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More than half of smaller, independent landlords, who expect the difficult rental market to continue, are renovating their vacant properties, according to a recent study.

The National Association of Independent Landlords found 76 percent of landlords said they are sprucing up property to attract tenants. This concept not only applies to new renters but the retention of existing tenants as well, the study found.

More than 40 percent of respondents said they are renovating to keep renters from moving.

“With so many homes and apartments sitting empty, landlords want their properties to stand out from the competition. Even if landlords have no rent coming in, they need to bite the bullet and make improvements to put their properties on renters’ short lists,” said Tracey Benson, president of The National Association of Independent Landlords.

Landlords are opting for low-cost improvements, such as adding a fresh coat of paint or installing new kitchen cabinet knobs, rather than paying top dollar for new floors and stainless appliances, the study found.

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