Starting in 2020, many jobs became remote due to the pandemic. With so many offices and workplaces shut down, many people became accustomed to the work-from-home lifestyle. However, this posed some issues for people living in rental properties that didn’t have a suitable space or environment to get work done. So, how can rental owners accommodate tenants who work from home? Read along to learn more about how rental owners can make remote work easier for tenants.
Contents of This Article:
- What to Know About Tenants Who Work From Home
- How to Provide a Good Space for Work-From-Home Tenants
- Let the Professionals Handle Rental Property Management
What to Know About Tenants Who Work From Home
Working from home is extremely common these days. So if you own several rental properties, there’s a chance that you have some tenants that work from home. That said, you may notice a difference in your properties with work-from-home tenants compared to those with 9-5 in-office jobs. Tenants who work from home spend most of their time in your rental, meaning they need different accommodations.
As such, residential property management in Northern Virginia for work-from-home tenants is a bit different. So, here are some things for landlords to note about work-from-home tenants.
- Higher Utility Costs
- More Wear and Tear
- Important Legal Aspects
- Potential Liability
- Lease Considerations
Higher Utility Costs
When your tenants are in your rental property most hours of the day, you may notice that your utility expenses are higher. Depending on the structure of your lease agreement, you may be responsible for paying utilities. Unfortunately, this may cause some issues for you and your cash flow. As such, when screening your tenants, it’s important to note their work situation. If they work from home, consider having them pay utilities separately.
More Wear and Tear
Along with increased utility costs, you may notice more wear and tear throughout your property from tenants that work from home. After all, they’re home all day, potentially using appliances more, caring for pets, and putting more strain on the property. So, if you notice significant or abnormal wear and tear, you may want to implement a rent increase if they want to continue living there.
Important Legal Aspects
If you’re renting to tenants who work remotely, some important legal aspects must be considered. For instance, depending on their type of work, you could run into some issues with zoning laws. For example, some zoning ordinances or other laws prevent or restrict business activities that require storing inventory or client meetings.
As such, it’s common for landlords to restrict some business activities, especially if it creates hazards or impacts the common areas of the property. Some landlords even add restrictions on receiving business main or using the rental as a registered business address.
Some jobs, like desk jobs working on a phone or computer, have little added liability for landlords. However, if someone’s running a business out of your rental property, you may be liable if someone is injured there. Generally, this happens when clients or employees come to and from the property for work. As such, you may want to check your homeowner’s insurance policy for commercial activity restrictions.
A good screening process is crucial to any rental business. During any screening procedure, you’ll want to ask your potential tenants what they do for work. Then, ask what their work entails if they plan on working from your rental property. For example, landlords generally don’t allow tenants to park commercial vehicles on the property, store inventory, or invite business clients to the property. Additionally, it’s common for landlords only to allow remote electronic work. So, if you want to allow certain types of work-from-home structures, consider putting your restrictions in the lease agreement.
How to Provide a Good Space for Work-From-Home Tenants
Renting to tenants who work from home may be a unique scenario for some landlords. After all, they’re home often and need accommodating, quiet workspaces. Luckily, there are ways to make the space more helpful for those working from a rental property. So, here are some tips for providing a good space for your work-from-home tenants.
- Offer Business-Friendly Amenities
- Consider New Appliances
- Create Multiple Workspaces
- Enhance Your Outdoor Areas
- Consider Being Pet-Friendly
Offer Business-Friendly Amenities
If you’re looking for stable work-from-home tenants, consider advertising business-friendly amenities. For instance, high-speed internet is necessary for most tenants who work from home. In addition, remote workers rely heavily on technology to do their work and communicate with coworkers. So if you supply internet services for your tenants, you’ll want to invest in high-speed internet with a reliable connection and fast upload and download speeds.
Consider New Appliances
New appliances are a huge selling point for most rental tenants–especially remote workers who spend most of their time in the home. So, if you know that you’re renting to tenants who work from home, consider updating the appliances. That way, you may be able to charge higher rates for increasing the value, and your tenants will be happier with a higher-quality living space.
Create Multiple Workspaces
Giving renters more space to do their work is a significant selling point for work-from-home tenants. So, consider converting an extra room into a home office that’s large enough to comfortably fit a work desk, chair, and other office necessities. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your rental home. For instance, if you don’t have much extra space, consider converting a spare closet into a makeshift workspace. Or, if you have extra outdoor space, place a small table outside to create a relaxing outdoor workspace.
Enhance Your Outdoor Areas
Tenants who work from home don’t want to spend all of their time inside working. Therefore, having a versatile outdoor space for tenants to unwind and destress from work is crucial. So, if you have tenants that work from home, consider sprucing up your patio with comfortable seating and a welcoming environment. The main idea is to have additional space on the property to give your tenants space to enjoy the outdoors when they’re not working at home.
Consider Being Pet-Friendly
To attract a wider pool of tenants, consider making your property pet-friendly. Many people who work from home have pets since caring for them is more accessible from home. So, if you’re currently not allowing pets into your rental, consider changing your policy. You may notice increased interest in your rental property.
Let the Professionals Handle Rental Property Management
Whether you’re renting to tenants who work from home, families, or college students, managing your rentals is a crucial part of owning them. However, it can be challenging to manage a rental business with several properties to attend to. That’s why hiring comprehensive property management can help take your business to the next level.
Bay Property Management Group is a full-service management company helping landlords manage every aspect of their rental business. We cover rentals in and around Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC. So, if you’re looking for help finding tenants, performing maintenance, and handling tenant requests, contact BMG today.