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Simple renovations to increase your property’s rental value

By Domenic Belfiore

If you are looking at making a little more out of your investment property in 2015 you may find that you also need to offer a little more! A minor renovation on your rental property may be required to achieve that extra $10, $20 or $50 per week in rent.

When considering your renovation options for an investment property there is a couple of things to keep in mind:

1. It is an investment not your home. Renovate with a view to what a likely tenant living in that area would like, not what you would like.

2. Timing of a project. How long will it take and when will it take place. This all needs to be planned with an investment property as either your property will be vacant for the term of the works, or if it is a prolonged project that inconveniences your tenant then possible compensation in the form of rent reduction for the duration of the works may become necessary.

3. What your budget will be for the project is important. Can you afford what you want to do? Are you over capitalising on the property with what you want to spend? What can you do to improve the property within your budget?

When considering what area could do with improving within your rental property, think about the fact that presentation is everything when trying to rent a property in a timely manner. Areas to consider include:

1. The garden. Is it well presented, neat, tidy and easy to maintain?
When trying to rent your property – ensure the lawns mown, the garden is free from weeds, the windows and outside paint work clean and the mail box in good condition.

2. Doors, windows and lights. Do they work? Are they well presented?
Sticking doors, broken light fittings, worn carpet, blinds that are hard to operate and torn fly screens always leave a bad impression on potential tenants. Keep in mind tending to these type of aspects won’t necessarily increase your rent, it will put extra money in your pocket by reducing vacancy times.

3. Light, space, comfort. Natural light is so appealing for potential tenants; this is something they notice as soon as they enter the home. Take measures to improve light, open up spaces, and circulate fresh air.
If any rooms have dark painted walls, a splash of lighter colour can transform an entire room. Ensure you always keep the paint colours neutral tones. Consider also replacing old carpets with new carpet or polished floorboards.

4. Improve the flow of the space. If there is a non-structural wall dividing a room consider the appeal of a more flowing floorplan that could be created by removing the wall. This is especially true of older homes in opening up kitchen, dining and living areas.
Most people appreciate the atmosphere that an open living space can provide, and creating it could be cheaper than you think.

5. Air-conditioning and heating. Many tenants now consider this an important part of their criteria in house hunting.
Split systems are usually really good value and provide heating and cooling, ensure the size of the unit you install is suitable for the size of the area you are putting it in. Ceiling fans can be a cheaper option, but won’t get you a higher rental return that air-conditioning can.

6. Kitchen cosmetic update. Refresh the kitchen without replacing the major alliances and cupboards by give the grout between the kitchens tiles a good whiten, install new handles on cupboards, new feature light fittings or a new glass splash-back.

7. Bathroom cosmetic update. Simple improvements can include fresh sealant around wet areas, a new IXL heat lamp, toilet roll holder and toilet seat. Installing modern taps and a large well-lit mirror are sure to features to impress and make your property stand out.

Always aim to create a great first impression and make the rental property present in a way that people can see themselves living there.

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