Property maintenance for landlords: more than fixing a broken window

Property maintenance includes a wide range of activities from, replacing a light bulb to bigger jobs like replacing windows or fixtures. While you most likely maintain your rental throughout tenancies by fixing broken windows and addressing plumbing issues it is also important to look at the superficial maintenance at the end of each tenancy. Neglecting visual maintenance between tenancies can make your rental property less desirable over time. Taking the opportunity to make small but significant improvements to your property makes a difference in attracting prospective tenants, which can overall increase your return on investment as well as improve the tenant experience.

Take a look at these areas where we suggest you can make improvements to your rental.

Touching up high-traffic areas
Common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can look particularly worn down. Kitchens sell houses, and are definitely a priority area for prospective tenants, so it’s important to update these when possible. Simple efforts such as a fresh coat of paint on cupboard doors, new handles and hardware, and a decent clean can not only freshen these rooms up but also make them feel more modern, which attracts tenants with a higher budget.

Cleaning floor surfaces
Most tenancy agreements have a clause regarding cleaning the carpet following the tenancy, where tenants are responsible for bringing the floor back to the same condition as it was when they moved in.
However, it’s best to go into the property yourself or hire a cleaner to get the floor back to near new.  If you notice the carpet in your rental often needs more than a deep clean, it’s worthwhile looking into investing in new, durable carpet that will last.

Attention to detail  
Going further than a generic clean by the previous tenants can easily impress new tenants with your attention to detail. Thoroughly washing the blinds or curtains, or even replacing them where necessary can not only make the property feel fresh and updated, it is also more welcoming. Having a clean and tidy rental for each viewing is greatly appreciated by prospective tenants, and gives them a good first impression of the landlord.

Street value
It’s all about the curb appeal. Take the time to pull out weeds, mow the lawn and get a house wash – this will invite tenants into view the property and gives them an idea of how well the rental is maintained inside.
Adding extra features such as security lights also increases the appeal of the property, and is a fairly inexpensive improvement that adds more value.

Include lawn mowing and gardening
While many try and keep the rent lower and contract the tenants to be responsible for the lawns and gardens, it is my experience that frequently they are not done to a suitable standard, and it is an ongoing battle to ensure they are kept up. How about increasing the rent a little and having these tasks done regularly by an external contractor?

That way you know they are done, the place is looking its best more often; and you have another set of eyes and ears looking at the property for you periodically.

 

Taking the time to make improvements not only impacts the value of your rental property and your ability to gain higher returns, it also improves the tenants experience with you as a landlord.

 
Nick Phillips