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The top 10 things tenants look for in a rental property

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The Running Property philosophy is all about attracting great tenants for our property owners, who’ll supply you with a reliable rental income over the long term.

To do this, there are a number of things you can do right now to ensure your rental property not only meets the standards of quality tenants, but exceeds them. That’s a sure way to stand out from the competition in a crowded rental market.

We took a look at the top ten things your rental property should have, to maximise its appeal to potential tenants and ensure it provides you with a healthy yield for years to come.

1. Rent set at a fair market price

Today’s tenants are highly educated and sophisticated customers. They know the rental market in the areas they’ve chosen to live in. Amazingly, tenants will inspect as many as 15 to 20 properties before making their informed decision.

These incredibly knowledgeable tenants will take notes, compare properties, and make their decision based on the benefits of each home and of course, the best value for money.

Simply put, if your property isn’t being offered at a fair market price – it will remain vacant.

What that means for you

Just like potential tenants, you’ll need to do your research! Get a feel for the market in your investment property’s area, and honestly assess how your property stacks up against the ‘competition’.

Running Property’s experienced property managers can help you set an asking price that’s reasonable and achievable for both you and your tenants.

2. Home security features

When looking for a place to make their own, tenants can be very aware of the security of a property. Feeling safe in your own home is an important part of feeling comfortable in a property, and a prerequisite for becoming a long-term tenant.

Some of the most sought-after security features that tenants look for are:

  • Security screens
  • Deadlocks
  • Window locks
  • Security alarms

Even if your rental property is in a safe neighbourhood, you may find that prospective tenants will be willing to pay a little more for a property that ticks off these security features. You could also consider offering to pay for an alarm service as a cost-effective way to give your property the edge over similar ones in the area.

3. Location, location, location!

It’s a real estate cliché of course – but like most clichés, it contains a lot of truth. Prospective tenants will be looking to rent a property that’s reasonably close to public transport, shops, schools, and where they work. If a tenant can save on transport costs by only driving a short distance, or even walking to local amenities, they may be willing to pay more rent in return.

What that means for you

Just like potential tenants will, take the time really think about a prospective investment property’s location before you buy. And it isn’t just the ‘location staples’ we’ve talked about above – look out for unique amenities such as top restaurants, walking trails and national parks, entertainment districts, and so on. A rental property in a great location is much more likely to attract tenants than a similar one in a poor location.

4. Equal sized bedrooms

Long term trends show that tenants value a home layout featuring larger, more equal sized bedrooms in a rental property. So for example, in a 3 bedroom townhouse tenants would prefer a layout of 3 equal sized bedrooms and 2 ensuites, instead of one that features a large master bedroom, big bathroom, and 2 small bedrooms.

What that means for you

When you’re weighing up which investment property to buy, think about how your potential tenants might prefer to live. Dollar for dollar, a property featuring equal-size bedrooms may be a better investment than one with inconsistent sizes.

5. A comfortable living temperature, year-around.

In the hot and sticky Brisbane summer, air-conditioning is practically one of life’s necessities. For many prospective tenants, if your rental property doesn’t feature air-con, you’ll be struck off their shortlist straight away!

And it’s not just a summer consideration – tenants place a premium on devices that allow them to control their living conditions all year round, such as reverse cycle air conditioning and ceiling fans.

What that means for you

If you can afford to install air-conditioning cost effectively, you could experience a better return on your investment from satisfied tenants who may be willing to pay a little more rent for a lot more comfort.

6. Overall cleanliness of the property

At Running Property we often find that an unclean property will only attract an unclean tenant! And that’s not a good idea when you’re looking to preserve the value of your investment property for the long term.

Even when a potential tenant likes nothing else about a property, they will still come back and say “At least it is clean.” A lot of tenants aren’t able to see through the dirt.

What that means for you

A property is a lot easier to rent when it’s clean than it is when it’s dirty. So before you arrange that open house, either spring clean your property from top to bottom yourself, or invest a little of your funds in having it professionally cleaned by experts.

7. Bright rooms with lots of natural light

A light and bright property is simply more attractive to tenants than a home that’s dull and gloomy. Abundant natural light helps give your property a welcoming, homely feel and can even save tenants money on their electricity bill. In fact, we find that tenants don’t even mind living in an older property, so long as it’s bright and well lit.

What that means for you

Even if your rental property isn’t brand new, you can still maximise its attractiveness with some clever, cost-effective thinking. For example, installing a skylight could be an affordable way to maximise the natural light entering your property. Talk to Running Property for more brilliant ideas for your rental property

8. Fixtures, fittings and appliances in good working order

You can be sure that potential tenants will poke around and test all visible items at an inspection! They’ll expect your property to be well maintained, and to have everything working as it should – including lights, keys, doors, screens, ovens, taps, the dishwasher, and the list goes on.

What that means for you

Thoroughly screen all your property’s fixtures and fittings yourself, to be sure there is nothing that will raise a red flag in tenants’ minds. If you decide to replace any appliances, consider choosing energy efficient and ‘green’ models to give your property an added point of difference.

9. A low maintenance yard and garden

It’s a rare tenant indeed who looks forward to a weekend spent weeding and mowing someone else’s garden and yard! That’s why a property with a low maintenance yard (or even a paved courtyard) will often attract tenants more quickly than one that has a large, verdant garden and yard.

What that means for you

If your property does have extensive green areas, consider including lawn and garden maintenance in the rent you charge, to give tenants one less thing to worry about.

10. A peaceful, quiet place to live

The number one thing that persuades people to become long-term tenants is their enjoyment of living in a particular home. Of course, that means the property has to offer a peaceful living environment, with minimal interruptions from rowdy neighbours and loud traffic.

What that means for you

While there’s not a lot you can do about the behaviour of noisy neighbours, you may be able to mitigate how noise affects your property with the clever use of walls, fences, or privacy screens. Your Running Property manager will be happy to talk through your options for your specific rental property.

Get more valuable investment property tips with Running Property

These 10 top tips are just a sample of the expertise that the Running Property team are ready to share with you. We’d love the opportunity to help you attract and retain great quality tenants for your investment property.

Call Running Property today on (07) 3392 1544 or get in touch with the contact form at runningproperty.com.au.

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