Read on for tips to make your rental stand out and bring in the best tenants.
Landlords are always looking to attract tenants who will cherish their home and maintain their asset. How do you achieve this and make the most of your investment property? There are several things one can do to make your rental more appealing without breaking the bank or renovating.
Identify your ideal tenants
The type of property you own will attract different potential tenants. Think of what the ideal tenants for your property will want in a home, and this will direct your upgrades.
For example, if your property is best suited to students, you may want to make the garden as easy to care for as possible. Alternatively, a family may want a more established garden for their children to play in.
Clean the property thoroughly
Before viewings take place, ensure that your property has been cleaned professionally. Nothing deters people more than dirt, even if, logically, they could clean the property after they move in.
The cleanliness of your home also shows how much you care for it, and what kind of landlord you will be. A landlord that puts effort into their property is one that most tenants would prefer to have.
Refresh finishes and fittings
Most tenants prefer a modern or neutral space to add their personality to. A dated home can be a hard sell, as not many viewers will see the potential in your property.
Some easy upgrades include:
- Painting the walls a neutral colour like beige, white or grey
- Upgrading cupboard and cabinet handles
- Replacing dull light bulbs
- Updating blinds
- Fitting a new shower head and/or taps
- Changing the curtains or blinds
Remove furnishings where possible
We have noticed that many potential tenants prefer a blank canvas when viewing homes. Consider that a tenant with their own furniture may not be interested in storing their items indefinitely while they rent from you, or that your personal taste may not match the tenant’s.
From a liability perspective, you may not want to leave your furniture in the care of other people. Wear and tear occurs, and your beloved items will not remain immaculate.
If, however, your target demographic is students, having some furnishings in your property can be attractive. Fridges, stoves, microwaves, couches, and beds are particularly useful for tenants who are moving from overseas for university and do not wish to purchase such large (and costly) items.
Carve out space to work from home
Covid-19 forced most people to work from home. Even as cases lower, many employees prefer to work from home. Keep this in mind, and try to curate a space that could be used as an office. An entire new room is not necessary, but changing a pocket of the home to be more private and secluded could be quite attractive.
Provide additional amenities
Landlords can make their rental property more appealing to tenants by providing sought-after amenities such as:
- A dishwasher
- Outdoor entertainment spaces (think braais, outdoor seating, etc.)
- Additional shelving
- Security systems (beams, automated gates, electric fences, etc.)
- Parking – many tenants are asked to pay for a parking space in addition to their rent
- A generator, inverter or UPS
- A gas stove – loadshedding has made this an important asset
Minimise living costs
There are many reasons to go green with your property, and minimising bills is certainly one of them. By installing energy-efficient appliances and devices, you can save your tenants a pretty penny.
Consider energy- and resource-efficient installations such as geyser blankets, rain water collection tanks, low-flow shower heads, and the use of grey water for irrigation systems.
On the note of irrigation, it can also be helpful for tenants (and the environment) to have indigenous plants that require less water in your garden. Always try to plant fauna that are suited to your climate and soil to mitigate the need for excessive treatments.
Keep gardens easy to maintain
Gardens can attract tenants who enjoy entertaining or have young children that need the space. It is not always a guarantee that renters will take care of the yard adequately. While our lease protects landlords from this, it is still advisable to make your property as easy to maintain as possible.
Indigenous plants often need less water, and are easier to keep alive because they are well-suited to the climate. Having an irrigation system in place can also make it easier for tenants to keep up with watering, as opposed to using a hose pipe.
Have tree branches trimmed ahead of autumn to avoid a build-up of leaves on the ground. This will also help to alleviate clutter in gutters. If your property’s trees do drop an excess of leaves, it may be helpful to provide rakes and leaf blowers for the tenant.
Consider allowing pets
This is a contentious issue for landlords; pets can spell damage and a nuisance to neighbours. In apartments, there are also questions of whether the space is suitable for animals of certain sizes. Despite this, many people own pets and will not abandon these family members for a house. If your property is suitable for an animal, consider allowing pets with specific conditions.
For example, you can limit how many pets are allowed, and their sizes. In sectional titles this may already be established in the code of conduct. In apartments, cats are often not a problem provided that they do not damage your furniture or curtains.
– Modern finishes
– Access to transport routes and amenities
– A work from home space
Each tenant will want something different, but most people want to feel secure (through a sensible security system) and to be able to make their rental home feel more personal. We recommend renting your home unfurnished as many tenants prefer using their own items for decor and comfort. A lot of renters are also looking for space to work from home.
Consider your rental home as a blank canvas for people to paint their lives on. Provide a space that is welcoming but neutral enough that anyone could make the space personal. Consider adding attractive amenities such as Wi-Fi, large appliances, and modern finishes to give your listing something extra.