Four Simple Home Improvement Tips That Landlords Can Do to Increase the Asking Rent
Most landlords will fight tooth and nail to maximise the asking rent from their tenants, but not give much in return. As most leases are long term contracts with tenants, it pays to negotiate a win-win arrangement and offer something of value in return for higher rent.
To many landlords and their agents, increasing value means hiring expensive renovation companies or interior design firms to spruce up the home, or investing in furniture and furnishings. Here are some low-cost alternatives to bringing a property up to rent-ready condition instead.
Ensure all fittings and furnishings are repaired and in good condition
Some landlords take a light touch in managing their rental properties, and after a lease is up, the tenant search begins immediately with earnest. As a result, the inventory list is filled with plenty of broken furniture, chipped paint, rusted pipes and faulty appliances. Imagine what the tenant must be thinking, right before he or she signs the tenancy agreement!
As the proud owner of a property, the landlord should take stock of the interior after the conclusion of each lease. A full renovation is not necessary, but at least simple repairs should be done to minimise the handover of defective furnishings to the next tenant. Having everything in working condition also discourages the tenant from demanding for a discount, or to spend on expensive repairs after the lease commences.
Check the fittings and furnishings
Remove clutter and open up the interior
Many times, landlords still keep old decorations like faded paintings, yellowed magnets and chipped vases in their rental properties. Some are sentimental keepsakes that landlords cannot bear to take down, while others are a misguided attempt in interior decor.
When moving in, most tenants are looking for a fresh start in their new home. Hence, white clean walls and empty rooms will attract tenants to your place. This applies to fully furnished units as well - just leave cupboards and appliances in place, without any extra 'decoration' lying on racks or hanging off the walls.
Clean the windows
Over the period a previous tenancy, windows will accumulate grime, dust and water trails. This will be very visible to tenants viewing the property, and a blurry, smudged window will instantly reduce the attractiveness of a unit. This is especially since windows are located at eye level, and tenants will want to peer out and take a look at the view from the unit.
Since dirty windows bring down the value of a rental unit, then this is probably the cheapest issue to fix before marketing the property. Just run the windows through with clean water, and wipe dry it afterwards. For stubborn streaks, save on expensive chemicals and use vinegar instead!
Curtains also play a part by setting the right atmosphere in the room, and letting enough light into the interior. The fabric of the curtains is an important consideration, and investing in good curtains isn't prohibitively expensive.
Maintain a bright, airy room with clean windows
Remove or paint over mold and algae growth
For many tenants, mold or algae growth in damp areas is a huge turnoff and devalues the property substantially. These growth are not as easily removed by mechanical scrubbing, but cheap alternatives exist.
To remove them, try bleach with warm water or vinegar. Alternatively, you can use ammonia, but never mix ammonia and bleach together, as it will create poisonous chlorine gas!
After treating the problem, landlords should also find out why mold or algae are growing. For mold, it's usually caused by damp surfaces, so try improve ventilation and keep the area dry. For algae, sunlight and water encourage growth, so check for water seepage, leaks, and remove any plants or vegetation in the vicinity.
For tough stains, paint over them with an anti-mould paint, and you'll also improve the property with a fresh colours!
Maintain the property
Even with these quick fixes, maintaining the property is a constant and long-term effort, and not just to provide a shelter over the tenant's head. A good landlord should take pride in keeping the interior comfortable for occupation, and invest time and money to regularly in doing so. This will encourage a better class of tenants and along with it, higher rent.