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The Top 7 Upgrades Tenants Seek When Searching for a Rental

Hilary Catton
3 min read
The Top 7 Upgrades Tenants Seek When Searching for a Rental

Finding the perfect rental depends on many things, and sometimes it’s not all about what you can see. How does it fit into your lifestyle? Does it have the amenities you crave? Do you feel comfortable in the environment?

When I look for the rental that matches my personality the most, these are the things I look for. Many of these little extras are easy to implement, inexpensive, and can easily allow you to raise the rental price.

The Top 7 Upgrades Tenants Seek When Searching for a Rental

Dishwasher & Garbage Disposal

Not everyone feels the need to rent out a property that has upgrades, but for some renters, these amenities a must! I have lived in many locations when I was younger that didn’t have a dishwasher or a garbage disposal, which was fine for me at that time. However, now that I am older, they are both things I need. I host people more often, I cook more often, and I spend more time in the kitchen than I ever used to. When I was in college, those perks weren’t necessary because of my lifestyle — but a lot has changed since the days when pizza boxes and beer cans littered my house and I rarely cleaned a plate.

Related: 9 Low-Cost Ways to Dramatically Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

Updated Kitchen

I think a house or an apartment can rate on a whole other side of the spectrum if an updated kitchen is in place. Having stainless steel appliances, nice countertops and some sort of recessed lighting makes a home worth living in. If you put any extra money into your rentals, this is where I would start. Having an upgraded kitchen affords the opportunity to leave the rest of the property a bit more mediocre, affordable, and less upgraded. A nice kitchen gives any home a luxurious feel, and I personally think it’s the number one seller in any rental.


Washer & Dryer

Every rental is different, and it’s very understandable that not all can hold a washer and dryer room, but if you can, do. I once lived in a one-bedroom apartment where they installed a stacked washer and dryer in the corner of the dining room, which they hid very well with a wood divider that they kept in the home. It made such a difference not having to leave the comfort of my apartment to use the communal laundromat down the street. Granted, it was a little more than the average apartment in the area, but worth every cent in my opinion.

Hardwood Floors

What a treat these are! More and more often, renters are becoming wary of renting from homes with carpet, unless it’s brand new. No one likes the idea of living with the same carpet as someone else, and more people are finding hardwood floors to be affordable. You can purchase cheap flooring that still looks great and is easy to keep clean, especially when you have pets or children. Not only does a hardwood floor make a home look more expensive, but it eliminates worrying about the stains that might damage a newly carpeted floor. No one wants to see mistakes someone before them made.

New Paint

I’m not sure how often people think about this perk, but a lot of renters do. Paint color and upkeep means a lot to a new renter, and it can up the price of a rental easily. A new coat of fresh, light-colored paint makes a home look clean, new, and refreshed — who doesn’t want that? No renter wants to move into a new place and see marks all over the wall that they now have to hide with a painting or a piece of furniture. They want their new home to be theirs and not feel like it should be directed by how the paint has been left by a previous renter.


Crown Molding

Sounds fancy, looks fancy and creates visual interest and depth that excites anyone who sees it. Best part? It’s super simple to install. You can purchase pre-made pieces at Home Depot to be cut to the lengths you need, and with just a few simple staples from a staple gun, it adds an extreme sense of elegance to any rental for a low price.

Related: 6 Things Every Landlord Should Do to Win Over the Hearts of Tenants (A Renter’s Perspective!)


This can make or break the feel of a rental for a tenant. I can successfully say I have absolutely said “no” to a rental based on blinds alone. I absolutely refuse to live in an apartment with vertical blinds. They look tacky, outdated, and extremely ugly. Finding a nice wood or clean and crisp white blind is worth the time and effort, and your tenant will thank you.

Renting shouldn’t be a hassle for a new renter; it should be an exciting new time where they feel right at home and are proud of the place where they live. You should strive to have a renter who wants to show off their new home and to showcase the beautiful features their property has. The more perks you add to a rental, the more you can raise prices, be picky about who you approve to rent out your property, and ultimately choose the tenants who truly care about where they live.

Landlords and tenants: What upgrades do you value in rentals the most? 

Let me know with a comment!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.