Making the decision to rent out your apartment can often be a complex experience. There are many hurdles to clear, from components such as rental agreements, hiring a leasing agent, and meeting your legal and tax obligations.
However, a few small things can go a long way to attracting a better quality tenant and a higher weekly rent, helping to keep your apartment to a high standard. This can help when tenants move out, or if you choose to divest your property investment down the track.
Here are some of the key elements to keep in mind when you rent out your apartment, and how they can potentially make a world of difference to prospective tenants.
Make Sure Everything’s Fixed
First things first – make sure your fixtures and fittings are in good, quality order. Ensuring that the locks are changed with a locksmith in Preston is just one element – do a walkthrough of your apartment, and note features of concern – such as dripping taps, chipped paint, or malfunctioning appliances such as dishwashers.
Don’t just take note of the issues that matter to you, though – list all of the issues that could arise. A bit of pre-planned maintenance to deal with issues such as mould, or updating the air conditioner, can go a long way to improving the quality of your apartment and drawing higher rents from potential tenants.
Ensure the Property is Clean
Nobody likes a dirty household, even more so when you’re renting an apartment. Things such as dirty carpets, stinky bins, and messy windows can not only look unappealing, but they can also deter potential renters from applying for your property.
Before handing the property over to a rental agent, set a high cleaning standard. Whether you choose to do the cleaning yourself or hire a cleaner, go through the property and clean all the fixtures and fittings. These include elements such as blinds, windows, and bathrooms, which can go a long way to demonstrate that you want the property to be taken of by your tenants.
Consider Potential Upgrades
Many apartments offer a similar standard feature set – and in some instances, they may offer features such as pre-supplied appliances, such as a dishwasher, in order to reduce the impact of moving into a new apartment.
Consider upgrades that may allow your apartment to stand out among the crowd. Did you know that even simple things, such as a good coat of paint and high-quality appliances can make a world of difference to the living standard of a tenant? In fact, great improvements can have a bonus effect – as they’ll last longer, you may encounter fewer maintenance queries in the long term.
Check Your Insurances
No matter whether you used to live in an apartment, or if it’s strictly an investment purchase, you should consider whether you need landlord insurance. This type of insurance, exclusive to landlords, provides protection against damage to your apartment from incidents such as extreme weather and property damage.
While renters may hold their own home and contents insurance, it doesn’t protect anything you may own on the property. Often, it’s recommended that you hold your own landlord’s insurance, if only for peace of mind in trying times.
Hire a Reputable Leasing Agent
It’s important that when engaging the services of a leasing agent, they act within the law, and at a standard that respects both your needs as a landlord and the requirements of the law. In fact, in some states, rental reforms in recent years have resulted in lists of blacklisted and banned agents being available to potential renters and landlords.
Always do your due diligence before hiring a leasing agent – consider reviews, check the blacklist, and shop around. Don’t feel you have to sign up with the first rental agent you meet – it’s OK to take some time and do your research. After all, it’s not the agent’s property – it’s your apartment.
Be Aware of Your Obligations as a Landlord
It’s important that you’re aware of your legal obligations as a landlord, as property managers aren’t always aware of changes within your local Rental Tenancies Act. In recent years, some states have made changes to these acts, so depending on where your apartment is, you may need to accommodate things such as minimum heating and cooling standards, or even pets.
At the end of the day, while getting your apartment ready to rent is not always an easy experience, by following this checklist, you’ll be able to help your apartment stand out amongst the many apartments up for lease in Melbourne each week.