6,000Units Under Management
Less Than 1% Eviction Rate
Avg. Time Rental Is on Market 23 Days

8 Ways to Fix a Problem Rental Property

Some properties are problematic because they require constant maintenance.

Others are problematic because they aren’t aesthetically pleasing enough to attract top-notch tenants.

Both of these issues can cost landlords a lot of money if they aren’t promptly addressed.

If you’re dealing with these types of problems with your property in Howard County try to make some positive changes that boost your property’s value and appeal.

1. Install New Flooring

If the carpet in your property is irreparably dirty or outdated, you should consider replacing it to attract high-paying tenants. If you can’t replace the carpet, try to get it cleaned by a professional who can make it look new – this is a much cheaper option.

Another option is to replace the carpet with hardwood floors to add value to your property and make it more pet-friendly. Many renters in Howard County consider hardwood floors to be a bonus, especially in the dining and entertaining spaces of the home.

Be sure to do your research and find out which types of flooring would work best for your budget and rental property. You may even be able to ask local flooring and home improvement stores which flooring styles are the most popular in that particular city – residents in Columbia may be more attracted to one style, while residents in Savage may be drawn to a different style.

2. Paint


Adding a fresh coat of paint to the interior walls of your property is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to transform the rental and boost its value.

You can either paint the walls yourself or pay a professional to take care of it if you don’t have time.

Keep in mind that you may not need to re-paint every room between tenants.

Focus on painting the kitchen, bathroom, and other high-traffic areas, and definitely consider re-painting rooms that are painted an unusual or bright color. After all, not many people want to live in a home with bright purple walls!

When you paint, opt for neutral colors for the best results – white, off-white, beige, and grey tend to be pretty safe choices.

3. Repair and Prevent Future Problems

As a landlord, it’s your job to make sure that your property is habitable, which means that it must have adequate heating/water and electricity, it must be clean, and it must be structurally sound. You must also repair it when necessary and conduct regular maintenance to keep it in good condition.

Check your local codes for the standards that you must adhere to when it comes to ventilation, lighting, and electrical wiring.

Instead of constantly fixing issues after they occur, it’s important that you take a more proactive approach and try to prevent problems before they occur.

One way to do this is to choose better tenants who are less likely to damage your property by thoroughly screening them prior to leasing to them.

Another way is to invest in better features for your property. For example, since water issues are common in many properties, you may want to consider having the plumbing fixtures and valves changed out on a regular basis. While this could require significant upfront costs, the investment will likely save you from major stress and even bigger problems in the long run.

4. Add Curb Appeal

First impressions are important, especially when it comes to prospective tenants’ first impressions of your Howard County property. You don’t want them to immediately jump to negative conclusions about your property based on the exterior.

To prevent this from happening, amp up the property’s curb appeal however you can. Here are a few ideas:

  • Replace any cracked siding boards
  • Mow the lawn
  • Trim overgrown shrubs
  • Update outside hardware (light fixtures, house number, etc.)
  • Paint the exterior walls
  • Sweep the walkway

By making these updates to the exterior of your property, you can help it rent faster and for more money.

5. Upgrade the Fixtures


Changing out the fixtures in your property can be a fairly inexpensive way to make it more attractive.

Shop around for new door knobs, light switch covers, and cabinet handles. You can also look for new light fixtures if you’re willing to spend a bit more.

Whatever you choose to upgrade, pick attractive new hardware that aligns with the interior design of your property, and you’ll find that it helps make the property look significantly more appealing.

6. Focus on the Bathroom and Kitchen

Let’s face it – no one wants to cook in a kitchen that looks outdated, and no one wants to clean themselves in a dirty bathroom. So, if you’re planning to upgrade or renovate a room in your property, start with the bathroom or the kitchen to make the greatest impact.

If you’d like to upgrade your kitchen, try painting the cabinets, swapping out the hardware, or replacing the countertops. If you’d rather improve the bathroom, focus on fixing up the flooring and walls or even install an attractive shower head.

While these kinds of upgrades can be a bit pricey, they tend to offer a good return on investment and can also help attract high-quality tenants.

7. Clean Often

You don’t need to renovate your entire property to make it look significantly better. In fact, simply cleaning it thoroughly can make a huge difference.

Make sure that you get rid of mold, clean sticky surfaces, and remove any junk laying around your property to keep it presentable.

If you aren’t sure how to thoroughly clean the property, hire a professional cleaning service to take care of it for you.

8. Upgrade the Entry

One of the first things your prospective tenants will notice about rental properties in Howard County is the front door, so take the time to re-paint or re-finish it as needed. If the front door is cheap and unattractive, think about replacing it with a higher-quality door.

You should also consider replacing the doorknob if it looks worn or outdated. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that can make a huge difference in how prospective tenants perceive your property.

To improve the entry even more, consider adding plants next to the front door. Placing two large, healthy plants on either side of the front door will make your property look inviting and well-maintained, allowing you to attract better tenants.

Even if you can’t make all of these upgrades to your problem property, try to make a few of them – your efforts will be noticed and make a difference in the long-run.

Remember, if you need help with property management in Columbia, Laurel, or anywhere else in Maryland, get in touch with the experts at Bay Property Management Group. Our experts take care of rent collection, tenant screening, maintenance, and more so you don’t have to.

Contact us today, and let’s talk about your property management needs.