Getting Your Property Ready to Rent

Menique Stuart

The key to achieving the best return from your investment property is to look at the whole process in a business-like manner and first ensure that your property is ‘rent ready’.

Being ‘rent ready’ means that your investment property is clean, tidy, up-to-date, and compliant with all current regulations, before a tenant is placed. Not only does this help to remove an unnecessary delays and costly vacancy periods, but it can also help secure greater levels of tenant demand, and stronger rental figures. We ask that you consider the following questions when looking to purchase a new rental property, or preparing to hand one over for professional management:

Would your property be considered ‘reasonably clean’?

– The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) requires a property to be provided and left ‘reasonably clean’, however, this can mean vastly different things to different people. For this reason, we prefer to help set high expectations and standards for both our landlords and tenants in order to achieve better long-term outcomes. This includes recommending that all properties are professionally cleaned prior to advertising.

Does your property meet the expectations of the market?

– Think about how your investment compares to those currently available and how this aligns with your own price expectations. Do the features and benefits of your property stack up against the competition and target market for the area in which it is situated?

Are all appliances, fittings, fixtures & chattels in good working order?

– Possibly, one of the most common areas of surprise for landlords is the amount of maintenance that is required in the initial stages of a tenancy. This is often caused by a lack of understanding of what is legally required. Any chattel provided with the property must be in working order. This can include such things as oven, dishwasher, fridge, door handles, window handles, garage doors, taps, wardrobe doors, incinerators, alarms, drainage, clotheslines, light bulbs – the list goes on. Ensuring this is done prior to the start of a tenancy can save you time and money.

Are the grounds & gardens well maintained, or at the very least usable?

Unless otherwise stated, general lawn and garden maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant. Ensuring these are well-maintained throughout the initial viewing process helps secure the best possible tenants and sets the standard for ongoing maintenance.

Does the property comply with current regulations and laws?

– As legislation and compliance continue to have greater influence on a landlord’s obligations it’s crucial to ensure that the right boxes are ticked before a tenancy is even in place. Landlords must consider not only their requirements in relation to the state of the property, but also the detailed reporting that is now needed in every tenancy agreement to prove that it complies. Before possession of the property is granted and a tenancy is signed, landlords need to be compliant in a number of areas in order to prevent unnecessary fines, or delays in a tenancy starting. These issues can include, but are not limited to:

• Insulation
• Smoke Alarms
• Healthy Homes Standards
• Heating
• Insulation
• Ventilation
• Moisture and drainage
• Draught stopping
• Landlord Insurance
• Methamphetamine
• Building Code & Council Consents

Early communication can help us to assist you in preventing delays around important requirements – especially as these delays will only lead to excess costs and reduced rental returns for your property.