Do you know what features tenants want in a rental property? Whether you’re about to put your investment property back on the rental market or are updating your current investment property, here are some upgrades to help you maximise the appeal of your property.
It might be tempting to cheap out and take your own photos, but professional photos make a world of difference when tenants are scrolling through hundreds of listings. Professional photographers know how to use angles and lighting, as well as what areas of your home tenants want to see most and how to present these areas in the best way.
As the property owner, you might be tempted to use parts of the property like a shed as your own personal storage space, but it’s important to remember the property is your tenant's home, not yours. Don’t take away any extra storage from the tenant, as storage is a major selling point.
Add modern conveniences
Properties with additional features above and beyond the standard are likely to appeal to a higher proportion of potential tenants. Not only will it help make a tenant’s experience more comfortable and enjoyable, but it may also encourage them to renew their lease and live in the property longer.
For instance, having NBN could be a must-have for tenants who work from home, study or have a growing family. The addition of an ensuite, while not essential, is also likely to win over tenants more than a property with one shared bathroom.
Dishwashers may be a key consideration for busy professionals and families when looking for a rental property. An automatic watering system will also make life easier for tenants required to maintain a garden. The installation of a security system will give tenants extra peace of mind that they are living in a safe and secure property.
Green energy savings
As utility bills increase, many people are looking for cheaper, greener ways to use electricity and save water around the home.
Rental properties with solar power are becoming highly sought after which can be a real selling point for investors and tenants alike. Similarly, the installation of rainwater tanks is an environmentally friendly way to save money on water costs.
Check locks and smoke alarms
Check the locks on doors, windows and sheds in the lead-up to the holiday season to ensure they’re in good working order.
Theft and damage to investment properties can be more common over December and January, often when tenants go away for holidays, so it is important that preventative measures are taken.
Landlords are encouraged to also test the smoke alarms in their properties, to ensure they are not faulty and are not at risk of a legal liability lawsuit if the alarm does not work during an emergency. It might be a good precaution to enforce a non-smoking policy as well.
Install air conditioning and regularly maintain it
Some tenants won’t even consider a property, no matter how nice it is, if it doesn’t have air conditioning – myself being one of those people! Split systems are a great option as they both cool and heat the property.
It is a good idea for landlords to service the air conditioning units so that it works to the best of its capability. The cost of servicing the unit can be substantially less than repairing or replacing the unit if it breaks down.
Servicing ducted air conditioning systems is especially important, as it may need to be manually switched over from heating to cooling and have the vent re-opened on the roof. An efficient air conditioning system can go a long way to maintaining a strong relationship between a landlord and their tenant. No one wants to be caught without cooling on a hot summer day.
Address potential fire hazards
A routine check for fire hazards should be undertaken with any debris cleared away and disposed of appropriately. This is particularly important for properties in regional or vegetation-dense areas. Key areas of concern are leaf-filled gutters, overhanging trees or branches and long grass.
It may also be worthwhile installing a fire extinguisher at the property as a further safeguard.
Wash and repaint the walls
There is nothing better than walking into a freshly painted home. It feels new, fresh and clean. Light colours are a good option as they make rooms appear bigger.
Put up new blinds/curtains
Along with freshly painted walls and new blinds/ curtains, your property will be instantly transformed.
Clean the property in between tenants
Your investment property should always be presented in its best light. Always, always, always invest in professional cleaners - even if the previous tenants have given it the once over. Arriving to view a fresh smelling property is an undeniable benefit in winning over potential tenants. Apply a like-attracts-like method here. If your property is beautifully presented, clean and tidy then you will attract that back to your property. If your property is run down, unclean and unkempt then you can also expect to attract this type of attention to your property.
It’s important for rental properties to have plenty of storage, especially apartments where storage is often at a premium. Invest in installing built-in wardrobes. Built-in wardrobes are a great addition and selling point to renting any property. Rooms look more organised and it also saves the tenant paying out for new ones.
Consider replacing or improving the pantry and cabinets in the kitchen - tenants will always appreciate extra storage space in this area.
A structured garden will always be easy on the eye and doesn’t have to mean spending up big on a fancy landscaping job. The key is keeping things simple; otherwise, you will create a very large and difficult job for yourself!
All it takes is a little thought, and a bit of manual labour – remove unwanted, dead or overgrown plants and damaged stonework, kill the weeds and throw in some new bark and decorative stones.
The type of fencing you have can have a huge impact on the street appeal of your property – a low, simple fence gives a modern impression and allows the design of your home to take centre stage, while a high, elaborate fence will give partial privacy and an aura of elegance.
An old fence that needs a new coat of paint or some repair work also contributes to the overall feel, so perhaps consider putting aside some time to address this, or even call a professional to install an entirely new fence. Improving old fencing is particularly important if you have renters with pets.
Both tenants and landlords will benefit from an investment property that requires minimal maintenance.
Landlords and/or property managers may wish to consider hiring a gardener or cleaner to help maintain the property. Despite the added cost, landlords may be surprised how much a tenant will appreciate the added comfort of knowing the property is well looked after with little effort of their own.
Presenting a clean, tidy, low maintenance and well cared for property sets the standard and will encourage tenants to keep it in good condition.
Obtain appropriate insurance
Fitting out an investment property with modern appliances and added features makes it even more important to obtain appropriate insurance. Theft and damage can be costly for landlords if they do not have adequate insurance to cover replacement costs.
Even the best tenant can accidentally damage the property or suffer financial hardship, however, a standard home and contents insurance policy may not cover landlords for these particular risks.
A specifically designed landlord insurance policy will help landlords avoid being left out of pocket should these unforeseen events occur.
Collections: Property Investment