Are There Standards for Furnished Rental Property Exteriors?

standards for furnished rental properties

A recent online discussion between owners of furnished rentals sheds interesting light on a lesser discussed matter – property exteriors. After receiving poor customer feedback due to the appearance of a back patio, one owner of short term housing wanted to know what fellow owners thought. The responses were intriguing and enlightening. So, if you are someone who offers furnished rentals, here are a few tips to consider:

  • All outdoor areas in short term housing should be well-kept without any dead plants or overgrowth, but formal gardens are not essential. Do put empty pots and gardening tools away for both esthetics and safety (no one should be at risk for stepping on a rake!)
  • As to outdoor areas, it is entirely up to the owner whether to list and/or advertise outdoor spaces. As an example, if there is an open patio, it can be listed as available for use by guests, but any caveats (i.e. furnishings may be put away seasonally or as weather demands, “gardens are being installed”, and so on)
  • Included any explanations about outdoor spaces in the short term housing listing and the handbook available to guests (i.e. “You are free to use the backyard or patio. Folding chairs are available for your use” or “In spring and summer, leaves and debris may litter the patio, we do our best to keep it clear, but weather conditions may make that difficult. We appreciate your understanding”)

Home Automation and How It Benefits Your Furnished Housing Options

Corporate housing

If you are the owner of furnished housing or you rent furnished apartments to corporate clients, you might already know that such clients need the best in terms of internet connectivity and modern innovations. They need high speed and high volume data options. They require consistent service and may even want a home office. But, is that all that your corporate or extended stay clients want and need?

Think of Home Automation as Added Value…and Revenue

In a CHBO article, we looked at the IoT or Internet of Things and how home automation can add value to a property – as long as you intend to leave it behind when you sell it, of course. In the article, the tech-loving author said, “From the iPad stations (there were three, one on each floor), you could control the Philips Hue lights in each room, adjust the Nest thermostats to the perfect temperature, view footage of the Dropcam at the front door and many other incredibly cool and useful features. You could also do all of this on your smartphone or from your computer. In the end, we chose another house… because the realtor told us that the owner planned to take it all with him.”

So, if the tech friendly buyers want homes because of automation, you can easily see that your furnished housing clients might want it too.

That means we need to review the basic idea of automation before moving forward. It is not a complex term to define and is currently the “ability to control lighting, shading, heating, cooling and security from a smartphone or computer”. Naturally, it requires that you have the different components that cooperate with one another to enable such controls, and the good news is that the technologies associated with automation are dropping in price even s you read this.

And while you might believe it may not offer great returns to those who rent furnished apartments to corporate clients, think again. After all, home sales have already started to reflect the interest and even the standardization of automation. As we mentioned in an earlier article about the emergence of automation, “sales figures show a growth projection of around $9.5 billion by 2015, and $44 billion by 2017 according to wireless industry group GSMA. That’s a clear sign that more and more people will be adopting home automation into their lifestyles, and likely looking for it when they move into a new home.” And when they rent furnished housing for an extended stay.

What Sort of Automation Should Appear in Furnished Housing?

So, you want to rent furnished apartments and homes with automation. This is a wise move, but only if done in the right way. You want it to meet a few key criteria. This includes:

  • Being simple and user friendly to those who rent the furnished housing
  • You need it to be controllable at your end at all times, too (i.e. it has to be accessible from outside of the premises)
  • It needs to be expandable or adaptable to enable future improvements/additions such as appliances and other fixtures
  • It needs to be able to be shut down easily and also remotely
  • It should be a devoid of additional fees as possible
  • It should, ultimately save you money and allow those who rent furnished apartments and homes to enjoy optimal comfort and privacy

That seems like a lot to accomplish, but it is actually easier than ever and is actually an added value for those who are about to rent your furnished housing.

Furnished apartments

The Basics

When you rent furnished apartments or homes to corporate clients, you can assume that they already have a measure of comfort and skill with technology. Yet, you still need to make the automation as simple and appealing as possible. You can do that by:

  • Using dedicated touch screens on each level, this could be via an iPad or other tablet, but many systems now include dashboards for easy use. Be sure that your systems are also entirely compatible with smartphones and feature apps that renters of your furnished housing can use
  • Focus your choices on cost-cutting items first. If you rent furnished apartments or homes, consider things like smart thermostats, automatic window dressings or blinds, and appliances and lights that can be activated via the dashboards and the mobile devices. For example, hot water heaters that you can turn on and off when the properties are vacant, coffee makers that can be controlled via mobile device, and so on.
  • Use privately owned and dedicated systems for your automation. Though it can be tempting to invest in systems that have monthly fees for management, you can easily invest in a home “hub” and manually add and control almost every feature, function and element. This can even include security cameras and other unique items. The only exception is home security, which can still be done affordably by purchasing components up front but then paying the monitoring firm an affordable monthly rate.
  • Ensure easy troubleshooting – Let’s say there is a problem with automation in your furnished housing unit. It should be simple for the renter to disable the system or a segment of it without a lot of difficulty or relying on you to do so. If you rent furnished apartments or homes and have someone handling day to day operations, your renters may still have to wait for support if an automation issue occurs. To avoid any major problems, just allow user-end disconnection to enable your furnished housing to remain functional with or without automation active.

Book Furnished Rental from CHBO

Whether you rent furnished apartments or single-family furnished housing, the issue of automation is likely to crop up more and more often. People have started to expect a certain level of modernization. That could be due to the rise of sites like Airbnb in which many steps are automated, particularly key exchanges and communications. That is all well and fine, but your furnished housing clients will greatly appreciate automation that makes their lives more convenient, and not just yours. Consider the suggestions here and start to rent furnished apartments and homes that are the most advanced on the market.

Tax Scenarios for Furnished Houses for Rent

Property Manager

Whether tax season has come and gone or has just begun, if you have any furnished houses for rent, it is of the utmost importance that you know how taxes may help you to enjoy higher returns.

In another article on this issue, we considered the expenses that you could (and could not) deduct at tax time, and it is a good idea to re-familiarize yourself with the viable deductions. However, many owners are unclear about rental property taxes and what the overall tax implications might be for this sort of income.

Property Manager