Written by Abbey Laan Trimboli
Every tenant has a list of requirements when seeking out a suitable rental. Some are non-negotiable, others flexible. Making your property appeal to as many prospective tenants as possible widens your choice of applicants and gets your property rented faster. Here are some of the features tenants will be considering when viewing your property:
It helps if your rental is near general facilities and infrastructure i.e. major shopping centres, schools and public transport.
Remember, a good location can mean different things to different tenants based on their individual or family’s needs. A younger tenant may prefer city or city-fringe suburbs for the entertainment options. Tenants with children may prefer suburbs closer to parks and recreational areas. Professionals may seek out properties close to their place of employment.
If a tenant finds the perfect location, they are usually willing to compromise some of the ’non-negotiable’ things on their list.
Air-conditioning & Heating
In harsh and varied climates, as in South Australia, heating and cooling can rank highly on a tenant’s list of requirements. Installing a reverse-cycle system in the main living areas is usually sufficient. It may not increase the value of your property, but it will prove more appealing to prospective tenants.
The Property Manager at Tanner Real Estate, Daw Park, states, “tenants definitely look for heating and cooling ahead of location these days. I have had tenants forego properties that don’t have it included.”
Sufficient parking is attractive. Most properties in suburban areas have driveways or garages for at least one vehicle. Inner city areas may be restricted to on-street parking; however, if it’s within close proximity, tenants are usually happy. Other factors such as location, may take precedence over the need for off-street parking.
Security & Safety
Tenants want to feel safe in their home. Providing a property with lockable doors and windows is the minimum requirement, along with working smoke detectors.
Even if the property is in a safe neighbourhood, installing an alarm system could be what sets it apart from similar listings in the area.
Being flexible in allowing pets can expand your tenant pool – many renters list such restrictions amongst their ‘pet’ peeves. Make a decision based on the pet and what your property can accommodate. If the property only has a tiny courtyard, a cat might be the limit. However, if the property is across from a park or reservation, a smaller dog might be acceptable.
Our contact from Tanner Real Estate says: “landlords do need to consider being flexible with pets. There are enough properties in the market giving tenants a choice if pets aren’t allowed.”
As a landlord, you can write your conditions into the lease. These may include the tenant being responsible for any damage the pet causes, keeping the pet outdoors at all times or having carpets cleaned before vacating the property.
Any kind of outdoor space will immediately widen the appeal of your property. It then comes down to individual needs. A small area such as a balcony or patio can satisfy a tenant’s requirements.
“Even if there is no garden, tenants like to have an area that is private where they can entertain or relax,” says Tanner Real Estate’s representative.
Families may seek out homes with larger lawn areas for children’s play equipment, or to accommodate pets if this option is negotiable as part of the lease. Natasha Paterakis, an experienced tenant from Brooklyn Park states: “yard space is a non-negotiable for us. My girls like to be outside on their trampoline, and we also have a small dog.”
Prospective tenants will appreciate any kind of recent renovation. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or costly. Simple changes such as a new bench top or dishwasher in the kitchen, updated taps/shower screen in the bathroom (see article on bathroom renovations here), or a new coat of paint throughout the property are sufficient.
A spruce-up sends a clear message to the tenant – the landlord is interested in keeping the property well maintained and is more likely to consider further improvements in the future.
Our Tanner Real Estate representative states: “In-built wardrobes are always a great addition. And something else for landlords to consider if renovating a kitchen, is to allow space for either a single or double-door fridge.”