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Looking for good tenants
How to attract and retain top tenants

What should you do to prepare your property for tenants? How can you help to ensure that the property attracts the right type of tenant for the highest rent? There are several things you can do to gain maximum benefit for minimum work.

  1. Attend to obvious maintenance issues. Broken windows and large cracks in the walls or tiled floors can be a turn-off for tenants. They instantly give the impression that the property is run-down and make the prospective tenant wonder what else might be wrong with the property.
  2. Ensure the garden is low maintenance. Tenants are not known for their commitment to their landlord’s garden, so keep it simple. Plants that don’t require regular watering or pruning are a good start. Also consider the amount of sun or shade the plant will be exposed to and make your selections from there. Closer to the time of inspection, make sure the lawn is mowed and that the yards are neat and tidy.
  3. Thoroughly clean all windows inside and out. This is easy, cheap and makes the whole house seem brighter and in better condition.
  4. Give the interior a fresh coat of paint – this is relatively cheap and easy improvement. It will make a significant difference to how clean and maintained the property appears. If budget and time permit, you may wish to paint the outside of the property. Aim to use neutral colours. People have their own style and tenants like to make the property their own, so keep it neutral.
  5. Renovating the kitchen and/or bathroom is a more expensive and time-consuming measure, but it pays off. If you ask any renter what they look for in prospective properties, most will say a decent kitchen and bathroom. If full renovations are out of the question, smaller-scale improvements such as replacing old, damaged benchtops and stoves make a big difference.
  6. If the property has carpets, get them professionally cleaned. If they are beyond repair, consider replacing them.

Finally, just before the property is open for inspection, strategically place air fresheners in some rooms and hallways to make it smell nice. This may also mask smells from previous tenants’ cooking, or if they kept pets indoors.

Updating and improving the property not only helps to secure a tenant, it also increases the value of the property and encourages the tenant to pay the full asking rent — killing three birds with one stone.

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