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How to attract the best tenants

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Nila Sweeney
For landlords, finding the right tenant is crucial to the success of your property investment. So how can you go about securing the best possible tenants?
 
“You need to look for property features that appeal to a tenant, which is not necessarily the same as features you would look for yourself,” explains Rich Harvey,managing director of www.propertybuyer.com.au.
 
“The first thing they want is access, which means going for location over specific features of the property.”
 
Tenants want access to transport so they can easily get to and from work. Nobody likes a long commute so you should look for properties that are located within a 30-minute commute of the CBD, via train or bus.
 
“They will also want good access to grocery shops, particularly if they don’t have a car; they’ll need to be able to bring home food within walking distance,” Harvey says.
 
“And don’t underestimate access to coffee – people want to be able to get out and enjoy their coffees and breakfast on the weekend.”
 
Once you’ve got the location sorted, you can start looking for individual property features that will appeal to a broad range of tenants. There is no “one size fits all” rule, as the ideal features will depend on the area (is it popular with families? Professional couples? Students?) and their needs (a backyard? Off-street parking? Two or more bathrooms?).
 
Regardless of who your ideal tenant is, there is one aspect that Harvey believes is key for everyone: privacy and space.
 
“No-one wants to live next door to a band practice or Hells Angels,” he says. “People want a sense of well being. Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, your home is your haven, so tenants will be looking for quiet bedrooms that are separate to sitting areas.”
 
Other features that will help you to attract the best possible tenants to your property include:
 
  • Gas cookers in the kitchen. “I get a lot of Chinese renters and buyers asking, does it have gas?” Harvey says.
  • Balconies. “It doesn’t have to be huge,” he clarifies. “Just big enough to put your feet up and read a book or air some laundry.”
  • Internal laundry and parking. “ Off street parking is great, or the ultimate is a lock up garage, particularly for ladies. Security is a big feature that is often overlooked.”
  • Access to parks, green space and proximity to entertainment precincts and sporting complexes. “A lot of people do various sports, and they want good access,” Harvey says.

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