Basements are, without a doubt, some of the most neglected rooms in a house. Most people simply use them as storage areas, while others just leave the room abandoned. Most homeowners fail to understand that when renovated and finished, the basement can be a real gem. This is more so when you convert it into a rental unit. It only requires a little work and investment for you to transform your basement into a unit that attracts the right tenants.
Identify Your Ideal Tenant
Before you start renovating your basement into a rent-ready unit, the first thing you need to do is to identify who the ideal tenant would be. Do you want to rent the unit to students or young professionals? If yes, these are the most prominent market for basement in Toronto. Small families are also considering renting basements as they start their life in the city. You need to remember that the features you add in an apartment you plan to rent to students will be distinct from those you add to a unit you wish to rent to a small family.
It is a myth that basements cannot be turned into a cool space just like the upper floors. With the right renovation, you will be able to transform your basement into a super chic and cozy space that anybody would want to rent. The right contractor will help create just about anything from a bachelor’s pad to a lovely nest for two. All that is needed is a couple of fixes and the right vision.
All in all, before you get started with the revamps, there are a few things you will have to do to make sure the basement is ready for tenants. Here are the six key things you have to do.
Keep moisture at bay
Basements are prone to leaks and high moisture. The last thing you want after renting your basement out is for your new tenant to start complaining about leaks or flooding. Checking for signs of moisture is crucial before you put your basement up on the market. To prevent leaks, you need to invest in solid basement waterproofing. If, when in the basement, you smell something musty or stale, there is a leak problem. You must get it fixed right away.
Choose the flooring carefully
Even after getting all the leaks fixed, it is important to note that basements tend to get colder faster than any other part of the house. You don’t want tenants to keep leaving because they can’t stand the cold floors. You also don’t want to spend a lot on heating just to keep your tenant comfortable. In addition to installing proper insulation, you need to choose the right basement flooring. The right flooring will keep the space reasonably warm and for longer. You should opt for a good ratio of vinyl and carpet when fixing basement floors.
Extra storage will attract the right tenants
Providing extra storage spaces in the basement will benefit tenants who have just moved into the city. Needless to say, most basement apartments in Toronto are known to provide more storage space than the upper floor. Tenants will come knocking knowing they will have adequate storage. With that in mind, you should renovate your basement accordingly.
Proper lighting is a must
Considering basements don’t have large windows, natural light is not found in them. It is for this reason that you need to start by painting the walls with a bright color that reflects light perfectly as well as install brighter lighting. The best options are the tall floor lamps as well as fancy string lights. These lights will make the basement apartment look both chic and bright. The goal is to ensure that every corner of the room is well lit.
Pay more attention if your ideal tenant will have kids
Having a lively basement is a great thing. That is why you should not ignore the idea of renting out your basement apartment to a family that has kids. However, if this is your goal, you have to pay extra attention to the features in the basement. For starters, you need to childproof the apartment. Keep electrical systems out of the reach of children. The majority of homes have their electrical circuit located in the basement. During renovation you must ensure the electrical circuit is out of the reach of children and that it will not inconvenience the new tenants.
Give generous exit space for the basement kitchen smoke
The last thing you want is for smoke from your tenant’s kitchen to keep triggering the smoke alarm or cause your entire house to smell like your tenant’s dinner, do you? That is why you need to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector and so make sure there is adequate space for the smoke to escape through. Keeping the basement safe must be a top priority because an unsafe basement may put the entire house at risk.
Do You Want to Rent a Basement? Here is What You Need to Know
Renting a basement offers great privacy and saves you money. However, before you rent, it is important that you make a few evaluations. Here are the key considerations you need to make before you sign the lease.
- Ask the landlord if the space has been approved by the appropriate authorities.
- Check how noisy the roof will be. Don’t be afraid to ask how often the upper floor hosts parties. If you love peace or wish to be productive in your basement, you should ensure the basement is soundproofed.
- The area where the basement apartment is located must not be prone to water clogging or floods. Basements are affected the most by overflows.
- Check for molds and bugs. Don’t forget to ask the landlord about the frequency of pest control.
- Ask about the fire escape route as well as the security of the locks.
A basement apartment is an excellent idea for both a homeowner and a tenant searching for their first rental space. It is, however, important to ensure the space is up to code before renting it.