Top 3 Things Tenants Look for in an Upper Marlboro Rental Property - Article Banner

Good tenants have a lot of choices when they’re deciding on an Upper Marlboro rental home. If you want to make your property competitive, you need to understand what they’re looking for in a home. 

Our experience in the local rental market has helped us to identify the top three things tenants want in their next unit. 

1. Amenities Such as In-Unit Laundry

No one likes waiting for a machine to be free when they have to wash their clothes. Communal laundry spaces often work just fine, but providing in-unit laundry is even better. 

Good tenants will be drawn to amenities such as an in-unit washer and dryer. When you provide space for private laundry facilities, you can charge more in rent and have an easier time attracting the best qualified tenants in Upper Marlboro. Look for affordable and efficient machines if you don’t have them already. 

Investing in these machines is a good idea. Not only do you provide a more competitive property for the best Upper Marlboro tenants, you also find yourself with a collection of assets that are yours to use as you see fit. Buying laundry machines for your investment properties allows you to move the machines from rental property to rental property if the need arises. 

While there will be some initial investment costs involved in buying the appliances, the improvement you’re making to your rental properties will be well worth the resources. You’re gaining equipment that you can expect to use for a decade or longer. And, you can probably negotiate a pretty good deal. When you buy in bulk, you can likely get a volume discount and earn some great deals from suppliers. 

Choose a price point and a machine model that makes sense. You’ll need to decide whether you want to spend more now for a higher-end machine that will last longer and attract better tenants or if you want to stick to economy models. Renters with in-unit machines respond especially well to energy-efficient appliances that will save them on utility costs. Sometimes space is an issue, and you’ll find the stackable machines are better for the properties you’re renting out. 

Other appliances you may want to have include dishwashers and microwave ovens that save counter space by being installed above the stove. Tenants love double sinks in the kitchens and the bathrooms. When you’re thinking about other amenities you can provide, consider the benefits of high-speed internet. Security systems are a growing demand for tenants. While you don’t have to provide the actual security, making your rental units adaptable to smart home technologies will help you earn more rent and attract great tenants. 

2. Pet-Friendly Upper Marlboro Rental Properties 

A lot of potential renters have pets. More than half of the tenant pool, actually. If you’re planning to rent out a home but you’re not allowing pets, you can expect a longer vacancy period. Tenants are looking for homes that will allow their furry family members. By welcoming pets into your rental property, you’re going to attract more tenants and earn more money. Here’s how. 

    • Pet-friendly homes have lower vacancy rates. A majority of renters in Upper Marlboro and the surrounding Washington DC metro area have at least one pet. If you decide you’re not going to allow pets, you’re eliminating a large section of the tenant pool. That’s going to lead to additional vacancy losses. You can’t afford that. Advertise that you’re willing to consider pets so that everyone looking for a home considers your property.
    • You can charge a pet fee before your tenants move in. A pet fee is non-refundable, and you can hold onto that money in case your tenant’s pet causes damage. That will give you a bit of financial security against the risk of allowing pets. It’s unlikely, however, that a well-screened tenant will move in with a pet that’s likely to damage your home. So, you’ll be able to keep the pet fee even after your tenant moves out. 
    • Pet-friendly properties also allow you to charge an additional sum every month in pet rent. Some pet rent is as much as $50 per pet. This extra rent should apply to all animals; the type of pet does not matter. Typically, people move in with a dog or a cat. But, if a child has a fish or a snail or a ferret, or anything that would qualify as a pet, there’s no reason not to charge that pet rent. Remember that even the smallest pet is dangerous to your property. If a fish tank is damaged and your property gets flooded, there’s a lot of potential for extra repairs.

A good pet policy will protect your investment property and tell tenants what you expect in terms of behavior, maintenance, and cleanliness. Establish limits and guidelines in your pet policy as well.

Maybe you want to have a maximum of one pet per property. Or, you can allow two pets; one dog and one cat or two dogs. Consider restricting the age of the pets. Maybe you’ll allow full-grown cats and dogs but not kittens and puppies. Many property owners will restrict dog breeds that are deemed dangerous. These are reasonable restrictions and they still allow you to earn more on your property.

3. Tenants Want Well-Maintained, Upgraded Rental Homes 

Tenants are also looking for homes that are well-maintained and upgraded. When you decide to list and market your property, make sure it’s move-in ready. You want everything clean and functional. All the kitchen appliances should match. If you’re willing to make some cost-effective updates and improvements, you’ll have an easier time attracting good tenants. 

Renters today have high expectations. They are looking for fresh paint, for example. If your Upper Marlboro investment property has scratched, faded, or chipping paint on any of the walls, do a complete painting job. It’s a mistake to simply touch up a spot or two. Tenants will easily notice that, and they won’t be impressed. Painting the entire wall will make it look modern, new, and clean. 

Floors are also an important part of attracting tenants to your rental home. While your carpet might have a lifespan of five to seven years, you don’t want to keep it that long. You’re likely steam cleaning it professionally between tenants, but when it starts to look worn or stained, pull it up and replace it. 

Even better than cleaning the carpet is replacing it with hard surface flooring. Tile or hardwoods are great options, but if you’re concerned with the price tag, consider a laminate wood surface or even plank vinyl. These floors will make a big difference in how your property shows and will allow you to charge a bit more.

While you’re looking for ways to attract good tenants with maintenance and updates, don’t forget your kitchen. Tenants are looking for space and storage. Instead of repairing old appliances, replace them with newer, energy-efficient models. Make small changes to hardware around the sinks. New drawer pulls are inexpensive and can provide an immediate boost to the way the kitchen looks.

Bathrooms are important to tenants, too. They should look clean and modern. Remove any old, worn, or stained showers and replace flooring that’s peeling or scratched. Installing new hardware like faucets and drawer knobs can give the space a tremendous makeover. 

Check the lighting in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Tenants will be looking for bright, well-lit spaces. 

Additional Tenant Requirements

asking for tenant requirementsThese are just the top three things that tenants are looking for when they’re ready to rent a home. They’re also going to want a good price. Make sure your rental value aligns with the current market conditions. If you price your property too low, you’re going to have a hard time catching up to market rents, and you’ll lose money every month. If you price the property too high, however, you’re likely to have a longer vacancy. Tenants have access to all the same information you do. They won’t over-pay for a property. 

Location is always important. If your property is well-located and close to shopping, grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, and public transportation, you’re likely going to attract tenants with more ease than a property that isn’t in a desirable area. Remember that tenants are looking for good schools, easy parking, and proximity to work and recreation. 

Tenants also want professional property management. They’re less likely to trust landlords who are renting out their own homes. They want professionals who can be counted on to quickly respond to any maintenance issues or other complaints. It benefits you to work with an Upper Marlboro property manager.

It’s important to ensure your property gets the attention of good tenants in a competitive Upper Marlboro rental market. We can help you place tenants quickly and earn more in rent. Please contact us at Stripe Management. We work with owners, investors, and properties in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., Capitol Heights, District Heights, Baltimore, and anywhere in the DC metro area.