Friday 24 August 2018

The Renter's Revisions - A Guide to Upgrading Your Rental Property

As any landlord can attest to, a high turnover of tenants can be a huge drain on your bottom line. Property left vacant for weeks or even months, is simply money down the drain. For this reason, retaining long term tenants, those who pay on time and maintain a property in an respectful fashion, are gold to property owners.

A recent ‘softening’ in the rental market has meant that tenants with solid references and rental history are able to bide their time to select the best possible rental deal. By initiating a few affordable upgrades, property owners can go a long way to luring desirable tenants to come and stay a while…

So, what are some affordable upgrades landlords can implement to retain tenants and ensure a long and successful rental partnership?

Getting a good reception
Research has shown that, as a nation, we spend more of our leisure hours watching television than being on the internet. In fact on average, we dedicate around eighteen hours per week to watching the television.

At every level of the rental market, tenants demand good television reception; devoid of pixelation, static interference or signal loss. No matter how high-end a tv is, picture quality will suffer without an functioning, quality antenna. A TV antenna in Melbourne, among other things, must:

● Have solid digital reception
● Be manufactured from durable materials to withstand our extremes of climate
● Boast superior reception range
● Be strategically-placed by a professional installer to optimise reception

Methods which can be implemented by experienced installers to optimise reception include:
● Detection of any potential interference issue (LTE/4G) that may disrupt digital TV reception
● Identifying signal impediments, including physical obstructions such as trees or buildings, which can cause interference
● Remedial work on damaged or poorly fitted antennas
● Identifying optimal mast height for unimpeded reception

Connectivity - Wi-Fi
Running a close second on Australia’s favourite pastimes list, is internet use. Research indicates that we spend an average of thirteen hours per week on the internet, outside of work. Many tenants will spend some percentage of their home life working and with the rise of remote offices and work from home options, demand for high speed internet is increasing at a rapid pace.

This means that fast, functional and reliable internet connectivity is almost mandatory for anyone hoping to attract and retain long term tenants.

If NBN Broadband Access Network is available in your area, contact them to discuss the types of equipment and technology required to enable connection to your premises.

Creature comforts
New legislation is currently under consideration which will see landlords obligated to provide adequate heating in rental properties. If your property currently has no sufficient heat source, it may be time to investigate safe heating options. It pays to do some number crunching here. A stand alone gas heater can cost upwards of $2,000 whereas ducted heating with 6 vents can be as little as $3,000 to $4,000.

As any leasing agent can attest to, tenants list ducted heating as a priority when looking for a rental home and will pay a premium to get it. This is particularly the case if they are elderly or have young children in their care.

Not only does adequate heating benefit the tenant, proper heating and ventilation reduces the risk of mould and dampness. Alternatively, reverse cycle air conditioners which have both heating and cooling capacity can be an attractive option for tenants - particularly in warmer states.

No matter which neighbourhood your property is located in, security will be a high priority for attracting tenants. New laws are being considered which will see deadlocks becoming mandatory in rental premises. Video surveillance cameras or alarm systems can also be an asset, particularly for those with families or in areas recognised as having a high crime rate.

Landlords neglect tenants at their peril. Attracting and retaining quality tenants should be a top priority for those seeking to invest in real estate for a secure financial future. By providing tenants with simple and affordable conveniences such as those mentioned above, you are giving yourself an edge to achieve a stress-free, successful tenancy. 

Have you ever rented an apartment or a house? Or have you ever rented out a property? What has been your experience? Do share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... have a great weekend!

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