How to Bullet-proof your asset; Prepare your property to hold its own in tough times.
Bullet-proofing your rental property in a competitive market
It will take some time before we know the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the property market. Like everything else that's affected, which is largely all parts of society, it can feel overwhelming to think about all the possible outcomes. This is why it's particularly important in the current environment to focus on what you can do to look after yourself, your loved ones and the other big focuses in your life. As a property investor, your investment properties are likely a key consideration for you. Here are some key things to think about to ensure your property remains a great place to live for your current tenants and a popular prospect for future tenants.
Indoor and outdoor paintwork
If you're thinking of updating the paintwork at your investment properties, ensure the quality of the paint you use is of a good standard, is a trusted brand and is durable enough to withstand regular washing to remove marks and grime. For outdoor paintwork or staining of timber fences and decks, make sure you use a durable product that can handle harsh weather conditions. This is particularly important for parts of your property exposed to the afternoon sun.
Blinds and curtains
Make sure blinds and curtains are easy to operate and clean. A simple roller blind is a great option that blocks out light, is kept out of the way during the day and can be easily removed and cleaned.
Try to have the same approach with carpet as you do with blinds and curtains. Choose low pile carpets that are made tough, so it doesn't wear quickly. Avoid light colours that show up marks and small stains. If you're unsure, speak with a carpet specialist to choose the best ‘tenant-proof’ carpet that's still good quality.
Easy care tiles that can be replaced (have some spares on hand) and also laminate ‘floating floorboards’ look great and wear well. While having softwood floorboards might look great, the material dents and scratches easily. Again, if you're unsure, speak with a flooring specialist for the best products that offer durability and quality, while complementing the aesthetic of your property.
Replacing that tired old oven or adding a new dishwasher improves the appeal of a property. If you're expecting your current tenant to move on, consider updating any appliances that are old and not in great working order.
When you rent your properties, it is important to have the right expectations and to understand that the better product (home) you can offer to the market, the better customers (tenants) you will attract. That doesn't mean you have to spend mountains of cash on your investment properties, but it does mean ensuring your properties are looked after and well maintained. And don't forget, most of these home improvements will be tax-deductible.
Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.