Renovate and Reap the Rewards

Whilst investors are enjoying the fruits of an extremely tight rental market at present, with historically low vacancy rates across all capital cities, this is no time for landlords to become complacent about the upkeep of their investment or over-confident about keeping their property occupied. Spending a bit of time & money sprucing up your investment can make a big difference when it comes to re-letting & minimising vacancies between tenants. Not only will a home that’s well cared for reduce the likelihood of it sitting empty for long periods of time, it will have the added benefit of attracting better quality tenants willing to pay a little extra for top-shelf presentation. Essentially, some small and inexpensive improvements can give your property that point of difference and make it stand out from the crowd.

It is true that tenants cannot afford to be as fussy these days, with fierce competition for any new stock that hits the market, however quality tenants are Increasingly discerning about where and how they want to live. Many young singles and families are being forced out of home ownership with affordability issues and increasing interest rates posing a real concern. Therefore the property they rent may be home for a number of years. And given the current inflated market prices they are forced to pay, many expect high priced rental properties to at least look decent and well cared for.

In most cases all that is required to bring a tired looking rental back to a fresh, clean and enticing place to live is a bit of TLC:

  • First and foremost, your rental property requires street appeal. With tenants scouring the internet and driving past prospective properties before they even consider making an appointment or attending an OFI, it is more crucial than ever that your investment looks neat and tidy on the outside.
  • Ensure that lawns are mowed, garden beds are in order, paths and driveways are clean and the front of the building is presentable. For older style weatherboards or period rendered homes, this might even require a lick of paint, some new guttering and/or roof restoration/repairs.
  • Consider what you can do on the inside of your property to increase its appeal. One of the best approaches to work out what you might need to repair, add or alter is to take a step back, cast a critical eye over your investment and objectively ask yourself, “If I lived here, what would I want to see improved to increase my comfort and really make me feel at home?”
  • Little luxuries such as air conditioners and dishwashers can make a big difference as to how much a tenant is prepared to pay.There will always be more demand for a rental that offers these options rather than one that does not. It is these extras that make a property stand out from the crowd.
  • Perhaps consider a coat of paint to freshen the property up and maybe some new carpet and tiling. These simple cosmetic enhancements can really transform a tired looking investment into something modern and engaging that will catch a prospective tenant’s eye as soon as they open the front door.

The next step of course is updating old kitchens and bathrooms. We all love modern, shiny appliances and your tenants are no exception. If you can afford to make these types of improvements and your kitchen is languishing in the seventies, this could well earn you a much better quality of tenant and price for your investment property when you re-let – two things every landlord hopes for!

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