Flooring – Invest or Not to Invest?
If you’re an experienced landlord you may have been involved in disputes about a phrase in almost every lease, which is “normal wear and tear.” What is normal wear and tear?
According to most state statutes regarding landlord-tenant relationships, it is the normal depreciation due to a tenant using a property for its intended, normal, and legal use. Both the landlord and tenant need to understand there is a difference between wear and tear and damage.
Since flooring is usually the area that receives the most use, it’s important to give thought to what type of flooring is best for your particular situation.
Here are some things to consider when you choose flooring for a rental property:
Value of the Property – Don’t over improve your property. A high-end home deserves high-end flooring, and conversely, you don’t want to spend a fortune on flooring for a mid-range rental. You should also consider children and pets, if they are going to be in the residence, the carpet is probably not a prudent choice. Vinyl may be appropriate in some properties.
If you are looking for a wood or wood look, there are many options including laminate, engineered hardwood and solid hardwood that will make sense for most price ranges. Speak with a wood floor expert about what will work best for your situation.
Location – Homes in hot and humid climates (like Florida) don’t do well with most types of carpeting. Some type of tile or laminate is better because it will keep rooms cooler and won’t hold humidity, which tends to attract and hold dirt. Carpet also is notorious for hiding mold and mildew below, in the padding.
Function of the Room – Every room has a particular function and therefore will be subject to different conditions. Never put carpet in the kitchen, you’ll regret it. If the property has an upstairs and downstairs, the carpet may be a good idea for sound considerations.
Maintenance – Too many landlords like to sign a lease and then “set it and forget it.” They don’t go back until the tenant moves out, and this is not wise. Carpet will last much longer if it is cleaned regularly. Wood flooring should also be cleaned professionally as needed to extend its life. Tile floors should have grout cleaning and polishing also for long-term benefits.
The experts at FMH Flooring and Specialty Woods have seen landlords make a lot of bad decisions over the years and we can help you avoid making the same mistakes. Come in or call us and tell us about your needs and goals, we’ll steer you in the right direction.