Written on the 14th of January 2009 by Hot Property Specialists Buyers Agency
See Your Property in the Eyes if a Potential Tenant
Ask Yourself the Question – ‘Would I lease this property?”
PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY FOR LEASE
Proper and thoughtful preparation of your rental property could make the difference between achieving the maximum possible rental return and having a poorly performing investment.
The main aim of any property investor is to have happy, good quality, long term tenants in place that look after the property as if it was their own – as opposed to high tenant turnover with long periods of a property sitting vacant, therefore costing you hundreds of dollars each week in lost income.
Following are a few tips to improve your property to make it more ‘tenant friendly.’ For minimal outlay you can increase your rental return, quality of tenants and minimise vacancy period substantially:
Repair all minor outstanding maintenance. Such as leaking taps, broken or cracked glass, squeaky or sticking doors and gate hinges, broken curtain fixtures
Remove excessive hooks and nails from walls being sure to fill and paint holes left from removal. At the same time patch and paint minor cracks and blemishes.
Consider hiring a cleaning company to professionally clean the property from top to bottom
Budget to paint internally every 5-7 years. Paint throughout in a light, neutral colour (not white) and use washable paint even consider adding some feature walls.
Paint the front door creating a warm welcome feeling and perhaps think about replacing door knobs and adding security locks
Ensure the garden is trim, tidy, and free of weeds and all paths are swept clean. It is a good idea to hire a professional gardener to maintain the gardens (which ensures it gets done and can be included in the rent). Budget to freshen up the garden and yard between tenancies and re-mulch the gardens.
Remove or paint over ‘dated’ wallpapers, even if good condition, as these can lessen the chances of securing tenants
Clean, Re-grout or paint the grout in bathrooms and kitchens to freshen the appearance with minimal expense. If you are considering renovating a bathroom or kitchen, why not look at painting the wall tiles instead of replacing? ‘White Knight’ have a great tile paint in many different colours
Budget to replace floor covering every 7-8years.
Replacing kitchen cupboard and drawer fronts, or even just kitchen bench tops instead of installing a new kitchen can give the impression of a new kitchen, at a fraction of the cost. Even just some new handles on the cupboards and changing the light fittings can modernise a kitchen for less than $200.00
Select a stove with coil elements as the newer solid type element requires greater care and treatment during a tenancy
Continually assess upgrading the security on your property. Security screens on all windows and doors or alternatively alarms systems are very appealing to tenants and command a higher rent.
Changing light fittings, light switches and power points can modernise a property for minimal cost
To improve your tenants comfort, why not consider roofing insulation or air-conditioning.
If you have west-facing windows on your property, why not consider window tinting, blinds or some cleverly planted trees to provide some protection from the afternoon sun - We’ve been in properties where you couldn’t even stand to be in some of the of the bedrooms during the afternoon.
Remove cobwebs and dust light fittings
If your property doesn’t have any covered car parking, why not consider building a carport or garage? This will command a higher rent and will pay for itself in no time.
If your property is suitable-why not consider making your property ‘Pet-Friendly’? As long as it is care-fully monitored by your property manager and the right tenants are selected, this can help you maximise your rental return and ensure long term tenancies as pet friendly properties are in very high demand.
Some preventive maintenance to consider:
External house washing to extend the life of exterior paint
Regularly service and check on pool equipment
Organise to have gutters cleaned regularly and cut back trees that overhang gutters to prevent leaves blocking guttering which can lead to internal leaks. Cut back trees that overhang the fence line.
Install gutter guard to prevent blockages and prevent premature rusting
Maintenance of fences and other outdoor improvements
Have a pest spray done every 12 months
Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent steam damage to internal walls
Putting door stoppers behind doors to prevent damage to walls
If one tap is dripping, have all other taps checked at time of repair to prevent further call out costs.
Arrange to have annual termite inspections on your property.
Ensure adequate tiling on walls around stoves, kitchen sinks, laundry tubs, bathroom basins, showers and baths – this makes it easier to keep clean for your tenant to keep clean and protects your walls from damage
Inspect your property as a tenant would from the front gate to the rear fence adjusting anything as necessary to present the property to its maximum potential to the prospective tenant and ask yourself if you would lease this property for the listed rental price? Ask your property manager if they have any suggestions that will improve the ‘rentability’ of your property. Who better to ask if you need further advice or assistance?