It’s amazing what a good bathroom layout can do for a prospective renter. Sometimes, it’s the bathroom that pushes the tenant over the edge and convinces him or her to sign a lease.
So how do you design a bathroom that makes renters want to sign or a lease or renew for another year? You don’t need luxury finishes or whirlpool bathtubs — although neither of those would hurt. What your rental property in Washington, DC needs is great function, simple styles and fewer potential repairs.
As a property management company with years of experience, we know what tenants want and landlords need. Here are our top five easy bathroom updates that will keep renters happy and landlords at ease.
Choose a shower over a bathtub when you have the option
Indeed, taking a hot, relaxing bath after a long day of work can be soothing, but if all you have in your bathrooms is a tub and short hand-held shower nozzle, your renters are going to be looking for another home when the lease is up.
Bathtubs look great, but even with the hand-held nozzle, they’re not practical for every-day use. Your renters will need to get up and go in the mornings, and they won’t have time for a bath. They would also stand under a steady stream of warm water, rather than hunch over and try to spray their backs with the hand-held nozzle.
If your rental property has bathtubs but no showers, then it’s time to make a change. You can either install bathtub/shower combos, which you can find at any major home repair retailer, or just opt for a shower instead. Your renters will thank you, and your water bills will be lower when your renters aren’t taking baths every day.
Keep the colors neutral
A good paint job can do wonders for a bathroom, but before you head to the paint store for a deep blue or bright green, consider this first.
Renters will bring their towels, shower curtains, bath mats and accessories, and you have no idea what their style might be. Maybe they like bright blues or sunny yellows. Maybe their sets are mismatched, and they don’t care.
It’s better to keep the bathroom colors neutral so that no matter who your renter is, he or she can personalize it. This will also make touch-ups and repairs easier on you, and you won’t run the risk of having a dated-looking bathroom after a few years. A white or a beige looks great with just about any color combination your tenant prefers.
Install a great exhaust fan
Moisture is the biggest problem in bathrooms, and it’s an inevitable one. When a bathroom has too much moisture, whether that’s water spilling out from the sink or steam from the shower, mold can start to grow under your sink. Paint will also start peeling from the walls. Mold, of course, can cause a lot of damage if your tenant doesn’t catch it right away, so it’s best to keep moisture at bay.
The easiest way to do this is to install an exhaust fan in your rental bathrooms to keep them well maintained. An exhaust fan keeps the steam and humidity in the air moving when someone is taking a shower or a hot bath, so the moisture never gets a chance to land and stay on surfaces. Tenants prefer exhaust fans because they take case of humidity, and landlords love them because they stop mold and mildew from growing too quickly.
Exhaust fans can be expensive to install, especially if you have an older property, but they’ll save you much more in time, energy and money on the backend. You can connect the fan to the light switch so the fan goes on any time the tenant flips on the light — this will ensure the fan gets used every time someone showers. Whenever a tenant moves out, make sure to clean the exhaust fan.
Add a medicine cabinet
If there’s one thing that tenants need in any bathroom, it’s more storage. In bathrooms with especially limited space, landlords need to get a little creative to give their tenants more room without making it too cramped to move around.
Medicine cabinets are a great alternative to adding shelves because they can perform two functions. Most cabinets have mirrors on them, so you can install them above the sink where a regular mirror would normally go. They’re also slim but still roomy enough to store most medications, vitamins, makeup and razors.
Many older properties have small bathrooms, so it’s up to the landlord to make the most use of the space. If shelves cannot be added and the vanity cannot be expanded, then a good medicine cabinet should give tenants the room they need.
Ditch the towel bar
This may seem counterintuitive to most landlords in Washington, DC, but here us out.
Towel bars may look like an easy storage solution for towels in bathrooms, but they’re not always used as instructed. Some tenants use them to pull themselves up out of the bathtub or off the floor. These bars were not made to support the weight of a person, and they might rip the drywall if used as a pull-up bar too frequently. Some landlords do not screw the bar nails into the studs and use those plastic inserts instead. These inserts aren’t nearly as sturdy as the studs, and they will be more likely to give way if too much for is used.
Instead of a towel bar, you can:
- Add a door towel bar that hooks over the bathroom door
- Install hooks on the bathroom door itself
- Buy a hook to hang over the shower rod
All of these options look great, provide a space for towels for the tenant and limit the risk of ripped drywall.
As a long-time property management company in Washington, DC, we get a lot of questions from landlords asking how they can make their bathrooms better for tenants without breaking the bank. We’re always available to field questions; that’s just one benefit our landlords get when working with us.
Want to learn more? Check us out and get more information about our expert property management company in Washington, DC.