August 30, 2016
From power hungry properties to chain-dragging with repairs, landlords don’t always make the most of their rental investment.
As an investor your main aim is to make money out of your property – be it through regular rental income or long term capital growth. What some landlords overlook is the key role tenants can play in achieving both these goals.
Keep the place in good order
All investors dread a call from the property manager saying the hot water heater has broken down or the roof is leaking. It means money spent on repairs, and that’s a drain on your cashflow.
However as a landlord you have a legal obligation to keep the property in good condition, and frankly, responding to those repair calls promptly means minimising any further fallout.
A leaking roof for instance can lead to rising damp. That’s going to be a lot more costly to repair than a couple of slipped tiles. Worse still, allowing a property to deteriorate could see the hapless tenant taking matters into their own hands, and a few duct tape-driven DIY repairs could just mask an urgent structural problem.
The bottom line is to get onto repairs promptly. Better still perform 6-monthly maintenance checks – an ounce of prevention can be worth a tonne of cure.
Add value – it pays off
Look at your rental property from the tenant’s perspective. Is the old hot water heater a power guzzler? Are the taps the old-fashioned high flow variety that generate over the top water bills?
Increasingly, renters are recognising that energy efficient, eco-friendly homes may cost more to rent but this can be compensated for by lower utility costs.
Adding a few money-saving ‘green’ features to your rental property is an additional capital outlay but the pay-off may be lower tenant turnover, reduced vacancy rates and the potential to command higher rent.
Protect yourself – and your property from the unexpected
While it pays to look after your rental property, it also pays to be prepared against the unexpected. And that means having adequate landlord insurance in place. This is an area where your Mortgage Choice broker can help, advising on the policy best suited to your needs.