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As a landlord, it would make sense to know what a tenant is looking for in a rental property. Why? Well if you tick all the boxes for a tenant, you can most probably expect the maximum rental return as well as a happy and long term tenant.
If you are looking for your first investment property or trying to increase your portfolio, it would also make sense that you would try to buy a property that matches most if not all of their criteria, as your property would always be easier to rent and nearly always demand the maximum rent for the surrounding area.
Although price is a large factor for most tenants, they are looking for the extras that will complement their lifestyle. These will ultimately decide whether or not they rent your property.
While it may be true that installing reverse-cycle air con won’t substantially increase your home’s sale value, it definitely makes it more appealing to tenants, so landlords can often charge slightly more for a place with air conditioning. In a climate that is becoming hotter and more extreme each year, it is a small luxury that most tenants are looking for and are willing to pay for.
It is amazing in this day and age that some landlords do not want tenants to have any pets whatsoever. A high priority for many tenants is a pet friendly home and yard. Many tenants and people for that matter would say that a house becomes a home once the family pet is there.
It is also true that often the difference between a property being rented or not is the fact that it is not pet friendly. Our property managers carefully vet all tenants with pets to see if the property is right for them. In addition their previous history will clearly show if they have been responsible pet owners as well as the provision in the tenancy agreement for flea control at the end of a tenancy.
One other point to make is that sometimes there is more damage done to a property from children than ever would be from a pet.
Clean and tidy
First impressions nearly always sell or rent a property. A well maintained yard and lawn is a must, along with the cleanness and tidiness of the outside and inside of a property. Imagine walking into a property with peeling paint coming off the walls, or the colour of the walls being something out of the sixties. Imagine a garden with overgrown shrubs and trees. Fresh paint and new carpets can do wonders for a property, along with a well pruned and maintained garden.
Modern bathroom and kitchen
Most investors buy their rental properties for capital growth. This means that one day, the property will be sold. Both renters and buyers will always look to the bathrooms and kitchens in assessing the value of the property. Although it is not their first priority when looking for a nice home to live in, most renters want to live in something modern and stylish. Dishwashers in a kitchen are nearly essential these days for new tenants.
Renovating bathrooms and kitchens does not need to cost a lot of money. There are many specialist companies these days that can do small makeovers that make huge differences in both presentation and value.
Although many tenants will not find out how their maintenance is handled until they move in, imagine having something broken in your own home and not being able to fix it. A tenant will certainly look elsewhere if their maintenance concerns keep getting ignored. Investment property costs money to run, so be prepared to set money aside to cope with the unforeseen.
Although a tenant has a right to security in their home, they are not necessarily looking for alarms. Proper security locks and gates and windows that close correctly will keep most tenants happy. Security screens are a bonus, and may well be a tipping point for renting your property.
Location, location, location is always true if your selling, buying or renting. You should always buy an investment property where it is close to the facilities that the average person would want. Schools, shops and transport are the major ones that tenants usually look for as well as the position in a street. Would you like to live on a main road or in a cul-de-sac? This will ultimately be a huge factor in not only gaining a great tenant but will also dictate the capital growth you are likely to make on your property. It is also obvious to say that there are bad suburbs and good suburbs. The bad suburbs are cheap for a reason so before you buy a really cheap investment property, buyer beware!!
The number of other properties to rent in the area or suburb is also an area of concern. This can have a huge impact on your rental return if you are competing with lots of other houses for a tenant.
The great outdoors
Queensland has a great outdoor lifestyle and as such, most people are always looking for an entertainment area that is both welcoming and private. A pergola, veranda or even deck or balcony can add considerable value to a property and can sometimes be the difference between a quality tenant and no tenant.
The extras are those comforts of home that you would most likely choose yourself to have. Whilst not a necessity to have in a rental property, little things can sometimes get both sellers and tenants over the line to pay that little bit more. Fans, flyscreens and security screens, washing machine, or a clothesline for instance, wiring to allow cable internet or satellite TV, or solar panels to save on electricity costs are all such items.
Garages with remote controls, carports or off street parking, garden sheds and built-in storage are all high on tenant's lists.