5. Make sure things work
It’s no good having a beautifully presented dwelling if a tap doesn’t work. Ensure that all the basic facilities such as hot water system and plumbing are functioning well. Check that all doors and windows are properly maintained and have secure locks. Ovens, kitchen elements and refrigerators should also be fully functional and well cleaned. Consider getting these checked and serviced on a regular basis. By ensuring that your property is in good condition through regular maintenance, you avoid costly repairs further down the track.
6. Throw in some extras
Most tenants come with their own appliances and nick-knacks. However, some extra amenities – such as a dishwasher and air conditioning – can be a deciding factor for a lot of tenants. Unfortunately, any facility or amenity you put in is your responsibility to maintain or repair. This means that if they break, the cost will come out of your wallet.
7. Install built-in cupboards and wardrobe cabinets
Cupboards are painful to move, and hard to live without, so people tend to rent places with lots of built-in storage.
8. Provide a separate internal laundry facility if possible
You don’t need to supply the machine, but if the laundry area is internal and separate, it could be a huge benefit. “It’s one of those things that you yourself will consider an essential feature. My advice is, if there’s room, shove it in,” says Colman.
9. Car parking is a big plus, especially in city dwellings
Providing an off-street covered and lock up garage will enhance your property value considerably.
10. Keep gardens simple
Gardens may help boost your rental value in theory. However, according to rental property owner Howard Cutler, gardens are quite difficult to justify. “We try to keep our gardens fairly basic. It’s unfair to have all these plants and expect your tenant to take care of them. I just think you have to be realistic how much gardening you can do, especially with the issue of water rationing as well. As long as the front lawn is reasonably well maintained and mowed, that’s as good as you can reasonably expect,” he says.
11. Set realistic expectations
Trying to get the highest rent may not necessarily result in a better rental return if you cannot keep reliable tenants. It’s crucial that you don’t price yourself out of the market by embarking on a very expensive renovation.
12. Go for long-term tenants.
The benefits of establishing long-term tenants include: less need to redecorate and renovate between leases; long-term tenants tend to take care of the property for themselves; less vacant time means more returns in the long run; and finally it’s just easier and less stressful to manage. Therefore, be prepared to be flexible to keep a good long-term tenant.