10 things tenants look for in a rental property

May 14, 2019
by Hannah Carney

Part 2 of the Schwarz Landlord Advice Series

Over the years, we’ve looked after hundreds of tenants. Along the way, we’ve gotten to know the things they look out for when searching for the right rental.

  1. Your property has to be affordable

Resist the temptation to price your property based on your own expectations. Instead, think about what’s happening in your local market. Otherwise you might find prospective tenants will pass right by your property. Also, be prepared for the fact that people who apply for your property will still likely want to negotiate over price. When you’re on the hunt to buy an investment property, try to balance out purchase price and the cost of any renovations/modernisation, against the rental return you’re likely to generate.

  1. Make sure your property is in good condition

Let’s bust one myth for good. Renters are no different from home owners in wanting a comfortable, pleasant environment to live in. Just because they’re renting, doesn’t mean they don’t care about their home!

  1. Offer the option for tenants to bring their pets

According to the RSPCA, roughly 62% of Australian households own a pet. So potentially over half of your prospective tenants have a pet or would like to have one. If the best, and most committed, tenants for your property happen to be the ones with pets, you don’t want to lose them.

  1. Keep your property light and bright

Help prospective tenants visualise themselves – and their belongings – in your property, by giving them a blank canvas to work on. A light and bright interior also adds a sense of comfort and wellbeing to a home. When you’re decorating, stick to neutral colours that are easy to maintain and clean.

  1. Offer something modern in your property

Bear in mind there are a lot of new builds on or coming to the market on the Northern Beaches (for example Meriton’s Lighthouse in Dee Why). For those of you looking to buy an investment property, either consider buying something new or that can easily be updated. If you own an older property, think about the mod cons you can add in order to be competitive. You may be able to then offer something attractive that these properties can’t: character AND the modern lifestyle all rolled into one.

  1. Parking and storage are highly coveted

If you own an apartment, you’ll either have parking included or need to apply for it. If you have a parking space but no secure storage, look at other options such as installing a storage cage or mezzanine storage. If these tasks have already been covered off for tenants, they’ll appreciate the convenience. And if you’re looking to buy, make sure you concentrate your search on properties that tick one if not both of those boxes. Good on-street parking (provided tenants have or can access a permit) is a compromise for when you can’t tick every box.

  1. A good location and transport links are a must

Many tenants are looking for a lifestyle. That relies on the right location. Many renters typically want to be close to areas for entertainment and leisure (beaches, parks, cafes, restaurants, night bars, clubs etc.). They also want convenient public transport options close by. If there’s a bus stop close by that connects to the main Northern Beaches hubs, North Sydney and the City then you’re onto a winner.

  1. Families want to get into good school catchment areas

This can be a real headache for some parents. If you own or purchase a property, make sure that you research the schools in your area and have these communicated to prospective tenants.

  1. An internal laundry and dishwasher are an expected convenience

If your property doesn’t already have these installed, look at creative ways to accommodate them. That could mean creating space to stack or wall mount a washer and dryer. Combined washer-dryers are another space saving option. Dishwashers come in different sizes, so if there isn’t room for a full dishwasher look at installing a dishdrawer or slimline dishwasher. It might mean moving or losing a cupboard, but tenants will definitely appreciate the convenience.

  1. Outdoor areas create lifestyle options

This could be a balcony or a courtyard, and not necessarily a garden. The main thing tenants want is somewhere they can be outside without having to leave home. Space enough for a small table and chair, possibly a small BBQ, so that they can socialise with friends and family. And if your prospective tenants have children, the added convenience of a play area at home is priceless!

Thanks for reading! Next week we’ll hear from each member of our Property Management Team about the skills and know-how they use to get you the best for your property.

Rent Well with Schwarz.

Whether you already own or are on the hunt to buy an investment property, our Property Management team is on hand to help and advise you. Call us today to find out more.

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