The festive season is a time for reflection and compassion… and that includes giving some TLC to your rental property.
We’re not suggesting that you pull out the tools and scrubbing gear and get stuck into cleaning your rental property on New Year’s Day – that would be crazy. Go relax, you deserve it, however, if you have some extended time off over the silly season and you’re putting your rental up for lease early this month or next month, when a larger pool of quality tenants are swimming around, then spare a moment to consider the following tips from Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber. She shares 18 ways to sizzle up the demand for your rental property and catch the best tenants.
1. Wash the house
A lot of people never think to wash their house with a high-pressure water cleaner. These machines can be hired from equipment rental outlets like Kennards Hire for under $150 per day. Alternatively you can buy your own cheaper model that still does the job for around the same price from a major hardware supplier. Clean your roof and wash all the walls, windows and driveways of your property for an instantly fresh and more modern appearance.
2. Use paving paint on driveways and pathways
Tired looking driveways and pathways can instantly look better by pressure cleaning them first and rolling paving paint over the surface once dry. Paving paint costs approximately $120 for a 10-litre drum.
3. Tidy up the gardens
The great Australian dream is the big backyard yet it’s the most neglected area of a property. Mow the lawn and feed it with fertiliser to get it looking lush and green. Cut back and prune unruly trees, tame unruly foliage and pull out weeds – this only requires a bit of elbow grease with literally no cost except tipping. Tidying up the gardens can have a radical appearance on the overall streetscape and a property’s value.
4. Install new plants
If the garden is looking a little lacklustre, add new mature plants that add bulk and scale to your property and new colour to the garden too.
5. Touch up paint
Paint is the number one way to instantly add value to any property regardless of the property value. It can transform a drab looking property within hours or days and with the average cost to paint a property internally and externally yourself at $1600, the return on investment is likely to net you at least $5 for every $1 spent.
6. Clean windows
If you’re looking to add a little sparkle to your property, wash and clean your windows. You’ll be amazed at how something so little can make a property look instantly better.
7. Fix loose fixtures and fittings
All those neglected maintenance jobs can mount up and cause a property to become unloved. Fix the wonky gate, those loose door handles, replace blown light globes and shave the bottom of that door that keeps rubbing on the floorboards. The tiniest things like this can magnify into major issues for tenants if left unattended by landlords.
8. Install new fixtures and fittings
Replace old worn sinks for under $100. Cracked vanity basins can be replaced for under $100. Replace old stoves for under $500. Update door handles on cabinets for about $10 each handle.
9. Paint kitchen cupboards and benchtops
If your budget doesn’t extend far enough to install a new kitchen, cosmetically rejuvenate an older kitchen by painting the cabinet doors, recolouring the kitchen bench tops and replace old door handles. This can be done for under $1000 and you can have a totally different looking kitchen within a day or two.
10. Install new window coverings
Remove dark drab curtains and install light coloured fabrics. Buy off-the-shelf readymade curtains from stores like Ikea or Spotlight. Your objective when making changes to a property is to lighten and brighten spaces and removing the old window furnishings achieves that. Renovating old window furnishings also makes your space appear larger which contributes positively to the value of your property. Also remove old blinds and vertical drapes that are broken and replace with new slimline venetians for a low cost solution.
11. Install new shower curtain
Remove the old drab shower curtain (if your bathroom has one) and replace it with a funky new one to add instant colour to a bathroom. Great shower curtains can be readily purchased for under $50 from stores like Target, Big W and Spotlight.
12. Clean window furnishings
Remove and wash dusty curtains to freshen up and improve the general odour within a property. Have blinds professionally cleaned to remove dirt and dust.
13. Add new feature lights
There is an endless array of great and low cost feature lights available on the market today. Place a new or a few feature lights in key strategic focal points of a property (i.e. in the hallway, over kitchen island bench or overhead in staircases) for instant wow factor. Ikea has great statement feature lights for under $200.
14. Sand and oil timber decks
Drag out the sander and plough away. Christmas means entertaining and that’s normally done in the outdoor entertaining areas of a property. Give tired decks a sand and a lick of oil can have them looking like new again in next to no time.
15. Clean out blocked gutters
Blocked gutters full of leaves not only look unsightly but also cause property damage. An hour or two up on the ladder not only eliminates the problem but will make your property look better too.
16. Paint old tiles
Give structurally good but cosmetically tired old tiles a new lease on life by applying tiling paint. This will instantly freshen and modernise rooms where tiles are located (i.e. kitchen, bathroom and laundries). This is within the skill level of almost anyone and is quick and easy to apply at low cost for under $100.
17. Clean grout on walls and floors
Tiles are often cleaned regularly in most properties but one area of neglect is the grout in between tiles. A little elbow grease and the right cleaning solution can instantly make floors and walls look new again.
18. Rip up old carpet
Removing old floor coverings is an instant way to freshen up a property and if the budget allows sanding and polishing floorboards or installing new tiles will make your property look better and oh so much healthier too!
Source : Australian Property Investor (29 December 2011)