Preparing a rental property

Preparing A Rental Property

A landlord can increase the potential rent returns and appeal of an investment property by adding some simple furnishings and insuring against damage.

If you present your rental property you will increase your chances of attracting better quality tenants that will take care of your home. Before you list your property to rent create a checklist of things to do. We have created a shortlist of suggestions that should maximise the return on your investment property.

1. The Basics

Start with the basic requirements that any tenant would expect from a rental property.

Your list should include the following.

  • Telephone and internet connection
  • Heating and cooling system
  • The security of the home. Always have a spare set of keys for yourself, the property management agency and 2 sets for the tenants. If you have window locks make spare sets. If the garage has a remote create another remote. (this can cost $80)
  • Tenant privacy – Install curtains and or blinds on all your windows. And add screens on doorways that require them. Typically this would be the front door, back doors and main windows.
  • Check that you have good water pressure 
  • Instal smoke detectors in the main rooms and bedrooms that are interconnected. 

Check with local authorites on all the regulations relating to rental properties and safety regulations. Do this as a priority.

Does your rental meet the electrical and water efficiency standards under the local Residential Tenancies Act

2. Get a Bond Clean

Hire an expert to do a bond clean. The cleaner will have everything sparkling from taps to skirting boards, floors, windows and appliances. And if the cleaner does their job properly your home will smell beautiful. Remember first impressions are lasting and everyone loves walking into a home that is spotless. This will also encourage the tenant to maintain this standard of cleanliness.

If you want to clean the premises yourself or hire an expert here is a checklist.

  • Professionally steam clean or dry-clean carpets
  • Re-polishing floorboards and tiled flooring
  • Clean all appliances including your stovetop and oven
  • Deep clean of bathrooms and toilets including adding air fresheners
  • Cleaning windows and flyscreens
  • Cleaning curtains and blinds
  • Detail cleaning all interiors and furnishings
  • Cleaning exteriors – including removal of cobwebs, cleaning weatherboards, gutters and fittings. 
  • Emptying all trash and recycling bins

3. Look for broken itmes

A house has many parts internally and externally. If neglected they can create expensive damage in the future. So, don’t wait for the problem to eventuate fix it now. Inspect everything to see if you need to repair or replace the item.

Look out for problem areas such as:

  • Guttering and downpipes. A blocked gutter can lead to overflow which can enter your home.
  • Mouldy build up in the bathroom. Is the bathroom aerated enough?
  • Washers on taps that are dripping
  • Broken tiles
  • Check all your lights are working
  • Are your smoke detectors overdue for service?
  • Does your heating and or cooling systems require servicing?

By paying that extra attention now can save you spending a lot of money in the future.

4. Clean All Outdoor Areas

Present your garden and lawn at the front and the rear of the property in a clean and tidy state. Clean away all spiderwebs from the exterior of your home. The last thing you want is a tenant fearful the property has a spider infestation.

Pay particular attention to:

  • weeding garden beds and pruning hedges
  • trimming back vines and overhanging trees
  • mowing lawns and reviving dead patches
  • cleaning front entrance and external light fittings
  • cleaning garage door and garage flooring
  • removing cobwebs from eaves
  • cleaning windows and glass doors
  • sweeping and hosing down driveways, pathways and paved areas
  • removing stains from driveway
  • removing all garbage and garden refuse

Make it a stipulation of the tenant’s rental agreement that all lawns are to be mowed on a regular basis and the gardens maintained. You can add this into the rental fee and hire a gardening contractor to visit on a monthly basis.

5. Adding Value With Improvements

Updating the interior of a home instantly lifts it’s mood and appeal to tenants. New paint, carpet and light fittings are an affordable way to transform outdated spaces and adding extra creature comforts like heating and reverse cycle air conditioning can also potentially add value to a property. 

If you can afford to go one step further, then modernising a kitchen or bathroom is a great long-term strategy. One that will immediately elevate the perceived value of the property and increase its rental return.

6. Organise Services & Utilities

Before a tenant moves in, don’t forget to check final readings for gas, telephone, electricity and water. If you have an alarm connected to a security service, re-member to cancel your account or transfer it over to the tenant’s details, if required. Likewise, pool, garden or grounds maintenance contractors may need up-dating or cancelling. 

Note: Before cancelling your electricity, gas or water accounts, always check with your Property Manager first, so it doesn’t affect any security systems or ongoing utilities required to maintain your property. 

7. Set Up Landlord Insurance

Whatever you do, make sure you have landlord insurance in place before leasing. No matter whether you’re managing the property yourself or whether you’re using an agent, a landlord insurance policy will cover you for unpaid rent and any unforeseeable damages that result from the leasing period.

8. Style It Up To Stand Out

Prospective tenants are no different to prospective buyers – they’re all attracted to a well-presented property. Just like a stylist can boost the look and feel of a sales property, styling your rental property will dramatically boost its appeal and set you apart from the crowd. 

Consider leaving furniture in the home or bringing in a professional styling company for the open inspections. If you don’t wish to go so far as a property stylist, then do your very best to prepare your property for an eye-catching photo shoot and a great ‘first impression’ at every open-for-inspection. 

If you would like more information regarding preparing your property for rent, get in touch with one of our property management specialists who is always happy to help. OBrien Real Estate manages over 4000 rental properties.