You bought an investment property to receive regular income while watching the capital grow. In short, you put yourself in debt and made one of the biggest purchases of your life to secure your future. It would be handy to know then, what makes a tenant pay more, stay longer and care for your property?
There are a few reasons that will be for another time, for eg. Position to transport, amenities etc. There is a really simple answer though too – regular maintenance and upkeep of your investment.
What do tenants want? Here are our top 7:
1. Safety – Security screens, security locks, alarms etc are all highly desirable.
2. In Brisbane, air-conditioning/at least ceiling fans. It’s a must-have these days and at such a small cost it really will ensure a higher rental.
3. Storage space – In an age where credit is so easy to attain (notwithstanding the supposed credit crunch – um Harvey Norman are now advertising 50 months interest free!), we have too much stuff and we replace perfectly good things so easily, but we still ‘paid good money’ for the old stuff, so need somewhere to store all the ‘goods’!
4. Decent kitchens and bathrooms. (I can’t even make light of this one!) Tenants want clean and tidy kitchens and bathrooms. Note, I’m not saying to necessarily spend $000’s on stainless steel appliances and frameless shower screens. Just a few dollars on ensuring a clean, mould-free bathroom and fat-free kitchen. Note: a dishwasher is handy and again is very inexpensive and is a highly desirable extra.
5. Remote lock-up garages. Really, who has the time to get out of the car and open the garage door and then get back in the car and park it?!
6. Good paint. A rental property should be re-painted every 5 – 7 years.
7. A quick response to any maintenance issues at the property. If you trust a property manager enough to place your most treasured investment with them, you should be able to trust them enough to spend up to $300 without needing to seek approval. This means that your property manager can swiftly attend to maintenance issues and therefore keep your tenant happy.
A happy tenant is unlikely to baulk so much at the next rental increase, and is likely to care for the property because they genuinely enjoy living there.