The Things I Don’t Put In Rental Homes

I’ve been renting homes to tenants for over fifteen years.  During that time, I’ve learned – sometimes the hard way – that you can eliminate a lot of stress and hassle by what you don’t put in a rental property.  

This week, I thought that I’d share a list of the top things that I don’t put in rental homes:

  1. A Pool or Spa

    Sure, pools and spas are very attractive to prospective tenants..  And you might be able get a few hundred dollars more rent for a rental property with a pool vs. one without one.  But the hidden costs will quickly eat up that extra profit.  Maintenance, even in warmer clients, is expensive.  Insurance is expensive.  Pools and spas are, you guessed it, expensive. 

    Better to avoid the pool or spa, and just focus on offering a clean, well kept home.

  2. Rigid Door Stops

    I saw a video about a year ago from YouTube personality Meet Kevin, where he touted the perception value of a rigid door stop over the common spring type.  And I cannot argue with him about their appearance.  They certainly are prettier … I even have them in my personal home.  

    But the rigid doorstop has one enemy.   The vacuum cleaner.  Sure enough, your tenant is going to hit them with the vacuum.  Over time, they’ll come out of the baseboards – forcing you to replace not only the doorstop but the baseboard too.  

    A better option is to go with a high end spring door stop, or a doorstop affixed to the door hinge. 
  3. Over Toilet Cabinetry

    These are a recipe for disaster.  Sure, they offer additional space, especially in smaller bathrooms.  But they’re just begging for someone to knock something into the toilet causing a potential major clog. 

    You might think to yourself “Scott, this isn’t my problem.  The tenant will just have to fix it.”  The reality is that regardless who fixes the problem, you’ll get a call from a tenant hoping that you’ll offer to fix it at no cost. 

    Why risk it.  Just don’t install it.

  4. Dog Doors

    I love pets.  But dog doors in rental properties are the worst.  First, they are always dirty and never age well.  Second, they limit your home to always being a rental for pet owners.  People who don’t own dog, let alone other pets like indoor cats, typically don’t like dog doors.
  5. Real hardwood floors

    And the final item on my list is real hardwood floors.  Unless the rental is older, and they add to the aesthetic of the building, I avoid real hardwood floors at all cost.  The expense and upkeep just don’t make economic sense. 

    It is far better to go with a nice engineered floor, which will wear much better over time.

That’s my list of things that I never put in rental homes.  I’m interested in your thoughts.  What’s on your list?