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10 Tips for renovating your property to maximise rental return

8 August 2018

Photo: 76038538 by Scott Lewis

It’s no surprise that a well-renovated, freshly refurbished property attracts more interest from higher quality tenants but also higher rents. If you finally decide to spend some hard-earned money on your investment property, you'll want to make sure the renovation will maximise your rental yields.

The trick is knowing which renovations are going to increase the value of your property and in turn bring in higher rents. Here are our tips for improving your property’s rental potential.

1. Insulation install and top-up

With 1 July 2019 fast approaching, you need to make sure your property has adequate insulation. Hefty fines are going to be issued to non-compliant landlords. So, if you can only invest in one thing, make insulation it.

2. Fresh Paint

There is no better bang for buck than paint. Choose neutral colours that appeal to most people and will fit with most of tenants’ furniture and belongings. Use a high gloss paint for skirting boards, architraves, window and door frames, to hide imperfections.

3. Replacing old appliances

Broken or poor performing appliances can be a real issue for both landlords and tenants. New appliances go a long way impressing prospective tenants but also reduces after-the-fact maintenance.

4. Think window treatments

Use window treatments to your advantage – conceal an outlook not worth viewing, hide old frames or block out excessive light. New curtains can transform a room and are relatively inexpensive for the effect and return they’ll give.

5. Maximise storage

Always try to provide plenty of good and easily accessible storage. If budget allows invest in built-in wardrobes. They are a great addition to any property.

6. Installing a dishwasher

For some tenants not having a dishwasher is a deal-breaker. They’re relatively cheap, easy to install and these days use less water than washing dishes by hand. Make sure to select a reliable uncomplicated machine that is easy to use and to maintain.

7. Little beauties

Don’t overlook small components of the property. Replacing power switches, door handles and the like with simple matching ones can help update the property and appeal to potential tenants.

8. Outdoor entertaining

Kiwi tenants love a good outdoor area. Make sure your garden is clean and trees are pruned. Low maintenance tidy garden will always look more appealing to new tenants.

9. Focus on the Kitchen and Bathrooms

If you are going to upgrade any specific rooms in the property, start with these two. Bathrooms and kitchens provide the greatest “wow” factor at viewings. Also if you’re planning to sell your property in the next 5-10 years, the updates and remodelling of these rooms will give you the best return on investment.

10. Make the property pet-friendly

Tenants with pets tend to pay more per week and are likely to stay longer in their rental homes than those without pets. While you’re planning a renovation, consider making your property pet-friendly. What would you be comfortable with - an indoor or an outdoor pet, a cat or a dog? This will help you decide on the right project. Such as installing / repairing a fence to make your back garden more secure or choosing more durable flooring options.

Bringing an old, tired rental property up-to-standard is an excellent way to increase your rental yield. Once all the hard work is done, don’t forget to take a bunch of professional photos. This will show your property off in its best light and help you advertise your rental for several years to come.

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