A good quality renter will look after your investment, pay their rent on time and be reasonable to deal with. Through the application process, an experienced and well-trained property manager will use all the tools in their toolbox to check a renter's applications, check past history and help you to choose the right renter. However, we certainly see properties of a lower standard, condition and quality resulting in a lower standard or quality of renter.
It doesn't matter how old the property - it’s the cleanliness and condition in which a home is maintained that has a real impact on the quality of the renter that a property will attract. A quality renter with a lower budget may need to rent an older home but they don't want to move into a filthy dump. We also see from time to time modern homes that need maintenance or are dirty and quality renters simply move onto the next home on their list.
Fair wear and tear
It can be difficult for owners to understand that when a renter moves out they don't need to leave a home in immaculate condition. Even if it was immaculate or brand new when they moved in, the legislation only requires a property to be left in "reasonably clean condition" with allowance for "fair wear and tear". This is really tricky because everyone's idea of "reasonably clean" is a little different. As an owner, it's reasonable to think that your investment will be returned to you in the exact condition that you handed it over, but this often isn't the case. An investor should factor into their budget ongoing repairs, preventative maintenance and cleaning costs. If your Property Manager makes recommendations for extra cleaning, painting or repairs, consider their advice, they have their finger on the pulse to know what's needed to give you the best chance of finding a quality renter in the fastest time. $300 spent on general cleaning could see your property rented two weeks faster and to a quality renter. The cleaning bill is most likely tax deductible, you will be maximising your return on investment and hopefully securing a trouble-free renter for your property.
Tips to attract a quality Renter
- Ensure that your property is really clean, regardless of its age.
- Focus on appliances when assessing cleanliness: oven, cooktop, rangehood, dishwasher.
- Touch up chipped or scuffed paintwork, including walls, skirting and architraves.
- Ensure that the home smells clean. Old carpets and drapes can leave a home smelling stale and uninviting.
- Ensure that the entry and exterior is clean and welcoming. Remove cobwebs, high-pressure clean paths and tiles and replace the welcome mat.
- Gardens should be well maintained. Between tenancies trim trees and bushes, keep lawns mowed, edged, and mulch the garden beds.
- Attend to any maintenance. Loose door knobs, rotted timbers, cracked screens or windows, dripping taps.
- Replace or clean stained carpets and window coverings.
When people inspect your home you want them to leave the inspection thinking "What a lovely, clean property". With thoughts like these, they are most likely to apply to live there. With thoughts like "It's a bit dirty, did you see the oven? Oh, and that garden needs a lot of work" your property will go to the bottom of their list and they will most likely rent someone else's home.