There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for making your rental property enticing to tenants, but there are certain incentives that you can offer to make your investment more appealing, inviting, and comfortable for a potential renter.

Much like staging a home for sale, preparing a rental property with a tenant’s preferences in mind can not only encourage their stay, but also increase their enjoyment and respect for your property.

Here are the various incentives tenants look for when renting a home, apartment, condo, town house, basement suite, and more.

In the suite itself

Tenants enjoy a welcoming suite that they can envision spending their time in. Ensure that everything in your property is in working order. The space shouldn’t be in need of repairs, such as leaky sink, or a window that doesn’t shut. Not only is maintenance important for safety reasons, but it also keeps your investment profitable, helps you to avoid liabilities, and prevents major repairs later. Additionally, keep the space clean, and free of stains or bad odors.

Other in-suite incentives include:

  • Neutral colors, including paint, window dressings, cabinets, accessories, and countertops. If you provide a furnished suite, try to keep the furniture modest, comfortable, and clean. The simpler color scheme you go with, the more appeal it will have to a wide variety of tenants.
  • Dishwasher, in-suite laundry, or extra onsite storage. Tenants appreciate ease and availability.
  • Hardwood, laminate, and tile flooring are preferable because it is easier to clean than carpet.
  • Upgraded appliances, taps, and accessories as necessary. For instance, when an appliance breaks down, it might be better to just replace it entirely instead of looking to get it repaired.

Depending on the size and characteristics of your suite, you’re likely to attract different types of tenants. Keep this in mind when renovating or staging the suite for a new renter. For instance, a detached rental home in the suburbs near a school might be more apt to bring in a family. In this case, storage space, such as a garage, and durable fixtures are in the tenants’ best interests.

Alternatively, a small urban bachelor suite will typically appeal to a single person, where modern flairs and space-saving shelving is welcomed.

In the building

Whether you own an entire complex, or a suite within a complex, tenants appreciate a clean, safe, and properly maintained building.

This may include:

  • Clean hallways and common areas (laundry rooms etc.)
  • A parking stall
  • Maintained walkways
  • A secure building where no one can get inside without a key
  • A working buzzer system or doorbell, as well as eyeholes on the doors, working locks, deadbolts, and latches to help keep residents safe
  • Quiet and/or friendly neighbors
  • Landscaped surroundings
  • An on-site maintenance person or property manager

If you are renting a basement suite, a separate entrance is preferable. Also, the suite should ideally be self-contained and private, meaning there are no common areas within the suite.

A building with a gym, pool, hot tub, convenience store, or other incentives may also sweeten the deal.

In the neighborhood

While you cannot control the safety, amenities, or growth of the area where you purchased your investment property, it is something you should consider before purchasing real estate (both for investment and personal purchases).

When it comes to marketing your rental property to tenants, mention nearby shopping centers, playgrounds, parks, restaurants, and schools as a selling point. Access to transportation is another factor that may be beneficial to those who do not drive.

Properties close to amenities tend to rent out faster, and also sell quicker if you decide to put the property up for sale in the future.

In the lease

You may specify permissions, such as no-pet or no-smoking rules, in your lease agreement. However, if you happen to find tenants who have a pet, but are responsible and mature individuals, you may want to consider allowing them to keep their pet.

In addition to pets, other permissions include:

  • Home businesses
  • The option to sublet the property in the event they can no longer lease the space

As a landlord, you are required to be fair in your lease terms. Extremely strict, or unfair clauses will deter potential renters immediately.

In a landlord

Believe it or not, you, the landlord, may also be a factor in attracting tenants to your property. Professional, respectful, and helpful landlords are more pleasing to do business with than those who are unpleasant or unreliable.

What a tenant wants

If you are setting up an investment property for tenants, try to put yourself in your tenant’s position, and think about what you would want in a rental property. Certain commodities, such as a dishwasher or parking stall, are big selling points for many tenants.

You will need to remain competitive, especially if you own property in an urban area. If a tenant finds something they don’t like, they can easily move onto the next available property.

While you may not be able to control a tenant’s unique preferences, you can do your best to make your property more appealing by adding upgrades, issuing incentives, and ensuring the property is clean, safe, and habitable.

What do you look for in a rental property?

Posted by Kristy DeSmit

Kristy is a blogger, Twitter enthusiast, and company legalese interpreter.


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