Question: How can I make my investment property appealing to the modern day tenant?

Answer: By Carolyn Parrella, Executive Manager, Terri Scheer Insurance

Investors risk losing valuable rental income if they aren’t accommodating for the ‘new age tenant’.

Tenant expectations have come a long way. Not living up to those expectations can make a substantial difference to the amount of rental income a landlord can earn so it’s a matter of keeping up or risk falling behind competitively.
The following tips may help you to maximise your investment property’s appeal.

• 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, it may also encourage them to renew their lease and live in the property longer.

For instance, having the infrastructure to support high speed wireless internet could be a must-have for some tenants who may 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 rain water tanks is an environmentally friendly way to save money on water costs.

• Hire professionals

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.