Tips for a Kitchen Renovation in Rental Property

Long ago, kitchens used to be spaces where meals were cooked and sometimes eaten. Soon they became places where families gathered for conversations at the day’s end. Today, people use their kitchens for all these purposes and also to display the quality of their home. Modern-day kitchens function as centerpieces of the house where visitors go to get an idea of the quality of a property.

This is why kitchens sell houses and why homeowners invest so much money to renovate their home’s kitchen. But kitchens are not only crucial for selling houses, they are also important when renting out a property. A rental’s kitchen is one of the first rooms prospective tenants wander into when they do a walkthrough of the home. If the kitchen fails inspection, it is unlikely that the tenant will rent.

So, unsurprisingly, landlords take rental kitchen renovation very seriously. Furthermore, with more rental properties coming into the market every day, competition for tenants is stiff. The small changes a landlord makes in their rental can be the difference that makes their property more desirable to renters, explains RE/MAX Infinity Management. Given the importance of kitchen, many landlords choose to focus their efforts there.

What are the design guidelines property owners can follow to make their kitchens more appealing to renters?

Designing any part of a rental is more complicated than designing one’s home because landlords cannot impose their needs on the design. They must focus on the needs of future tenants. But since the prospective tenant is not any person, in particular, the home should be designed to appeal to as many people as possible. In addition to mass appeal, the components of the home must be durable. These principles form the basis of a rental kitchen renovation.

Things to Do Consider During a Kitchen Renovation in a Rental Property


  • Install extra tall cabinets that reach up to the ceiling. This helps to maximize space in the kitchen and also reduces the amount of space where dust can hide. Tall cabinets also make the kitchen look custom.
  • Use textured melamine for the kitchen cabinets and drawers. It feels like wood, is resistant to heat, stains and moisture. It has a washable surface that is easy to clean.
  • Avoid fancy intricate designs with complicated molding. A plain, Shaker door style is easier to clean and maintain.
  • Have as many drawers as possible instead of the three that most rentals have. Renters can’t have enough storage, and tenants may renew their lease because of the additional storage.
  • For all cabinetry under the sink, use plywood. It can handle water better than the cheaper particle board, which is likely to swell and disintegrate.

Countertops, benchtops and doors

  • For countertops, use stone in place of the laminate counters found in most rentals. Granite may be a good option, but it needs periodic sealing. Quartz is better since it requires no maintenance.
  • Textured laminate benchtops with a patterned design are best because they are affordable, appealing, highly-functional and stain-resistant. The textured and patterned surface will help hide scratches.
  • Melamine is the recommended material for doors and drawer fronts. It is inexpensive and resistant to wear.
  • Invest in higher-end door hardware with a good feel. Basic hardware with plastic parts and sharp edges feel cheap and will put tenants off.


  • A mid-priced cooktop, oven, fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are a safer option. Tenants may like the more expensive versions but will be unwilling to pay for them. Cheaper models will also break down more often and need replacing in a shorter time.
  • Use electric appliances instead of gas. There is a lower risk of fire with gas appliances, and they eliminate the need to reroute gas lines.
  • Built-in appliances like ovens and cooktops are easier to clean than free-standing ranges which leave hard-to-reach spaces behind them.

Make the most of counter space

  • A wider counter space is a big draw for tenants; most rental properties have tiny counter spaces. To create room for more counter space;
  • Buy apartment-sized cooking range and fridge. Tenants will be happy with them as long as they come with great features and look attractive.
  • Install a single bowl sink versus the double bowl sink that eat up space. As long as the bowl is deep enough to wash large pots in, most renters won’t mind.

Plumbing fixtures and backsplash

  • Spending upfront on quality plumbing fixtures will save the money that would otherwise be wasted on replacing the cheaper fixtures several times.
  • Adding even the tiniest backsplash can make all the difference. This addition is inexpensive but highly impactful


  • For wall paint, use a neutral palette. Neutral colors will not clash with the tenant’s curtains and their dishes.
  • Avoid dark-colored cabinets. They make the kitchen look darker and are not easy to clean. Also, it may not be easy to find matching pieces if they need replacing.

Sign Up For Kitchen Solvers Updates

Stay in touch. Sign up to receive Kitchen Solvers monthly newsletter.