Do you have a New Year’s Resolution to de-clutter your life? What about make more money?
Complete both by cleaning out that storage unit you call your rental!
Many of our owners use the garage or shed at their rental as storage for those items that are rarely used. Some owner even use it to store furniture for when they move back into the property. While not every one is on the same page here, it’s something to think about as we head into 2019, when it feels like everyone is trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Clearing these storage units out could make you more money from your rental in the end.
If this is something that appeals to you, here are some things to remember:
Give Notice to the Tenants that you’re coming by to clear the storage space out.
Follow your local laws and guidelines to warn your tenants that you plan to spend the day at the property. As a Landlord you have the right to access the property only for inspections, repairs or marketing of the property during tenancy so, be respectful of the tenant’s space. Ask if it’s okay with them for you to spend the time to remove the items. If they say no, which is well within their rights, plan to do it during the next vacancy.
Set expectations with them to make sure that your intentions are clear. If this is a one-day project or will take multiple trips, they need to know. If you have no idea what it will take, be sure to communicate with them when you do know.
Clean as efficiently as possible.
Remember to take the things with you or to the dump, don’t just reorganize. Use this work as a way to clear out the junk. How long has it been since you last needed or used any of the things in there? Would the tenant or rental benefit from anything in there? Ask yourself, and answer honestly, about each item.
Use a junk removal vendor to take the stuff away if necessary.
Does a storage unit make sense for your stuff? While it might come with a cost between $40 and $200, you would have access to the stuff without having to warn the tenants. Not to mention, if the tenants have that space that extra rent could pay for the storage unit.
Raise the rent.
Adding this extra square footage to the property calls for a price increase! At the next renewal period, with enough notice, raise the rent by however much feels fair for the tenants and for you. You can also use these if the tenants don’t plan to renew with you. Here are some suggestions, though if you don’t know what seems fair, you can you’re your local property manager for advice. Note, these might differ for your particular property, but you can use these as guidelines:
Garage: Adding secure, covered parking to your rental is a great value add to your current and future tenants.
Shed (Fixture): Adding storage for the tenant is a great addition, but not every tenant needs it. Plus, they tend to be smaller than the garage so the value add is probably on the lower end.
Shed (Removable): If you can take the shed with you, you would add valuable lawn space to the rental property. This valuable land is perfect for kids or pets and would commend a raise to the rent if you hadn’t had it to begin with.
Basement (Unfinished): Adding this storage space for your tenants that’s attached to the house is a great value add. Having that storage space would widen the net for potential tenants from just new transplants to families remodeling their home and need a place for the extra furniture. The rental price increase depends on how big the basement is, or how much of the stuff you can remove.
Basement (Finished): Not only would your tenants get extra storage space, with a finished basement they could gain another family room, or even potentially an extra bedroom or office (depending on the windows down there). If you can add a bedroom you can increase the price quite a bit. Otherwise, consider the other family or bonus rooms in the house and make the price decision based on the current square footage.