Rental Property Essentials & other Tips

March 16th, 2022 / Antonio Mesiti

As part of my job, I see alot of Properties, like a lot. 

I am often asked about what works and what doesn’t in rental properties, what attracts tenants and works well in long-term investment properties. Landlords like to get advice from people at the “front line” and that’s sensible, we can also learn where to focus expenditure & what to leave as is.

You see, over time, tenants have come to expect features that were once bonuses and it’s clear that this is simply because many features or fittings & fixtures have become useful parts of everyday life. Tenants have expectations, some tenants are flexible & some won’t be.

Aside from what tenants want, I’m adding in some thoughts and recommendations that work from my point of view, some pointers that focus on easy maintenance & longevity.

I do blog a lot about Pets, allowing or even considering pets on application will open up your property to a huge number of prospective tenants. If you are open to considering pets, make sure you advertise this when leasing your property.

  • Kitchen

Storage

A deep or wide pantry is always appealing in a kitchen as is generous benchtop space

Fridge Space

Wherever possible, leave as much space as possible for standard size fridge spaces so check heights & widths of standard size fridges if you’re planning out a new kitchen

Dishwasher

Not a deal-breaker for a lot of tenants but sought after by many, a dishwasher placed close by to a kitchen sink is seen to be a necessity for many- me included

  • Laundry

Clothes drying & Ventilation

In apartments, a dryer is a must to provide to tenants. If you can, get a condenser or heat pump dryer installed to avoid the moisture that air vented dryers create in apartments.If you’re not providing a dryer in a terrace or house you should provide a clothesline.

Internal laundries are highly sought after too, if you can integrate washing machine taps & a dedicated laundry space somewhere inside your property then I highly recommend that, in an apartment, for example, you could connect a front loader somewhere in the kitchen or bathroom.

Antonio tip; An extendable, stow-away clothesline is a great idea.

If you can make some form of ventilation happen that’s an added bonus & will save you some headaches down the track.

  • Bathroom(s)

Vanity

Storage in a bathroom is important, if possible, seek a vanity under the basin for storage as well as a generous mirror cabinet. Think about things like hand towel or towel rails being sufficient as well

Antonio Tip; Get a vanity on legs, no timber work that sits on the floor, trust me.

Ventilation / Exhaust Fan

If a window isn’t possible, or even if it is, investigate how to get an exhaust fan into your bathroom and save yourself a lot of trouble over time

Bath VS Shower

Some tenants will insist on a property having a bath if it allows then a shower over bath will suffice but showers only allow for way more space in a bathroom

  • Living & Dining Spaces

Flooring

Timber flooring or tiling is always ideal for these high traffic & highly used spaces. Avoiding carpet attracts more tenants but also is a much better long-term investment

Light

No need to turn your property around but if you have good lighting, then emphasise that with clean windows, simple window furnishings or clever dimmable lights. House with skylight potential- that’d be worthwhile

Air Conditioning

We all want A/C, don’t we? Usually found in the living room but loved in Bedrooms as well

Of course, it’s attractive to tenants but can be expensive to install & then replace over time. For some tenants, it’s high on their must-have list. A/C can be a good long-term capital expense though, it just isn’t necessary for all properties depending on its construction type, aspect, etc, and in many properties, you have to consider where the external unit will be placed. Be sure to seek Strata approval for any Apartments

  • Bedrooms

Built-ins

No longer an added bonus, Built-ins can now make or break a tenant’s interest in a property. Placement is important, ensuring that built-ins don’t protrude into the entrance and leave a couple of options for bed placement.

Windows

Flyscreens are a popular request and sought after by tenants constantly. They do allow for bedrooms to get more ventilation so they can be a win/win

Curtains or Blinds are essentially a must-have. I say go with a roller block out blind allow tenants to add their own curtains if they want to smarten up or personalise a space.

Flooring

Most tenants are fine with carpet in bedrooms, some tenants strictly seek properties without carpet, don’t forget, you simply can’t cater to absolutely everyone’s needs.

Ceiling fans

A great idea for circulation in a bedroom, especially if it’s lacking a cross breeze. A fan can help clear out the room of any stale, damp / mould-causing air. These also obviously keep rooms cooler so are attractive to tenants for that reason.

  • Generally Speaking

Parking

You might not be able to build a garage or add parking but make sure you highlight what’s available to prospective tenants. This could be where the closest all-day parking is or how many permits are available to them via the local council

Storage Space

Whether it’s a shed in a back yard, roof space, or car space locker- any external storage is a great added bonus for prospective tenants. Advertise dimensions of any storage & tenants will highly value anywhere to store belongings outside of their internal living space

Lighting & Power

Lights with dimmers are always appealing, think evening viewings with the lights dimmed

Antonio Tip; We recently leased a property with USB points integrated into the power sockets – a massive hit

Forget about…

Leaving things such as washing machines or fridges, unless you are happy to maintain them over time or replace them as needed. The same goes for furniture unless you’re a short-term rental that is.

As a landlord you will not be able to hit each & every one of these points, as property investors, we are hardly all rolling in spare cash & no one should over capitalise but I hope you found something useful here or something to keep in mind next time any works or upgrades are being done at your property.