We’ve talked to the Australia’s DIY masters to bring you their tricks of the trade, so your rental property can be seen in the best light.
Keep it Cool
With Australia’s propensity for steamy summers, adding air-conditioning to your property will immediately increase its appeal to potential renters. However, you need to also consider the impact of high-energy appliances that result in expensive bills for your tenants, so you might want to consider an alternative. Replacing your home’s traditional windows with louvres could be the answer; not only will these lower energy bills, they’re also aesthetically appealing. Opening twice as wide as a regular window, Breezway Altair Louvre Windows, allow 90% ventilation through the home compared to between 12% and 40% for typical sliders or awning windows. As well as being practical, the company’s stylish louvres are ideal for apartments lacking wall space as they can be custom made in different shapes and sizes. At the forefront of the resurgent popularity of louvre windows over the last decade, Breezway’s research and development team continuously works to improve their product.
While we’re talking temperature, if you live in an area where the mercury drastically dips in wintertime, think about installing double-glazed windows or doors to increase your property’s eco-friendly factor and reduce the need for heating. Again, this will help reduce your tenant’s energy costs while upping the value of your house. If your renovation project is a modern build, it may be required to reach a certain level of energy efficiency by law, so it’s also always useful to look for the most economical ways to comply with the rules. A producer of high-quality windows and doors, Hanlon Windows low-maintenance goods come in a wide range of colours and several glazing options, including the eco Viridian Smartglass. The family-owned manufacturer offers sliding, bi-fold and stacking doors, as well as louvre, awning and double-hung windows, made from robust aluminium and timber materials. For an eco-friendly option, choose from the range featuring Low E glass technology to keep heat from escaping.
Let There Be Light
Naturally bright apartments are far more appealing than dark living spaces, therefore in a rental property, where square metres are often at a premium, turn your attention to your property’s electrical lights. Well-placed lamps and light fixtures can cultivate an appealing atmosphere in your investment home, keeping tenants comfortable and content. Downlights are a great way to provide light throughout pokey hallways and also work well with low ceilings. Adjustable spotlights trained on workspaces are an extremely practical addition, and dimmers in lounges add a cosy feel to the space. The professional power tools firm, Bosch DIY, agrees that incorporating or replacing lighting creates instant impact. It’s a cost-efficient way to brighten or open up a room without having to invest heavily in knocking down walls. Alternatively, get creative and design a colourful feature with one wall or a centrepiece. Lighting fixtures can easily be fitted into any ceiling with the use of an easy-to-use Bosch DIY Rotary Hammer. They recommend you switch off the fuse before you drill any holes near a light fitting and check that no cables or pipes run through your chosen drilling position. If in doubt, spend a little extra and get a certified electrician in for extra peace of mind.
Add a Lick of Paint
Painting your walls has to be the simplest way to give any house a makeover. There are a few basic rules when it comes to rental properties. Number one being: don’t let your personal taste take over. While covering the kitchen in lime green or the bedroom in charcoal black might be the latest trend, not everyone will be so thrilled with your colour choices. Instead opt for muted tones that will appeal to a wide range of tastes. Creams, greys and taupes are the best colour choices as they tend make rooms appear larger. A sure way to impress potential tenants is to take care of the details; it’s worth repainting any peeling cabinets, exterior walls or skirting boards to make your house look as good as new. As well as supplying interior paints in a wide range of hip hues, Nutech Paint is a one-stop shop for your painting needs with ranges of high-quality roof, concrete, texture and house paint. As an added bonus, the company uses premium raw materials and creates products made from volatile organic compounds that are free from ammonia and the chemical APEO, helping to ensure your rental meets safety and environmental standards.
Spruce Up Vital Spaces
...Even though it may be tempting to dress up the exterior, it’s the interior that matters most to a tenant, so concentrate your efforts indoors. The kitchen and bathroom are the touchpoints for rental properties so any money you spend on these rooms will be returned to you over time by way of extra rent. Updating these areas could significantly increase the value of your investment, which could cover your renovation costs over the long term. However, a new kitchen or bathroom can be expensive, so if this exceeds your allocated budget look for ways you can tidy up these areas with new fittings or a coat of paint on the cabinetry.
The Great Outdoors
If your property is a house, rather than a drastic facelift to the exterior, simply ensure your new home’s outdoor area doesn’t become overgrown or unclean both before an inspection and throughout the duration of a long-term occupancy. If you have worn decking outside, a clean and an application of specialist oil to the wood can go a long way. The success of Barry Plant real estate comes from their commitment to everyone involved, whether you’re an investor or a tenant. The recipients of the Australian Property Management Company of the Year title at the inaugural Australian Real Estate Awards (2013) have over 27,000 rental properties on their books.
“Gardens, bushes and trees need to be trimmed back regularly,”
says the company, adding that landlords should pay particular attention to any trees immediately around the house to ensure they are not at risk of falling or filling the gutters with leaves.
"Tenants are looking for a property that gives them a nice lifestyle without spending hours every weekend tidying the garden,” said Barry Plant.
It also recommends that all investment properties have staff come regularly to keep the garden under control. If your property is in an area with limited rainfall, gardens and grassed areas can end up very dry and brown. “Consider removing dead grassed areas and replacing them with a crushed rock or tanbark with drought tolerant plants for an instant appeal that is easy to maintain for the future years.” Renovating your rental property doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Make your life simpler by prioritising the areas with the highest impact to attract the kind of tenants you want to charge with looking after your place.
Learn from the professionals, and any attention and elbow grease you put in now is sure to boost revenue further down the line.