Preparing your home for the rental market is a little like preparing your home for sale. You want to ensure your property is appealing, valuable and attracts the right type of people who will look after your investment.

However, there are a few key differences when it comes to readying for the rental market. Any items you install, fix or renovate will need to stand the test of time in the knowledge that what you initially offer your tenants will need to be maintained and remain working throughout the life of a tenancy.

Here’s a guide to preparing your home for the rental market and the items you need to consider.

A good audit

The agent and every tenant who rents your property will be required to fill in an entry report that assesses the general state of your home. For tenants this report is completed to ensure they leave your property in the same state as when they entered it.

But it also serves as a useful tool for landlords looking to ensure their property is solid, well maintained and clean as it enters the rental market, and it’s a great idea to get a jump on this by conducting an audit of your property first.

Look around with a critical eye to ascertain areas in need of improvement, looking for scratches, scuffs, chips and marks that may be in need of a lick of paint or some TLC.

Fix broken items

On the note of TLC, if something is broken, fix it. A property that is well maintained attracts tenants that generally look after a home. Items to look at include the little and the large, from rusty hot water heaters to broken blind cords, and cracked tiles.

If you’ve lived in a home prior to offering it for rent, some of these items can be easily overlooked, but just because you have got used to a front door that sticks on opening, it doesn’t mean your tenants have to as well.

The garden

Generally speaking, rental properties should have gardens that are easy to maintain. If they’re not or you’re worried about their upkeep, consider including the provision of a gardener as part of your lease agreement.

Give your garden a good trim before the property is offered up for rental. Also look to items like your gutters and fences. Ensure gutters are free of leaves and fences, gates etc are in good repair.

The little things

Small items like fresh curtains, blinds or cupboard door handles can give a property a fresh lease of life and an updated look. These are relatively inexpensive items to alter in your home, and add to the well-maintained feel of a property.

It’s worth bearing in mind that others may not be as careful with your home as you are so go for trendy, functional and hardwearing, rather than delicate, ornate and expensive.

These are also the type of items that you may need to update over time due to simple wear and tear.

Consider the inclusions

Inclusions, such as a dishwasher or air-conditioning, can make your property just that much more appealing to prospective tenants, but theyre also prime areas where things to go wrong.

If you’re looking at renting out a property, consider replacing older white goods with new items prior to doing so, and prepare to update them over the years when required.

Basically, if a tenant rents a property with inclusions, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix or buy a new one should they stop working.

Insurance

Landlord insurance is a critical component of renting out your property, so get the necessary quotes before placing your property on the market. Landlord insurance can differ greatly depending on your policy, so read the fine print to ensure you have the right cover for you.

Wear and tear

While tenants are required to leave a property in the clean condition they found it, everything deteriorates over time. This “fair wear and tear” provision of all rental agreements encompasses items like ageing paint, ageing carpets and general deterioration due to normal use. 

As a landlord you need to factor this in and prepare to repaint and replace items when required or every five or so years.

Preparing your property for the rental market is about considering the needs of the tenants youd like to attract. That includes ensuring your property is neat, tidy and in good repair, inviting other people to call it their home.

About SJ Realty

Centrally located in Mt Annan and specialising in the Macarthur region, SJ Realty offers professional yet personalised service for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants alike.

You can learn more about our services here, or contact us directly for further advice.