There are many advantages to owning an investment property, but one of the challenges can be managing the costs involved in its upkeep. It’s important to maintain the property in good condition to be sure its value is protected and its maximum yield achieved. When doing this, the key is to be sure you don’t overspend on items that will need replacing regularly such as window furnishings and carpets. Here are our top 5 hacks for landlords to help keep your property in good condition without breaking your budget.
Decent curtains are important for any property, both for sun protection, privacy, internal noise reduction, and as dressing from the exterior viewpoint. There is nothing worse than driving past your property to see the new tenants have decided a bed sheet is a perfectly acceptable curtain. Ready-made curtains from Bunnings or Ikea are easy to install, inexpensive, and can be washed between tenants. A set of plain white cotton curtains are a functional choice – they match most interior styles and make the place look clean and bright on inspection so you’ll attract new tenants quickly.
In properties that get full sun, venetian blinds provide good block out coverage whilst also offering an attractive and easy to manage window covering. For wider windows, look for two mini blinds that will sit by side by side rather than one full width blind. Mini blinds are often cheaper and it’s more cost effective to replace one half blind, if there is damage, than to replace a full width blind.
Well-used appliances can start to look shabby after multiple tenancies. Small chips and scratches, though not affecting the function of the appliance, can impact on the property’s aesthetic appeal when trying to attract a new tenant. A can of appliance paint costs around $10 and can patch up small areas of damage on enamel surfaces, eliminating the need to replace a perfectly functioning stove or clothes dryer. Also, keep your eye out for seasonal sales or display stock items on sale and snap up a bargain rather than buying brand new. Many appliance retailers have service programs too that, for a little extra on purchase, will save you money in the long term by extending the warranty and offering in store discounts that can be used for other appliance purchases.
4. Floor Coverings
Carpets can be difficult and expensive to care for and nobody wants to replace them too often. Why not provide tenants with a small can of your preferred carpet spot cleaner to help them help you by getting onto carpet stains while they’re fresh? If a small space needs new carpet, ask your local supplier about offcuts leftover from other jobs – you may find just the piece you need, without having to buy a brand new section at full price. It’s way cheaper!
5. Painted Surfaces
Wear and tear to walls and skirting boards is common in rental properties, so knowing the paint colour you used originally is crucial to being able to keep the property looking good between tenants. Aim for practicality when painting your property and, rather than opting for a few different contrasting tones, choose the same colour for everything. This means you know exactly what colour to repaint with and can even buy it in bulk for future repaints as needed.
These simple ideas will help you stay on top of the general wear and tear to your property, whilst improving your annual yield and also keeping your costs down. A well cared for property will become a much better investment in the long run than one that is not maintained on a regular basis in effective and economical ways.
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.