Attractive young adult couple painting interior wall of house.With relatively low prices, considering that Phoenix is a renowned urban area that’s also known for its livable, sunny weather and gorgeous desert landscapes, Phoenix is one of the most desirable places to live. Lots of prospective tenants from around the globe choose to give Phoenix properties a try every year, and many landlords want to tap into these new markets. A lot of landlords today think that making your property more tenant-friendly includes permitting the tenant to make their own changes or upgrades to a property. However, some “upgrades” that are poorly executed can quickly turn into expensive-to-fix downgrades. How can you be sure you are making the best choices for your investment’s future while still satisfying your tenants’ desires?

  1. Contact a Phoenix rental agency or two and ask some questions. Tell them the issues you’re trying to decide upon and see if they have any experience, suggestions or advice.
  2. Draft your paperwork carefully by thinking ahead. Once you have decided to permit customization, you need to make sure you have made specific adjustments to your lease or rental agreement that states clearly and plainly what is and is not permitted, and what you expect from your tenant upon their vacating your premises in regards to customizations they have made to the property. Specifying what changes are allowed, and to what extent they are allowed, can certainly put the odds in your favor if a bad tenant situation ends up going to the courts. An excellent example of this is painting. As there is no accounting for taste and some darker or brighter colors can be harder to cover or remove, one way to protect your rights is to make sure to spell out that the walls are not to be painted in those shades and that all walls must be repainted in three coats of a paint of a brand and shade of your choosing by the tenant upon lease termination. Don’t be afraid to be specific. It shows the tenant you care about the condition of your property, and may even deter less careful tenants from living in your property, maybe even saving you some future repairs.
  3. Know your tenant. Not every tenant is the same. If a tenant happens to be a carpenter and is offering to add in some built-in shelves and scaffolding to their place, and they can provide some solid examples of their work, that might raise your property value in the long run and be a fun thing to allow. However if a tenant wants to knock out a wall themselves in your apartment to “open up some space” and they’re a computer analyst, you may want to make sure that doesn’t happen.
  4. Know the law; schedule a legal consultation if necessary. There can be specific needs for people with disabilities, and certain changes must be made to properties they are going to live in. Make sure to know the law regarding the differently-abled before denying changes such as ramps, carpet removal, installing wheelchair accessible bathtubs, larger entryways or differently sized appliances. You may face legal consequences if you don’t.