Should You Allow Tenants To Make Home Improvements?


As a landlord, it is essential to have the tools and resources that will help you stay organized and maintain an organizational structure for your investment properties. Among other things, a software program, like Turbo Tenant will allow you to track and manage all maintenance requests and the progress on maintenance projects.

Should You Allow Tenants To Make Home Improvements

When it comes to property maintenance, you want to maintain quality places for people to live, but you still need to be mindful of saving money to ensure profits. This creates a grey area for many landlords when tenants want to make their home improvements.

On the one hand, it may add value to your property and encourage a tenant to stay long-term without having to invest your money; however, on the other, it may cause damage and problems that you are then stuck dealing with to get the property back to rent-ready status.

While allowing a tenant to make improvements to your property can be a tricky situation and decision, some definite pros and cons need to be considered.  Of course, the final decision will be dependent on a variety of factors, such as the type of rental unit, the number of rental units you have, the kind of improvement they want to make, and the relationship you have with that tenant.

The type of dwelling

If the tenant is living in a single-family home or duplex, the potential benefit, based on cost analysis, for home improvements is greater. You may consider it depending on the types of improvements they want to make.

However, if the tenant is living in a complex or apartment building, it may not be a good idea to allow them to make improvements to their dwelling. This is because, any work they do will have a high potential of impacting the apartments around them. Even minor enhancements can disrupt their neighbors. Additionally, with everyone living so close together, it won’t be a secret that one tenant was allowed to make changes, which may open you up to more tenants wanting to make changes.

Number of rental units

The larger your company, the more likely you are to need to keep all the rules streamlined and uniform across the board. Allowing tenants to undertake home improvement projects can quickly get out of hand, and, if you have multiple tenants operating on multiple levels, you may easily lose track of what is happening at your properties. On the other hand, if you only own a handful of properties you are directly involved with, you may be more open to the idea.

Needs – or wants – improvement

If your tenant wants to paint their apartment or, say, install shelving in closets, you may want to consider their request, as it is significantly more reasonable than wanting, for example, to knock out a wall and increase the size of a living room. If a tenant requests to improve, it may be a good idea to go to the property to meet with them to clearly understand their vision and request.

Relationships matter

If the tenant making the request has only been living there for three months, you may want to hold off on any potential improvement approvals. In such a short amount of time, you do not know yet what kind of tenant they are going to be or if they are going to stay long-term, and you don’t want tenants making drastic changes to the apartments and then moving out, ultimately costing you time and money to return the unit to its rentable, original state.

However, if the tenant making the request has been living in your property for a couple of years, this may be worth consideration, especially if you like their style and design taste!

Bottom line, if it is tool time and you decide to allow tenants to make home improvements, those projects can be tracked with Turbo Tenant to ensure accuracy, cost efficiency, and full accountability.