When you are renovating your residential rental houses to rent out to tenants, you want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to ensure that everyone is as comfortable as possible. This can also be challenging given that each family will look for something different that fits their specific family’s needs. Moreover, as families are increasingly diverse in who makes up the family and what they need to accommodate them individually and as a whole, it can feel like being a landlord is more challenging than ever.

The good news is, there are still age-old items that are generally sought after in rentals to make the unit friendly and usable as possible to everyone in the family. The following are 6 renovations to consider next time you are upgrading your rentals to meet the needs of as many family members as possible:

Consider Properties with Higher Bedroom & Bathroom Counts:

Whether you purchase the property with more bedrooms and bathrooms or build an addition onto the existing structure to add more bathrooms and bedrooms to the house, many families will need more than a couple bedrooms to consider moving in. Many of these families may have multiple children for whom they would like separate bedrooms or they may have elderly parents living with them that need additional space and privacy. Providing extra space makes the rental more attractive to larger families.

Add Bathtubs:

For many children, showers are not a family-friendly option. Ensuring that at least one bathroom in the rental has a bathtub for bath time can ease many family headaches of imagining trying to figure out how smaller children are going to use the shower.

Consider a Fenced-In Yard:

Fencing in properties can allow for small children to play outside more safely or for pets to romp around without their leash. Providing a safe, secure yard will be a must for many families. A quality 6-to-8-foot fence with locks on the outside that does not allow children to easily get out will do just that.

Choose Darker Colored Carpets & Harder-Surfaced Floors:

Choosing medium to dark shades of carpets for the home or hard-surfaced floors such as linoleum or vinyl will make life easier for many families. Not only are these floorings more durable in many respects they also hide spills and make cleaning up stains much easier than light-colored carpets which will show every single bit of dirt tracked through the area. Surfaces that are easier to clean up and that are harder to stain will not only endure more use but will also stand up to the messiness of family life better than beige or white carpet.

Install Sturdy Handrails Along Staircases:

If you have a rental that is more than one story tall be sure that the stairs have sturdy railings for tenants to hold on to. If the tenants are elderly or have someone staying with them who is not so steady on their feet, steady handrails on both sides of the stairs can save them from what could otherwise be a devastating fall. Same for small children who will grab the banisters as they learn to pull themselves up the stairs when they aren’t so steady on their feet, either.

Provide Adequate Lighting:

Providing adequate lighting with different adjustment settings (i.e. low, medium, high) can provide the tenants the option to choose how bright the lights are depending on the activity they are doing. It will also allow different family members to have different levels of light based on personal preference. Some people may like brighter lights while others prefer dimmer lights. Allowing this customization will be sure that all family members are well-suited in your rental property.

One Final Word: Consider Pet Policies:

As a landlord, yes, pets can be a liability and they can cause damage to the property. However, from the tenant’s viewpoint, pets are part of their family. The leading reason tenants refuse to move into a rental is because they are not allowed to bring their pets (part of their family) with them. Most rentals do allow small caged animals or animals in tanks such as goldfish, hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, reptiles, etc. into the premises. Many also do let tenants have cats and dogs.

If your rentals are “NO PETS” as a policy, you may consider this again. You can certainly feel free to charge pet deposits ($250 to $500 is common) to protect your property, even a $20 monthly pet rent is common in some rentals.  Limits of 2 non-caged pets (cats or dogs) is also very normal. Same with breed restrictions (against aggressive breeds) or weight limits depending on the size of the rental. That way your property is protected, yet you will appeal to many more renters if their furry family members can come, too.


In the end, it’s all about making your rental as family-friendly as possible for everyone involved. These basic safety features and amenities are what many families will look for and will keep them coming back to rent from you again and again.