How To Maximise Your Rental Return
Purchasing an investment property is a big deal for most and if you want to optimise the return on your investment, it is critical that you don't simply set and forget.
Too many owners don’t factor into their pre-purchase calculations a portion of their budget to be set aside for continual maintenance, and when things get tight have no other option but to let repairs slide or just overlook them completely.
By following the simple tips below you will not only ensure that your investment is maintained but reap the financial rewards that go hand in hand with having a presentable asset:
Employ a property manager
Consider employing a property manager to look after the property. Not only are they professionals in the field of looking after and maintaining properties, but their fees in most cases are also tax-deductible. A good property manager should be able to identify any red flags and be able to follow up on any maintenance issues straight away. They will also have access to an extensive range of trades that are trusted, reliable and cost-effective.
Attract better tenants through a well-maintained property
A well-maintained property will attract a higher level of tenant and if the property is maintained religiously on an annual basis, this should see the tenants remaining in situ for longer periods of time. This will reduce the level of wear and tear on the property as opposed to having numerous short-term occupants coming and going. Having long term tenants also reduces the vacancy times between occupants where the property is not deriving an income.
Be diligent with your tenant selection
By being diligent with your tenant selection you can avoid problems associated with bad tenants including property damage, non-payment of rent, property neglect and misuse. As mentioned before a well-maintained property will attract a better quality of tenant who on average will take pride in the home and treat it as if it was their own, reporting maintenance and generally upkeeping the home to a high standard throughout their tenancy.
Conduct inspections regularly
Inspections of the property should be conducted regularly. By inspecting the property on a frequent basis, you or your property manager will be able to highlight any problems or issues that arise early on. Never rely on tenants to report faults or damage. Be proactive and inspect the property quarterly, this includes internally and externally. If tenants do report maintenance items it is imperative that they are dealt with immediately.
Understand your responsibilities as a landlord
All property investors are responsible for maintenance and repairs to their investment property, both inside and out. This includes gas, electrical and plumbing. While gardens are generally the responsibility of the tenant to maintain, it is important that landlords keep an eye on large trees and creepers which may need to be pruned regularly to avoid damage to the property. By staying on top of this you can reduce the risk of tree limbs falling onto the roof or touching power lines. Gutters should also be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid roof flooding issues.
If appliances are included in the property as part of the rental then it is the landlord's responsibility to upkeep and maintain these devices. Items can include ovens, hotplates, hot water systems, air conditioning, pool equipment, smoke alarms, RCD’s, garage doors and remotes to name a few. Bathroom exhaust fans should also be checked that they are working sufficiently to prevent the build-up of any mold.
Set a budget for larger improvements
Landlords should set a budget for larger improvements. Multi-lot Strata developments will have a body corporate in place who will take care of maintenance on behalf of owners and factor maintenance into the quarterly levies, for larger works a special levy may be imposed to fund repairs such as painting to the exterior of the building, carpark maintenance or communal area upgrades.
By maintaining your investment you will ensure the property is working hard for you, earning maximum dollar while maintaining value.