Spending a modest amount in the short term can save you money in the long term.
When it comes to preparing your investment property for a new tenant, every little bit counts.
Here are four top tips for getting your property ready, to ensure you get maximum gains in the short - and long - term.
Repair and maintain
Any home that has been lived in will look 'lived in', so cast a fresh eye over everything when it comes to repairs and maintenance checks.
This means checking the condition of everything from light switches to curtain rails, floor boards to carpet, stains, scratches, bumps, leaks and all those little creaks.
It's a false economy just to let them languish. By repairing them now, you are saving yourself money in the future.
Go through each room with a checklist and a friend. Often someone who doesn't know the space well can pick up on chips and cracks you've overlooked.
On a very serious note, ensure all fire alarms have new batteries and are in working order. If you have a fireplace, the flue should be in solid working order, and any antennae should be checked or removed.
Cull and clear
The outside of your property should be considered an interior space when renting it out. Don't let plants and gardens go to wrack and ruin as first impressions last.
Book in for that green waste pick up and clean up your exterior. Sweep paths and replace all outdoor light bulbs, check meter boxes are accessible and clean all gutters and awnings around the home.
Wash windows and if you only have a balcony, freshen it up with some small fragrant pot plants, which are super cheap to buy but make all the difference to create an inviting outdoors area.
Clean and tidy
Now that the big ticket items are cleaned up, you need to get down to the nitty-gritty. Don plastic gloves, get soapy water and look up, down and all around.
Everything needs to be spotless to set a standard for your tenant to maintain. This means all cornices and skirting boards, light fittings, toilets, carpets and skylights need to be scrubbed down and dusted.
If you are renting out your property furnished, you need to cull the clutter. This means that second coffee table, eighth chair or crumbling bookcase that have seen better days.
Less clutter will also create the illusion of more space while allowing the new tenants to visualise themselves living in the space, not be sidetracked by someone else's interior style.
Neutralise and neaten
To heighten the sense of a clean canvas for your tenant to create their home within, it's a wise step to neutralise everything.
If you have purple walls and yellow carpet, get rid of them. You will enhance the versatility of the space - and the money you can ask for in rent.
Eliminate any trace of the previous tenant's style, as this will allow future renters to leave an inspection with a clear sense of how they can turn that apartment or house into their home.
Walls, floors and any furnishings should be white or of a neutral tone. If you prefer a bit of colour, ensure it is in soft furnishings like rugs, candles, cushions or art, which can be removed upon rental.
This also extends to curtains, light fittings and door handles where you can. This is especially impactful in an older home as it stops it looking out-dated.
Also, on inspection days open the curtains and turn on the lights. Spritz the space with an invigorating home scent.
This article is brought to you by Terri Scheer.
For more information on Landlord Insurance and how you can be covered for tenant-related risks, visit Terri Scheer Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 76 070 874 798 AFSL 218585, whom acts under authority given to it by Vero Insurance. Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance. This information and any advice is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.