Australian Property Investor polled a panel of experts for its views on what tenants want, and what they’d gladly pay more for. We look at nine suggestions guaranteed to get your rental property working its butt off.
1. Make a great first impression
“Paint, plants and a little vision are cheap and can go a long way to creating an excellent first impression,” says Angelo Mena of Adelaide Property Finders.
Mena suggests using light or white colours on walls and ceilings to create a perception of openness and freshness.
“Finally, clean, clean, clean! The feeling of cleanliness goes a long way.”
Verdict: $30 extra rent a week (or $1560 a year, based on a $300 per week rental).
2. Simple tricks to tart up the kitchen and bathroom
By far the most important room in the house, and the area that receives the most comments and concerns from potential tenants, is the kitchen, according to Karen Herbert, principal of Position One Brisbane Property Centre.
RUN Property chief executive officer Rob Farmer offers these affordable tips:
Replace tap ware
“Replacing old fittings with inexpensive, imitation designer fittings can completely change the look of these areas.”
Paint out old coloured tiles: “Using a resurfacing company or buying some tile paint can be a very inexpensive way of getting a clean, fresh look in your wet areas without the significant cost of re-tiling and sealing the area.”
Verdict: around $50 extra rent a week (or $2600 a year).
3. Install a dishwasher
Buyers agent and property author, Patrick Bright of EPS Property Search says the inclusion of a dishwasher is becoming increasingly important to tenants looking for somewhere to live.
Verdict: $5 extra rent a week (or $260 a year).
4. Add a carport
Bright says undercover parking is a must-have. “For an outlay of around $3000 you can achieve an extra $20 per week in rental return.”
The added bonus is that you’ll have improved the value of your property while claiming the building expenses as a tax deduction.
Verdict: $20 extra rent a week (or $1040 a year).
5. Install a reverse cycle air conditioner
Rob Farmer says many property investors are oblivious to the fact that when the temperature heats up, so too does the rental market.
“The busiest leasing time in most parts of Australia is November to March each year.
“It’s typical that properties with air conditioners will attract more quality tenant applications.”
Verdict: around $20 extra rent a week (or around $1040 a year).
6. Add a bedroom
Paul Eslick of the Reno Kings says converting a big empty space under the roof into an extra bedroom will give you a substantial increase in your rent as well as boost the value of your house.
Verdict: $100 extra rent a week (or $5200 a year).
7. Provide for the pets
Another little known secret Eslick reveals for house owners is to buy and install a dog kennel or a pet door.
Just make sure you have strict regulations in your lease, like flea and carpet cleaning as mandatory in the lease…and any damage caused by pets is to be paid for from the bond.
Verdict: at least $25 extra rent a week (or $1300 a year).
8. Offer short-term accommodation with furniture
There’s a demand for short-term, fully furnished accommodation, according to Eslick.
Holiday rentals can fetch up to $1300 per week in peak season and around $800 to $900 a week the rest of the year.
Verdict: $200 extra rent a week for a furnished permanent-let (or $10,400 a year). For furnished holiday-let rentals, visit stayz.com.au to get an idea of asking rents.
9. Create an ensuite
Ensuite properties receive higher rent than conventional one-bathroom properties, says Eslick.
Verdict: $15 to $25 extra rent a week (or $780 to $1300 a year).