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How to make sure your investment rental property is never vacant

As a property investor, securing the right kind of tenant can be easier said than done. You can’t always just sit back and hope that the ideal tenant will come to you — sometimes, you have to put in some work.

Many Australian cities are experiencing high vacancy rates, so to maintain a consistent cash flow and reduce the risk of income loss, you have to make your property rentable.

In order to attract good tenants, you have to be a good property owner/landlord. If you aren’t prepared to manage tenant issues and actively maintain the property, it’s smart to hire a property manager. For a tax deductible fee, they will collect rent, deal with tenant problems, organise maintenance and much more.

In this article, we’ll go through 7 tips to make your property as rentable as possible. After implementing some of these tips, you may be able to charge a higher rental price.

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1. Buy a property that your ideal tenant will want to rent

Do you want to rent to a family? A working professional? A group of young friends?

You need to be thinking about who your ideal ‘target audience’ is before you even purchase the investment property to avoid making a bad investment. If you’d like to rent to a young family, consider what they will want in a home. It’s likely that they’ll prefer multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor space, storage and proximity to good schools, parks and community amenities.

You may have trouble finding tenants if you purchase a family home nowhere near a school or any community facilities. Don’t underestimate how much good schools are valued. Many parents are willing to pay that much extra in rent just to be located in the zone of a reputable school.

On the other hand, a young professional is probably looking for a neutral and compact apartment, close to public transportation, nightlife and dining options. And don’t worry if you’ve already purchased your property, you can definitely work with what you have.

Even a secluded, unusual property can find a tenant if marketed in the right way. For example, with remote working increasing in popularity, many professionals could be looking for that countryside property with space for an at-home office.

2. Market your property well and get a good agent

A good agent can be critical when it comes to renting out your investment property. Agents are well connected, and may already know someone who could be your perfect tenant. Do your research and find a good agency with solid testimonials from former clients.

Agencies also have substantial marketing resources. They will know how to write an engaging property description that will catch the attention of the right audience. Plus, they’ll likely be able to organise professional photography for your property. This is essential as potential renters will completely overlook your listing if the photos are poor quality or otherwise insufficient.

Another advantage of using a real estate agency is that they are able to list the letting on popular real estate sites, such as domain.com.au and realestate.com.au. This widens your pool of potential renters. Make sure you find out what their fees are before you get into business with them.

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3. Presentation and cleanliness

It’s not always a deal breaker, but if your property is furnished in an unattractive way, this can be distracting for potential renters. They may struggle to envision themselves living in your property. Remember that your tastes won’t necessarily be shared by potential renters, so opt for neutral and classic decor choices. Sometimes, it’s just better to show an unfurnished property.

If it’s unfurnished, there’s nowhere for damage, stains and dents to hide. Take care of these defects before listing your property. Freshly steam-cleaned carpets and deep-cleaned cabinets signal that you respect your tenants and take cleanliness and sanitation seriously.

4. Updated kitchen, bathroom and fixtures

quirky-country-kitchen-tiles

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When you have an updated kitchen and bathroom, you can charge a higher rent and you’ll get more interested renters. A grimy, outdated looking kitchen or bathroom can be a huge turnoff to renters.

As a rule of thumb, choose neutral colours and styles. It’s generally best to avoid ultra-trendy design styles and opt for timeless classic looks that won’t need to be changed for years.

You don’t necessarily need to do a complete overhaul of these rooms. Some affordable changes you can make to these rooms include:

  • Adding a tile backsplash in the kitchen
  • Repainting and/or replacing cabinets
  • Replacing the sink and showerhead
  • Replacing fixtures, such as handles, taps and lighting
  • Deep-cleaning fans and overheads to ensure they’re in working order

Related: 14 low cost ways to add value to your home

5. Add a fresh coat of paint

This is an easy and affordable DIY project to give your property a fresh, clean look. Again, opt for neutral whites and greys to appeal to as many people as possible.

6. Appliances

Some tenants will automatically dismiss a property if it comes without a dishwasher. Where possible, include one! This will widen your pool of applicants, allowing you to choose an ideal tenant.

Air conditioning is another essential for Australia’s hot weather. This can be a deciding factor for many renters as it can make a big difference for comfort in the summer. Make sure your other appliances work as they should and are well-cleaned.

7. Well-maintained communal areas

If your property is in an apartment complex or another strata title, check that the body corporate is on top of maintenance for the building and communal areas. Even if your apartment is immaculate, it can be off putting for potential tenants to see messy common areas and gardens.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: interest rate, home loan, investment, investment property, investment loan, renovation, investing

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