If you have an investment property that you are planning to put on the rental market there are a few things to consider before going public with the listing.
It can be tempting to try to rent out your property as is, but by taking a little bit of time to properly prepare the property you could increase interest in the home, stand out from the competition and attract a higher quality tenant than if the home was looking shabby and in disrepair.
Here are five simple ways to get your property rent-ready.
Repairs and minor renovations
As a landlord your property does not need to be newly renovated or picture-perfect, however, it does need to be safe, habitable, and in line with your state’s residential tenancy laws.
Give the whole property a once over and check for issues that could either deter people from wanting to rent the space or that could become larger problems down the track. If something looks like it could deteriorate further with use, fix it now to save on paying extra costs or ending up in a dispute with tenants in the future.
As the owner, it can sometimes be difficult to pick up on minor issues, so ask an impartial friend or family member to point out any problems they can find with the property to help you ascertain what needs fixing immediately.
Conduct a deep clean
Ensuring the property is clean from top to bottom isn’t just a nice way to welcome your new tenants, it can actually be useful as evidence in case of a dispute.
Presenting a perfectly spotless house or unit sets the benchmark for the way it must be left when the tenants depart, so it is worth spending the money having a professional cleaner deep clean every surface, including inside kitchen appliances, along skirting boards, window sills, and on top of any ceiling fans or high-up shelving prior to listing the property.
Document the end result through photos that can be relied upon if you need to retain some of the bond to get the property back to the standard it was rented in initially.
Look for ways to add value
As mentioned in our first tip, your property does not need to be the most beautiful home in order to attract tenants, however, it can help. If you are having trouble seeking tenants or your property is similar to dozens of others in the market, it might be worth spending a little bit of money to set it apart and nudge the competition out of the way.
Simple additions such as a washing machine and/or dryer, newly built-in wardrobes, fresh paint, air conditioning, or even a bathtub can all improve the overall look of the property and also improve its functionality, which can attract the type of tenant who is willing to pay more for their rental property.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the two rooms that date most easily and while it isn’t always necessary to install a completely new kitchen, a makeover to the existing cabinets (with paint and some new doorknobs) can breathe new life into the whole place. If the bathroom tiles are looking tired, try having them sprayed rather than replacing them completely. Old, worn-out baths can also be resurfaced at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
Create a liveable outdoor space
Lockdowns have made people appreciate the outdoors in a whole new way, which means properties with outdoor spaces are a hot commodity.
If your rental property has a backyard, verandah, or even a balcony, you should do what you can to make it functional and liveable.
Creating beautiful outdoor spaces doesn’t mean spending tens of thousands of dollars on landscaping, but at a bare minimum lawns should be mowed, loose pavers secured, weeds or dead plants removed, windows and exterior surfaces cleaned of cobwebs and built-up pollution and walls, fences and railings repaired and/or painted if necessary. The addition of a retractable clothesline (if allowed under strata laws) can also add value.
Take out landlord insurance
You aren’t truly ready to rent your property unless you have taken out landlord insurance.
Paying premiums on top of property management fees and any improvements to the property can feel like a burden at first, but if you experience prolonged periods of vacancy, or the property is damaged in some way the investment into landlord insurance will prove to be invaluable.