What are the Top 5 Things Tenants Look for When Choosing a Property to Rent?

As specialists in residential property management, we are often asked which properties make the best investment properties. In general, the more money you spend on an investment property, the higher the rent. However the answer to this question is more complex, as there are many factors that determine if a property is attractive to tenants.

“The number and size of bedrooms affects rent ability and rental price more than any other factor”

 First impressions are critical when a prospective tenant inspects your property so presentation is the next most important factor in determining how much it will rent for. A well-presented property will generally rent faster, achieve higher rents and attract the best quality tenants. That adds up to a higher investment return, together with fewer and shorter vacancy periods.

  1. Number and size of bedrooms

This is the single most important factor to tenants. More bedrooms generally mean more people can live in the property so the rent can be higher. However, the number of living areas and bathrooms must balance with the number of bedrooms. In general houses with three or more bedrooms should have two bathrooms.

2. Number of living areas

A “living area” includes living rooms, dining rooms and rumpus, play or activities rooms. Additionally, tenants may include an outdoor entertaining area in their assessment of living areas, if it is covered and easily accessible from the property.

3. Number of bathrooms

Number of bathrooms must be in proportion to the number of bedrooms. One bathroom is acceptable in a two bedroom property as long as it is not an ensuite. Ideally a three bedroom property should have two bathrooms, and this is essential for properties with four or more bedrooms.

4. Presentation

 First impressions are critical when a prospective tenant inspects your property so presentation is the next most important factor in determining how much it will rent for. A well-presented property will generally rent faster, achieve higher rents and attract the best quality tenants. That adds up to a higher investment return, together with fewer and shorter vacancy periods.

5. Location

Property location is moderately important to tenants. Most tenants will have particular criteria around location, such as the property must be close to a train station or bus route. In the Wollongong area, such criteria can mean that multiple different suburbs are suitable. In terms of physical location, people don’t like living on busy noisy roads. However, a well presented property on a busy road will rent more quickly than a poorly presented home in a quiet area. For some tenants, easy access to shopping areas, schools, parks, hospitals etc. can be a factor in selecting a location. In January/February and July we experience a significant increase in tenant enquiries for properties close to the university.

Top Presentation Tips:

  1. External Appearance: tend the gardens, mow the lawns and clean the windows, paths, gutters and outside paintwork. If your property has a pool ensure the pool and surrounds are clean and the filter is working
  2. Internal Appearance: repair or replace leaking taps, sticking doors, broken light fittings,loose door handles, rotten floor boards, torn fly screens and badly worn carpet
  3. Internal Ambience: get rid of odours, such as cigarette or pet smells, that could deter a prospective tenant. Professional carpet and curtain cleaning can be beneficial
  4. Paint: only paint those areas that really need it unless you plan on painting everything.New paint can make unpainted areas look shabby. Use light neutral colours as strong colours may not be to the tenant’s taste
  5. Inspections: ensure the property is clean, tidy and uncluttered at inspection times. If your property is in a noisy area (such as a main road) inspection times should occur when the noise is at its lowest. Open the curtains and blinds to let in the sun, and to display the garden or view

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