tips for preparing your
property for tenants
property for tenants
When it’s time to offer your own property for rent, it’s not as simple as moving out and putting a ‘For Lease’ sign out the front. There are minimum standards that your property must meet as well as standards that we recommend to attract the best possible price, the right tenants for your property and ensure the whole process is simple and easy from start to finish.
The RTRA (Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation) Act stipulates the minimum standard that a rental property must be presented and maintained during a tenancy.
RTRA Act – Section 185
(2) At the start of the tenancy, the lessor must ensure—
(a) the premises and inclusions are clean; and
(b) the premises are fit for the tenant to live in; and
(c) the premises and inclusions are in good repair; and
(d) the lessor is not in breach of a law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises; and
(e) the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed minimum housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.
(3) While the tenancy continues, the lessor—
(a) must maintain the premises in a way that the premises remain fit for the tenant to live in; and
(b) must maintain the premises and inclusions in good repair; and
(c) must ensure any law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises is complied with; and
(d) if the premises include a common area—must keep the area clean; and
(e) must ensure the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed minimum housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.
Landlord insurance is extremely important and one of the first things you should start thinking about. No matter how good your tenants are, any tenancy can take a turn for the worse at any moment if the tenants circumstances change so it’s important to be prepared.
Landlord insurance can cover things like loss of rent due to tenant default and malicious damage caused by the te
nant although it’s best to compare policies from multiple insurers to make sure you’re getting the coverage that suits you.
Carry out any repairs to ensure your home is in the best possible condition; this could be anything from fixing a loose fence paling, mouldy bathroom grout, broken tiles or leaking washers. It’s much easier to get these issues out of the way quickly rather than having to worry about them later after a tenant has already moved in. When your property and its fixtures are in working order, it means less disruption to the tenants. Less disruption = happy tenants!
Think about what appliances you might leave behind for the tenants use; for example, you might leave your washing machine and/or dryer if the laundry has a specially shaped space for those particular appliances. Another example is you might leave your dishwasher as this can add value to your home. Taking your dishwasher with you and leaving a large empty space in your kitchen isn’t a good look and most tenants aren’t bringing a dishwasher with them when they move.
Make sure that anything you do leave at the property is in good condition; tenants won’t want to deal with old, broken appliances that are more trouble than they’re worth.
Chances are you’ll want your property given back to you in a good, clean condition; tenants are only required to hand your property back in its original condition so it’s important to set a high standard.
Before you rent out your property, give your property a thorough clean including things like:
- curtains and blinds;
- garbage bins;
- garage and more.
This one is completely up to you, however, allowing pets can be a huge positive with prospective tenants. More and more tenants are living with a pet so, by not allowing them in your property, you may be narrowing your audience.
You do have the option of choosing what pets will be suitable for your home and what conditions you might like to have (e.g. outdoor only). Also, to reduce the risk of additional wear and tear that may come with having pets, we always check with the tenants previous rental agents regarding the condition of their properties when screening their application.
Other things to consider
It also pays to consider the below items as these can cause headaches if not done before you rent out your home:
• Utilities – Contact your utilities providers to let them know you’re moving. The only service that will stay in your name is the water/rates but you’ll need to either have it directed to your new address or sent to our office, depending on whether you would prefer to take care of payment yourself or have us handle it for you.
• Have mail redirected – ensure all mail is redirected to your new address. Tenants are not required to hand in any mail that is not addressed to them and will usually return to the sender.
• Keys – ensure all locks have keys and supply a minimum of two sets (one set will always remain with the office). Additional sets of keys may need to be cut if multiple tenants require them.
• Appliance manuals – Please hand any appliance manuals to us or leave them in a safe place at the property. Doing so can help reduce unnecessary maintenance requests by the tenant.
• Smoke alarms and safety switches – Ensure the property is compliant with all regulations. For more information regarding regulations surrounding smoke alarms and safety switches, visit Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and WorkSafe.