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18 May 2017

Quality tenants will shun poorly maintained rentals

Residential rental owners who are struggling to get good returns from their asset should take an objective look at the dwelling and see it from the point of view of a prospective tenant. Is the property clean, tidy and in good repair? Are the gardens maintained and the fencing in good condition? If the answer to these questions is a “no”, then perhaps the issue is that good tenants simply see the property as sub-standard.

We advise our investors that regular, on-going maintenance of their real estate is essential for several reasons. If they are looking to future sales, the capital gain will be much greater if the asset is in excellent condition. If they want a regular income and a good rental return, a well presented and maintained dwelling will attract good quality tenants and a higher rent.

Regular Maintenance Key to Keeping Good Tenants

Of course we have also encountered the owners who think that once they have purchased the dwelling they can sit back and collect the rent without spending anything in general or break-down maintenance.

The first point we make to owners who are reluctant to maintain their housing asset is that tenants are legally entitled to a safe and habitable living environment. If this is not enough, we also tell them to check their landlord insurance policy conditions as many insurers will not pay out on claims if the dwelling is not of the standard required by legislation.

Often forgotten are key structural issues like the condition of retaining walls, free-standing brick walls, roof tiles and sheeting, guttering and others. These are as much a safety issue as a maintenance one, and tragedies have occurred when poorly maintained structures have collapsed on the occupants.

Don’t Let Repairs and Maintenance Slip

We have found through experience that tenants will look after their rental if the owners have shown that they care about their tenants. Owners can demonstrate this through quickly attending to major issues like a hot water system or stove that has stopped working. By having a regular maintenance schedule and by listening to and acting on tenant issues at inspections also sends the right message about the dwelling.

Our approach works because our beautifully maintained rentals are rarely without a tenant. This makes our owners happy because they have very few periods of time when their residential real estate is not earning them a pleasing income.

 

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