Attracting good tenants would have to be one of the main challenges that any property investor faces. First impressions of the property not only help to get potential tenants interested enough to submit an application, but it also helps to get you the top rental price available for your suburb of choice.
Many investment properties are bought at the lower end of the market as is to be expected, with investors looking to capitalise on returns in the long run.
The problem here is that it often brings with it a lower quality of property that looks and sometimes smells like a rental property, not one that someone would pay top dollar to call home.
Your ideal tenant is going to be one that takes pride in your property and will take care of it as their home.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend thousands on the property before you start to see any returns but it does mean taking an objective look to see what improvements could be made towards making the house someone’s home.
Ask yourself if you would live in the property in its current state and if not, what basics would need to change before you could call it home.
Keeping the paintwork fresh and current is not too costly and it makes a huge impact. It’s a clear sign that minimal work has been done to the property when floral wall paper and bright pink walls dominate the bedrooms.
A fresh coat of paint in a relatively neutral tone will not only make the rooms appear airier but will make a positive impression on potential tenants. This is also one area of the property that should be maintained so if you have any periods of vacancy over the years, take the time to freshen up the paintwork.
Clean bathrooms and kitchen
It should go without saying that the kitchen, as the heart of any home, is going to be a room that will make or break the ability to rent your property.
The kitchen and appliances need to be in good working condition and of course be clean. This is after all where your tenants will make their meals each day. If you wouldn’t cook in it, could you really expect them to?
The bathroom likewise conjures up all kinds of things in the imagination when it’s unclean. The bathroom in your property should be sparkling clean, fresh smelling and show no signs of dirt or mould, especially in the grout.
Clean and odour free carpets
Carpet, especially in older properties, can retain a lot of dust and odour in the house. Not exactly the homely welcome you were hoping to inspire for your potential tenants and it’s not likely to make them love the property like it’s their own.
Steam cleaning the carpets is a must if the carpets are in good condition.
Be sure to let the carpets fully dry to eliminate any odours that the cleaning may have stirred up before holding your property inspections.
If the carpet is in poor condition or is a garish throwback to the 1970s, this is going to one area where spending money to update them will not go astray.
New carpet, fresh smells and fresh paint will make the property feel almost brand new, just what any tenant wants.
When it comes to property, insufficient lighting is a key culprit in making a house seem unappealing and dingy. When older houses come into the equation, darker hallways and not enough lighting seems to be a common complaint.
Take the time to install additional lighting and consider adding skylights to darkened hallways, bathrooms and kitchens.
Repairs and maintenance
Lack of maintenance is something easily spotted by the astute tenant. Not only can it deter them from applying for the property as they don’t want to live in a home where the landlord won’t fix any issues, but it can also have an affect on the tenants you do get.
These tenants may subconsciously think that if the landlord doesn’t care about these things, why should they?
Once a tenant heads in this direction, it can be difficult to turn things around. Things requiring repair may go unreported and snowball into larger issues.
Do yourself a favour and fix the general repairs needed and schedule in regular maintenance for things like the gutters, re-staining decks and painting the exterior. It will be well worth it in the long run when you secure a tenant who treats the property with care like it was their own.
*article first seen on homesales.com.au