What Tenants Look For In A Rental Property

To get the highest possible rent and to attract the best possible tenants you need to know exactly what tenants look for when their searching for a rental property. With this knowledge your well on the way to happy investing and with happy tenants.

Location is of major importance to prospective tenants well before they even give consideration to the style of home or type of dwelling being offered for rent. If you have already purchased your investment property there is not much you can do about the location. If your still looking for an investment property a few points to keep in mind should be how close or how far away are local amenities such as schools, shops, public transport, employment opportunities, sporting facilities, hospitals, ocean, water, parks etc. If the property is on a busy road or in a quiet street or cul de sac and if the property offers any views, breezes or the aspect of the property. Careful consideration to these points is most valuable when determining purchasing an investment property.

The rental amount will also determine the type of tenants who would look to rent the property. The market rent needs to be fair in comparison to what else is on offer in the surrounding neighbourhood. For example a tenant won’t pay $500 per week for a property when there are 10 of the exact same property available for rent at $400 per week. One of the benefits of employing a good property management company to manage your property is they will have prepared a CRA (Comparative Rental Analysis) and will know exactly what is achievable and what is not.

Most tenants are security conscious and they want to know they will be safe in the property and so to their belongings when there out. Things like deadlocks to front and rear doors, security screens to all windows and doors and even an alarm system provides the tenant with piece of mind. Most tenants prefer properties to be fully fenced to the rear and sides and to have a gate to the return of the property. This will give them peace of mind knowing their children can safely play in the rear yard of the property and the property is secure.

The property needs to be in good repair and clean and tidy which will show prospective tenants you are willing to provide a safe and inviting property that they too can call home. The maintenance on the property should be considered as an ongoing investment (and not a cost) of being a property investor. This will enable you to achieve a higher rental figure per week and attract great tenants who will treat your home as their own. If your property has dripping taps, torn flywire or security screen mesh, needs a paint or has over grown gardens it will be much less appealing to quality tenants. By investing some money in your property you will be surprised how quickly your investment can be recouped.

Another important factor is the properties temperature inside and out. Air conditioning and ceiling fans are important in a warmer climate and heating is important in a cooler climate. Tenants will know if they are looking at an apartment or townhouse and the bedrooms are upstairs they will be hot in summer and cold in winter. They will look for things like a separate air conditioning unit in the master bedroom or at least ceiling fans. If the main living area in the house has the hot sun beating in on that side of the house all day long in summer they will probably expect an air conditioner. The same applies to outside, is there a patio and if so is it large enough that the tenants can comfortably entertain under and not so small they need to sit inside when their relations or friends visit. The home should also be safely ventilated and have enough windows to capture the breezes as this will save on their energy costs for tenants as well.

The size of the rooms is also an important consideration tenants are looking for in a rental property. They need enough room to comfortably enjoy living in the home. The bedrooms don’t need to be the size of Buckingham Palace but they do need to fit more than a bed. Children’s bedrooms need to be large enough for a bed and wardrobe (if there are no built ins) as well as a place for a desk as most teenagers now have computers or a television in the room. A tenant will also need to see their lounge suite and other furniture will easily fit in the rooms provided. The same principal still applies whether it’s a small 2 bedroom townhouse or a large five bedroom house.

The investment property also needs to be low maintenance and easy to maintain. In a house tenants don’t want to be spending large amounts of their weekends mowing lawns, pruning hedges and looking after award wining rose bushes. They want to be out enjoying themselves so low maintenance gardens are important. If there are garden beds at the property make sure they are edged and mulched. This makes it easier for the tenants to mow and whipper snip the lawn and weed the garden bed. If you do have beautiful gardens and lawns throughout the property then pay for a gardener to maintain them. Not all tenants will have the same passion for gardening that you may have. If the property has a pool I would strongly recommend employing a pool company to maintain the pool. This may sound expensive but from my experience it may save you thousands over the long term.

A factor which is becoming more important in today’s ever changing world is the environment. With energy costs soaring tenants are now looking for rental properties that will minimise their energy and water expenses. Items such as solar or gas hot water systems opposed to electric are becoming more important to tenants. Low wattage or energy efficient light globes installed in the property will also make a difference when tenants are deciding on two very similar houses. Another important feature today are rain water tanks as tenants can now be charged for the water usage at the home. If a water tank is plumbed into the house to run the toilets and washing machine this will save the tenants a lot of water usage and money.

In summary if you have bought a property already you may not be able to much about the location but their should be a few ideas which will help you not only increase the income the property generates but also attract a great tenant who will look to stay for a long period and as a result will reduce your vacancy rate.

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