Vacancy rates may be low but that’s no reason for complacency. A few simple steps can help landlords ensure their property continually attracts tenants – and earns a steady return.
As the festive season approaches it’s even more important to secure a tenant. Most people like to be settled in a home before Christmas and if your rental property is vacant in late December you could have a couple of untenanted weeks ahead. Follow our strategies to keep your property tenanted.
Be realistic with rent
The rent you’re asking is one of the key factors that will determine how quickly your property is tenanted. Ask too much and the place could stand vacant for weeks. Ask too little, and you’re ripping yourself off.
That’s where a good property manager can play a vital role. He/she should be able to suggest an achievable rent for your property and suburb. If in doubt, websites like SQM Research feature free information on current rents for a variety of suburbs nationally, or just take a look at the ‘To Let’ section of your local newspaper.
Think like a tenant
Cast an objective eye around your property. See things through a tenant’s eyes and look for anything that could be a turn off like chipped tiles, broken fence palings, unkempt gardens or cracked windows. Not only will these issues see your property scratched off a tenant’s wish list, you could be breaching your legal duty to provide a safe dwelling.
Be a pro-active landlord
Landlords who wait until tenants request urgent repairs are allowing the quality of their asset to deteriorate – and paving the way for the tenant to move on once the lease expires.
Having a planned maintenance schedule will keep your rental property in great shape and make it more appealing to tenants. Remember too, it costs a lot less to fix a minor repair before it becomes a far bigger problem.
Consider making yours a pet-friendly property
According to the Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC), 63% of Australian households have a pet. That’s a lot of potential tenants, many of whom find it difficult to secure pet-friendly rental accommodation. Yet tenants with furry friends are often reluctant to move once they find a suitable property – and that can mean reduced turnover for the landlord. If you’re prepared to accept pets, ask your property manager about inserting a few pet-related clauses in the lease.
Above all, value your tenants. Good ones are worth holding onto because every week in lost rent is money not easily replaced.