Want your investment property to bring in more money? We’re often asked what improvements we recommend to owners so they can increase rental return. While recommendations are different for each property, here are a few of our top suggestions and an idea of what their return can be.
1. Add a coat of paint
Painting your property is one of the quickest (and cheapest) improvements you can make. Stick to neutral colours to appeal to the greatest number of potential tenants. Light neutrals also help to create a feeling of space. (Rentwest estimate: This simple update can increase your rent by around $520 per annum.)
2. Lay new carpet
Old, worn carpet definitely won’t endear your property to anyone, so it is worth considering replacing any floor coverings that look past their best. (Rentwest estimate: Installing new carpet can increase your rent by around $520 to $600 per annum.)
3. Increase security
Adding new security windows or door, or even a security system, gives tenants extra peace of mind. If a tenant feels safe, he or she is likely to pay a little more to rent your property. (Rentwest estimate: New security can potentially increase your rent by around $1040 per annum.)
4. Install a reverse-cycle air conditioner
No one likes to sweat through our long, hot summers. A reverse-cycle air conditioner will attract more quality tenant applications and add tangible value to your rental return. (Rentwest estimate: Installing a reverse-cycle air conditioner can increase your rental return by $1000 per annum.)
5. Install a dishwasher
Don’t overlook the dishwasher – some tenants will rule out a property if one isn’t installed. It’s a relatively small initial outlay that will pay off in extra rental return and a tax deduction. (Rentwest estimate: Installing a new dishwasher can increase your rent by around $260 per annum.)
Remember, changes and additions like the ones above are beneficial for two reasons: they increase the potential return you receive from your investment property and decrease the amount of time your property will be left vacant. Tenants not only want these things – they expect them. Catering to these expectations means that you’ll receive a larger pool of applicants and more desirable tenants.
The most important advice we can give anyone who wants to increase rental return is: consider the area. Ask yourself who will be renting the property and what kinds of people live in the area. If the suburb is full of families, then dishwashers, air conditioners and security are more likely to add value. If the property is an apartment in the city, cosmetic updates may yield a greater return. As always, if you’re unsure of what updates to make, ask us. We’re happy to help.