We don’t need to search far to see how many homes or apartments are available on the rental market. As a landlord, you need to ensure you not only grab potential tenants’ attention with your listing, but also get them to fall in love with the place once they come to view it. In a perfect world, we could completely remodel a home every few years, thus keeping up with market trends. In reality, however, it pays to be selective in your upgrades.
- A fresh coat of paint and new floors can easily be derailed by forgotten details. Here are some last minute things to check before showing your home:
- Ensure skirtings and hard to reach corners are clean and matches the rest of the room.
- In the bathroom, ensure the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet are in good working order and clean.
- If your rental includes appliances, make sure they work as they should and are in a good condition.
- Investigate all security gates or burglar bars and ensure they are neat and structurally sound.
- Make sure all light bulbs are working, replace those that don’t.
- Give the floors one last clean, especially in the kitchen and main living area.
- If your rental includes curtains or blinds, make sure these are also clean and in good condition. If not, it’s best to remove them altogether.
This one’s particularly relevant if your property is on the smaller side. The last thing a tenant wants is a dark, dreary apartment to call home. If your property doesn’t have large windows and natural light, consider the practicality of a skylight. If that’s too large an expense, or not physically viable, pay close attention to your light fittings. Whether the space needs downlighters, a dimmer switch, or bright spotlights, tailor your choices around your specific property.
Don’t fall for fads
When it comes to renting your property out, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re targeting a broad market. While those black tiles may be just up your (and some tenants’) alley, they won’t necessarily be attractive to everyone else. Home decor trends are constantly changing – from colour choices to the latest innovation in kitchens. Keep your property timeless by investing in features that won’t age as soon as the new trend walks through the door.
Opt for neutral shades when choosing paint and flooring, as these will appeal to the general market for longer. Also keep in mind that you’re looking for durable solutions. While it may be cheaper to install carpeting, this could very well end up being a costly nightmare to clean or replace after the tenant moves out. Instead, look for timeless tiles or wood. As for the walls, make sure the paint is durable and easy to clean. Satin or semi-gloss paints are usually your best bet, as these can be wiped clean without needing a new coat.
Keep it green
While it’s practically impossible to fit a water tank in an apartment, there are still some steps you can take to make your rental property more green – and therefore more attractive to tenants. Replacing an old geyser with a heat pump, or adding low-energy lightbulbs, can make all the difference to your tenant’s electricity bill.
If your property has a garden, keep the costs and time that goes into maintenance in mind. While that rose garden is beautiful to look at, it may very well be a deterrent for young professionals who simply don’t have the time to take care of it. Instead, opt for practical and low maintenance plants. Consider minimising the size of the lawn by adding pavers or wood decking. Where possible, look into adding a solar panel (or two), thus alleviating some of the pressure from traditional energy.
While we’re on the topic of gardens, ensure your property appeals to prospective tenants right from the get-go. It’s as simple as removing any weeds or debris and ensuring all plants are in a good condition.
Kitchens and bathrooms
We’ve said it a million times, and we’ll say it again: the kitchen and bathroom usually sells the house. Unsurprisingly, the same counts for rentals. While a complete remodel is a possibility, it’s also costly. Instead, make small and inexpensive changes that will make a big impact.
Replacing the handles on and adding a lick of paint to cabinet doors can instantly upgrade the appearance of both a kitchen and bathrooms. Again, look for neutral and timeless styles, as you want these to be attractive to as many potential tenants as possible. Adding new taps can also make a big difference, without breaking the bank.
Making renovations and improvements to a rental property can be a good financial decision, but only if you know what to focus on. If you’re unsure about what needs to be done, it’s a good idea to view competing listings to see how yours measures up. Small improvements can not only increase the appeal of your rental, but could also push up the monthly rent.