Q. Do you have any tips that could help increase the rental return on my investment property? I have owned it for about 5 years and haven’t had too many vacancy periods, but I think I could be getting a better return.

A. No matter how long you have owned your investment property for, there are ways that could help increase your rental return.

Firstly, regularly check up on the rent. The only way you are going to know if you are charging the right amount of rent is by comparing it with the rest of the market. Take a look at what similar houses in similar areas are charging and if you are below the average, you could consider raising the amount. Secondly, simple improvements to the property could help improve its value. Some examples of improvements could include:

• Fresh coat of paint
• Tidy up the garden
• Add on an extra room

Thirdly, is your property pet-friendly? This is a great option to consider as pet-friendly rental properties are in high demand and since you are offering something extra, you may be able to charge a higher rent. If you are worried about the potential damage pets could cause, you can implement certain conditions such as the carpets must be professionally cleaned regularly and the tenant is responsible for paying any damage costs.

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