the property, but they are also a real inconvenience when somebody is trying to get some sleep at night. Research shows that the presence of light at night directly prevents adequate sleep and has detrimental effects on mental and physical health. Nobody is going to stay at the property longer than a year if they are uncomfortable. Some tenants who are especially disturbed by the light will resolve to break some rules and attempt to obstruct the light themselves with any kind of large covering and a hammer and nail. That’s no good. Let’s give the tenant an adequate means to have a restful sleep so that they don’t feel forced to take those measures.
2. Laminate Wood Flooring instead of carpet
Tenants like wood flooring because they’re aesthetically pleasing and they’re easy to clean. Landlords don’t like wood flooring because when they do need to be replaced, it’s very expensive to do. As the wood ages, the floors will begin to creek and will disturb tenants in the unit below. From a pure cost perspective, laminate flooring is preferable to the landlord because it is both cheap to replace and easy to clean. However, laminate flooring usually doesn’t look good in a living room or a bedroom! That leaves the landlord with carpet, or carpet in most cases. The problem with carpet is that it gets dirty quickly and can contribute to the devaluation of the property. So the landlord has to continually pay to clean and/or replace the carpet.
The solution is laminate wood flooring. Most tenants like the appearance of laminate wood flooring. It takes repeated views of the floor to even notice that the floor is not actually wood. Meanwhile, it’s extremely cost effective. The tenant is happy with the appearance of the property and the landlord is happy with the budget. It’s a perfect solution. Make absolutely sure the laminate is installed properly or it will curl. This will not increase the value of the unit.
3. More Amenities instead of less
If you can save a tenant a trip, they’re likely willing to pay some extra rent for that convenience. Not every unit has a washer and dryer inside the unit, but having rented myself, boy it sure is a convenience when it does! Tenants may be willing to pay up to $700 more (per year) to have this convenience. It’s good for them and for you. Nobody likes having to drive to the Laundromat. Public laundry rooms also are inconvenient as traffic tends to go through there at the same times making it hard to get your clothes cleaned conveniently.
Dishwashers are another big convenience that not every unit has. Washing by hand is not the most sanitary way to clean dishes. Having a dishwasher is important to maintain healthy living and can make for a happy tenant.
4. Colored Walls instead of plain
White is the color of choice for most landlords as there are few who dislike white. It’s simply the absence of color. White isn’t anybody’s favorite either. It doesn’t help the property to stand out from the competition. Instead, you can ask the tenant what their color preference is and paint this color on one or two of the walls before the tenants resides there to bring more life to the unit. This is a cost effective way to make the unit feel like home for the tenant and to increase its perceived value.
5. More Lighting fixtures instead of less
Tenants who have come a long way to their new home probably don’t have too many lamps on them. Wall and ceiling fixtures help to light up the property the moment the tenant starts living on the property. It also can contribute to a more aesthetically pleasing home because there are less cords running along the wall. Finally light bulbs for permanent light fixtures are traditionally replaced by the landlord. This provides some additional convenience for the tenant.