If you are a landlord or if you are thinking of venturing into the residential investment market, then one of the things that is likely either a concern or at least something you should have on your radar is how you can best attract good quality tenants in a short time frame. In our area I would suggest most tenants would stay for an average of around 18 months in a property, meaning this situation around finding a good tenant is going to come up fairly regularly.
I’ve comprised a list of suggestions below which I believe will help you get your property let swiftly to a good tenant:
- Get the rent right. The rent you should charge is not an exact science. Your agent should give you an estimated range – my suggestion would generally be to start near the top of this range and see what response you get over an 8 day period (2 Saturday opens). If you are not getting good applications or good numbers through the inspections, then look to reduce the rent by around 5%. My feeling is you are better to have a good tenant in the property quickly rather than have it vacant for weeks on end – this costs you more money in the long run.
- Make sure the property is spotless inside and out. Quality tenants generally wont rent dirty properties. In between tenants you may look to get a professional cleaner through. Tenants need to leave the property “reasonably clean” – although we may find the previous tenant has left it in a “reasonably clean” state and clean enough to get their bond back – it may not be immaculate. Personally I always go through my rental properties after the tenant has moved out and give it a once over.
- Between tenants replace any items that are getting obviously worn or looking aged such as curtains and carpets. You should budget to replace these every 7 years or so. Keeping these up to date and fresh also helps in maintaining the capital growth of your property.
- Keep the paint work looking fresh – it’s amazing what a difference a coat of paint can make. It may be between tenants you just do a couple of rooms – or again maybe budget every 7 years or so to do a freshen up.
- Keep the gardens tidy with mulch – this will also help the tenants maintain the garden beds.
In addition, I would also highly recommend that you view the property at least every 12 months during one of the routine inspections. If you don’t see it for 5 years there is a big chance you will be quite surprised at how the property has aged – even with really good tenants. It is one of your biggest assets so it’s worth the effort once per year.