When you own an investment property, rental income is usually your bread and butter. And you would avoid vacancies as it would hurt your bottom dollar. Here is where the expertise of Property Management companies adds considerable value – to help keep this to the minimum by advertising through the right channels at the right price and selecting the best possible tenants through professional methods.
However, if you already have your place tenanted, what can you, as a Landlord, do to keep your vacancy rate at the bare minimum? Here are some specific steps outlined to help you:
Keep it Clean
Everyone prefers a clean home to come to – this includes common areas in strata lots, the external areas as well as the overall property. First impression counts. And dirty or unkempt areas can really put off potential tenants.
Attend to Repairs Promptly
As soon as there is an item that requires repair attention, ensure that you make timely repairs as soon as possible. At times, when a matter is not attended to promptly (such a leak in the roof) this could exacerbate into a massive issue and set off a chain of damage to the property.
Conduct Regular Maintenance
Keep the amenities provided to your tenants in excellent condition by conducting regular maintenance. For instance, pay for a pool maintenance company, ensure that the ducted systems are maintained, conduct annual pest treatments, service the in-built ovens and ensure that the reticulation systems are in good working condition.
Keep yourself in the know
Our recent article on Minimum Compliance for WA Properties will help you understand how you can ensure that the basic legal requirement of your property is met.
Refresh your exterior areas
Right from the time you enter a dwelling, you should feel welcomed to your home. That is what tenants will be looking for, so refresh the external paints and keep a low maintenance garden. Consider landscaping carefully so that you provide the property with plants that require minimal watering and pruning.
Consider energy ratings when installing electrical equipment as well as ways to use water-efficient appliances and toilet systems. Save our environment and value our precious water (especially important in Western Australia).
Keep current with local rent prices
Tenants can be quite price-sensitive to the local market and so it is worthwhile to conduct your own research periodically to ensure that the right rent rates are being charged – do this in consultation with your property managers as they may be able to advise you on certain socio-economic trends as well.
Furnish quality amenities
Ducted air-conditioning systems, ventilations systems such as fans which are increasing in its popularity due to environmental concerns, heating systems, reticulation systems to electrical appliances such as ovens, washer-dryers, dishwashers – these are some very attractive amenities that help attract the right tenants.
If you would like to extend the lease on a good tenant, it may be wise to offer some incentives such as pool maintenance, sharing of water expenses and garden maintenance costs.
With increasing issues of security in certain neighbourhoods or roads, do install security measures such as electric gate, fencing, security video and door-bells, built-in safes etc.
The best property managers, especially here in Perth, will put in their best time and effort into sourcing the perfect tenant right from the start. And even though there will undoubtedly be different needs in varying circumstances, these 10 tips will provide a great foundation to a minimum vacancy, maximum occupancy investment property that will be profitable and will give you the peace of mind.