Property Management Blog
It’s difficult to make a generalization about how often to paint the interior of a rental property. Typically the life expectancy of interior paint is noted by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) as 10 to 15 years.
Technically that may be so, but how realistic is that timespan? The fact is wear and tear can vary between tenants.
If you’ve wished for easier ways to manage painting and repainting your rental property, we’ve got a few questions for you to consider.
- What quality of paint are you using? Some paints fade more easily than others. Other products may not hold up well during the cleaning process. Even wiping down some paint products using a damp cloth can remove paint layers. Why use cheap paint if you want your property to look fresh without having to constantly repaint?
If you’re leasing to families, people with pets, or younger tenants, consider using a “tougher” paint product inside your rental properties. Paint that can hold up to “washing” and “scrubbing” are better choices if you know the tenant can’t help but be hard on the property.
- Do you know how long ago you painted the property? Keep track of the date and you’ll know exactly where you are in the paint lifecycle. A solid timeframe can help you decide whether to stretch a paint job with a touchup.
- Where’s your paint card with the details on the brand, color number, and finish? So many people stack half empty paint cans in a garage thinking they’ll remember the specifics of when, where, and how the paint was used. Instead of mulling over information from years ago (remember, you could go as long as 10 to 15 years without needing to paint), write it all down and put it with the other data about your property.
- Are you using a professional painter? DIY projects aside, using a licensed vendor who has experience working in rental properties may seem like a big expense, but it can payoff in the end. Develop a working relationship with a good professional painter, and you’ll have a reliable ally who can tell you what finishes can be painted over and what needs a fresh start. Professional painters know how to properly prepare surfaces so the paint lasts longer, and they’ll know the difference between a good quality paint product and those that are runny and cheap. InterNACHI mentions surface preparation and the quality of paint as the two most telling aspects of a paint product’s life expectancy.
- BONUS QUESTION - What color are you painting the interior of your rentals? Going with white may sound easy, but have you looked at the long, long list of white paint colors? Basic color schemes cycle in and out, so knowing the current popular paint scheme can be a good place to start. Currently grey palettes are favored. Finding a grey that works with both beige and grey upholstery can help potential tenants visualize their furniture and possessions in the space, and that could make renting the property a little easier.
To learn what shifts are happening in the home décor market, keep up with the latest builder’s magazines and home decorating publications. It’s also a good idea to visit new housing developments in your local area to see what styles and colors are being showcased in their model homes.
Use the same paint scheme in every rental home you own. It makes buying paint a simple process and takes away the extra work of choosing a different scheme for each home.
Whether you pay someone to handle your exterior upkeep or you love completing these required cleaning tasks on your own, keeping up with outdoor maintenance can make a big difference in the overall appearance and value of your property.
To get a head start on seasonal exterior home maintenance, put these five items on your to-do list:
- Clean outdoor surfaces. This includes decks, patios, and fences. Pressure or power washing is an efficient way to remove seasonal dirt and debris from the exterior areas of your property. Dirt that’s allowed to hang around too long can cause surfaces to deteriorate, discolor, and appear older and uncared for.
- Repair the driveway and sidewalks. Repairing potholes, cracks, and discolored concrete can improve the perceived value of a home. Whether you’re planning on selling your home in the coming months or you want to create a more welcoming exterior, outdoor surfaces are important to maintain. If installing a new driveway is more cost-effective, make sure it's sealed for longer wear. Resurfacing existing concrete is another option to consider.
- Update broken garage and entry doors. Sometime a fresh coat of paint is all that’s required. Updating the paint color can also be a good choice. However, if garage and entry doors are neglected, your home can take on a shabby, uninviting appearance. Replacing damaged doors can also make coming and going a more pleasant experience for the occupants of your home.
- Inspect and clean gutters. It’s common for leaves and trash to collect in gutters. Removing the grime can help prevent water from backing up and eventually causing damage to the structure of your home.
- Clean the yard. Check for areas around the exterior of your home where leaves, water, or other debris may be causing problems for your foundation or façade. When gutters are missing or aren’t maintained, the ground around your home can get waterlogged and create problems, including rotting and insect infestations. Collecting debris on a regular basis and redirecting water away from your home can put a stop to the destruction.
It’s important to stay on top of repairs and general wear and tear if you want to retain the value of your real estate investment. Waiting to tackle outdoor maintenance can significantly add to your repairs costs down the road.
It’s not just the home rental process that requires lots of documents. From applying for financial aid to securing a job to obtaining a bank loan, proof of who you are can be requested in many situations.
Keeping up with your personal documents can make these situations happen in an easier, faster manner. Here are some ways to make the application process happen smoothly:
Review your credit report. Don’t wait until someone else requests your credit report to discover a discrepancy. You have the right to obtain a FREE copy of your credit report each year from every credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union). To find out more about obtaining your FREE copy visit this website: www.annualcreditreport.com
Keep your employers information updated. It’s surprising how many people don’t know the correct phone number or name of the contact person who can verify their current employment. When your employer moves department locations from one building to another or hires new employees, it’s likely that the contact information has changed. Save time by verifying your HR information before applying.
Keep track of recent paystubs and other evidence of income. Whether you are self-employed or work for a small business or corporation, proof of income is necessary to established whether you have the means to actually pay the rent. Always keep paystubs and 1099s. An “Offer of Employment Letter” can assure a company that you have indeed been hired and will have a particular amount of money at your disposal. Tax returns and bank statements are another way of verifying income.
Hold on to rental or mortgage history records. You’ll be asked for these as proof of where you lived prior to applying for a home. These items also serve to verify your history as a good renter or homeowner. You will be asked to provide the name, address, telephone and fax number, and dates of tenancy for previous landlords for a particular number of years. At Tyson, we request this information no matter what country or state you resided in.
Make sure your ID is current. Obtaining an updated driver’s license or state ID card takes time. When you don’t have a current ID, you can’t apply for a property. Property management companies don’t usually hold an application when other applicants are available and have the proper identifying documents.
Check your criminal history records. To avoid losing your application fee, you’ll want find out what offenses are grounds for denial before you apply. At Tyson, we require each tenant on the lease to have no admissions of guilt or convictions for a list of crimes that include but are not limited to illegal drug possession, violent crimes and assaults, and domestic violence. Multiple offenses of these crimes regardless of timeframe are always grounds for denial.
Always keep copies of your court records and any proof of payment if applicable. Forgotten liens and judgments can keep you from qualifying for a home rental. You’ll need to provide proof that you paid judgments or had a lien released.
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- Melissa LaRose