Investors cannot afford to be complacent about the condition of their properties because, if no one is willing to pay rent for a property, they will end up in trouble.
With the rental tide turning in favour of tenants - as Your Investment Property
– it is important to consider what tenants want from a property.
The best way to keep a tenant in your property and paying rent is to make sure that they have nothing to complain about.
According to property industry veteran Margaret Lomas, there are a number of simple ways to keep existing tenants happy.
“What usually sends a tenant looking elsewhere is when there are repairs or desperate renovations which are left unattended, and they feel they might as well pay the same elsewhere for a property in better order.”
Her top tips for keeping a tenant long-term are:
- Ensure your property is well maintained
- Have a good property manager who has the relationship so you can avoid any confrontations
- Increase rents when the market moves, but only if your property is competitive
- Attend to repairs and maintenance as quickly as possible
- From time to time, carry out a repair or renovation just before it’s needed to improve the tenant’s lifestyle
It is also a good idea to update any furnishings provided every couple of years and to keep carpets and interiors professionally cleaned.
However, if you are a new landlord, or your tenant has moved out, there are a number of ways to attract the right occupant.
Working out who your property best suits and creating the perfect setting to attract that type of tenant could save you the cost of having an empty property.
To do this, consider:
- What kind of tenants would want to live in the property
- Whether it is best suited to a family – ie: is it in a family oriented area
- Whether it is in the CBD
- Whether it is best suited to an executive or professional couple
- Whether it is best suited for students – ie: is it near a university
- Would it be better suited for single room accommodation
Once you have matched your property to a tenant type, carry out small but targeted upgrades to make your property irresistible to that tenant type.
If your property is best suited to a family:
- Add an air-conditioner or ceiling fans
- Update the garden and yard
- Include a washer and dryer
- Make sure the bathroom has exhaust fan, towel racks and hooks
- Ensure the yard is fenced and safe
- Allow pets
- Get the property - including carpets – professionally cleaned before the open house
If your property is best suited to an executive or professional couple:
- Add a touch of luxury by adding modern light fixtures and hanging deluxe curtains or blinds
- Add stainless steel appliances in the kitchen
- Install a dishwasher
- Repaint the walls if they look dull or uninviting
- Get the property decorated for the open house
- Ensure the property smells inviting with flowers or scented items
If your property is best suited for a student or single room accommodation:
- Offer to provide the room or property furnished
- If not, then add a bed and desk
- Add microwave and sandwich press for quick meals
- Offer first week free
- Make sure your property has a high-speed internet connection
- Add a couple of extra power points in each room
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