Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living

How to attract and retain a six-star tenant

Written by Matthew Bourn
When renting out your property, the ideal situation is to find a long-term tenant who takes good care of your house or apartment. Whether you are renting out your family home, whilst you take an overseas or interstate job opportunity, or renting out a property that you’ve bought as an investment, attracting a six-star tenant is possible with a few positive steps.

Following are the four most important areas for consideration and special attention;

Maintaining a six-star home

If you want to have the best tenants in your home, you need to make it a home worth living in. This means you have to have a maintenance plan created specifically for your property.

Your property maintenance plan should include annual checks to make sure all the features of the home are up to scratch, fully functional, well maintained and that any minor works – like fixing a fence or a leaky roof – are addressed quickly.

Maintaining the property, not only keeps your tenants happy to stay in the home long-term but will save you unnecessary costs over the long-term, because a small issue can become a big problem to address over time.

Investing in capital works

If your North Shore house or apartment has been a rental home for several years it may be time to spend a bit of money on significant improvements that will help you retain or attract highly desirable tenants.

What you need to invest in can change depending on the property, its age, and the type of tenants it could attract, but the most common capital works are to modernise kitchens and bathrooms or amend the floorplan of the home more open plan living space. Even giving your property a facelift such as paint, sanding floors, or landscaping the garden are options worth exploring, and your property investment manager can provide advice.

It’s not uncommon to see older apartments or houses (from the 1970s and 80s), that have been given a new kitchen, outperform newly built homes when it comes to securing tenants. Older properties with oversized rooms and living spaces are able to secure great rental rates once modernised.

Keeping rental rates reasonable

Setting rent at the right level can be a difficult balancing act – set it too high and you can scare off tenants but put it too low and you're losing out on potential income.

Market rates aren't entirely predictable either. Many people have the idea that rent simply goes up, but this isn't always the case. So it’s best to ask your property manager to provide insights on recently rented homes and where your property may sit within the mix of properties on the market currently.

Your property investment manager continually monitors rental market conditions, including the level of stock, and will know what price comparable homes are renting for. They will take into consideration the features of your investment property, its functionality, location, age and presentation.

If you already have a tenant and wish to raise the rent, your property management agent will consider once again whether the rental increase is in line with the current market, because if it’s not your tenant may be inclined to look elsewhere. It can be a more costly exercise overall choosing to re-advertise for a new tenant than keeping a great one that’s already living in the home.

Maintaining good relations with tenants

One of the best ways to keep tenants happy is to make them feel heard and appreciated. Your property manager should be checking in with them several times a year to make sure everything's going well and there are no maintenance problems at the property. Proactive rather than reactive communication can go a long way to making tenants feel valued.

Importantly, if your property manager highlights a concern with the property, it's important to take it seriously and act upon it quickly. Even if some repairs take time, nipping issues in the bud and keeping in close contact with your property manager to resolve the problems will help ensure your tenants feel that their needs are being addressed.

The benefits of a property management agency

As a property investor, you may be tempted to manage your property yourself, but it can be very time-consuming. Major issues can arise when the homeowner is overseas because it becomes more difficult to find and liaise with reliable tradies to carry out capital works or home maintenance. You need a responsible pair of eyes to do regular checks on the property so that you can get a true picture of what needs attention.

Think of us as your trusted advisor, over the length of your investment. We can help you not only maximise returns but mitigate risks. We negotiate terms and clauses that may otherwise be missed. We help you to protect your investment and maintain longevity. We aim to take a proactive approach verse a reactive one so that your property investment journey is enjoyable.

If you are considering renting out your family home or investment apartment call our Property Investment Management team on (02) 9496 2777 for up to the minute market intelligence. We’d love an opportunity to discuss how our team can provide not only the best possible advice but quality service to maximise the return on your investment.

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