Vacant rental property: are you making these mistakes as a landlord?

In a weaker rental market, it can be more of challenge to find a good tenant. As a landlord, you actively need to take steps to make your property more appealing to a prospective tenant than the next landlord. These are the 10 common mistakes to avoid if you are sitting with a vacant property:

1.    The rental is too high
If your property is not renting, consider lowering the rental. But how do you know what the market value in your area is and where your property fits into that bracket, the high end or the low end? All the most current rental trends and rental yield information is available in the TPN Investor Report for your area.

     2.   Wear and tear issues
Nothing puts off a prospective tenant more than walking into a house that has not had any maintenance carried out in the last 10 years. Tired paintwork, peeling laminated wood and a green pool are sure to send prospective tenants straight off to their next viewing which may be at one of the high number of new developments that are being built. Fix what needs fixing!

     3.   Rental deposit not accessible
Your last tenant told you to use their deposit for the last month’s rent and when they moved out, there was damage to the property that you had to repair from your own pocket. To avoid this happening again, you decide to request a double deposit. As valid a strategy as that is, not all people who make quality tenants have the ability to pay what is the equivalent of 3 months rental in the first month. If you find a tenant with an impeccable TPN credit report, consider allowing the tenant to pay off the double deposit over the next couple of months.

     4.   Home staging
It is easier to rent a property that is furnished than one where empty rooms send back an echo making it difficult for a prospective tenant to see its potential as a happy home. If it has been a while since your last tenant moved out, consider engaging a professional home-stager to make the property more inviting. Or, you can source some furniture yourself.

     5.   Security
If your property is situated in a higher risk area or is a freehold stand-alone property, then prospective tenants are easily put off by insufficient security measures. Consider upgrading your security to help your tenant feel that their safety will not be at risk. The more secure, the better.

     6.   Pet policy
Pets are an important part of family life for many people and not allowing a pet in a your property may mean that you are cutting out a large portion of the quality tenant pool. Always be sure to check the pet policy in a complex before purchasing as an investment as no pets could lead to a limit on your prospective tenants.

     7.   Outdated features
Even if a feature is in great condition, is it getting to a point where it is looking outdated? Tenants are looking for comforts like granite tops, modern neutral colours and easy to clean flooring. If your property hasn’t been updated since the 90’s, it may be a good reason why you are not getting tenants into your property at a competitive rental value for the area.

     8.   Extras like Wi-Fi
Being able to include extras in the rental price could be the difference between a tenant choosing your property or the property down the road. An additional saving a tenant receives when renting from you is worth considering as a landlord, especially with younger generations where Wi-Fi is life! Air-conditioning, a fire-place or appliances add enormous value when a tenant is weighing up the decision to choose your property as their home.

     9.   Advertising portal
Advertising a rental property on a website that does not specialise in property rentals and hosts adverts for cars and sports equipment is unlikely to attract the same calibre of tenant as a specialised platform. Host your adverts on trusted tenant advertising portals to get the best results when looking for the right tenant. You can list your property for free on TPN RentBay.

     10. TPN affiliated agent
If you are looking to rent your property out through an agent, check to see that the agent is affiliated with TPN Credit Bureau. TPN created the first tenant payment profile globally. Vetting your tenant on how they actually paid their rent every month in the past is by far the most successful way to place a quality tenant. Of course, as a landlord you can sign up to perform your own credit checks on your prospective tenants too! Get started here.

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