You have decided to go down the path of property investing? It's the perfect plan. Buy a place, put in some tenants to help with the mortgage repayments – there will also be some tax benefits to follow. However, there is often an area that is overlooked by most investors and with the following tips you may also be able to save thousands in ongoing maintenance and repair costs.
Tenants are people, and in my experience people are busy – add children, jobs, family lives and you have a number of aspects that takes priority over your investment, then add to this a change in tenants and there can be some large costs involved. Cleaning, repairs, pest treatment, gardening and management fees to name a few can at times, run into the thousands and often well in excess of bonds withheld. Similarly, any time the house is not collecting rent it is up to you to cover the mortgage. Nevertheless, there are a few things the team at Solutions 4 Cleaning recommend you can do, or look for that will reduce the time and cost to turn your property around between tenants.
A good coat of paint goes a long way and two coats goes even further. The general recommendation for painting interiors is a low sheen however for ease of cleaning and increased durability the semi-gloss is our recommendation. There are few marks that can't be washed off with a good hard surface cleaner and the process is usually much faster due to the resilience of the paint. Having a good coat of paint will knock off a few hours of your cleaning bill as well as reducing the cost of painting between each tenant.
The most popular carpet in most investment properties is made from polyurethane. These carpets are cheap but not very durable, and tend to show marks quickly. So when it comes time for a change a fifth generation Nylon carpet is going to be a better choice. Fifth generation provides a number of attributes that makes it a great long-lasting choice resilient to staining, anti-static and also not as susceptible to permanent indentations from tables and chairs.
Blinds, curtains, window coverings are all easily broken and seem to get very dirty or dusty and can be a nightmare to maintain and clean. The best option we have encountered at Solutions 4 Cleaning is the 50mm PVC Venetians. These are durable, easy to clean and maintain and if they break they are incredibly common and cheap so it's not hard to find a match. We also recommend you steer clear of the 15mm metal Venetians where ever possible, these are a nightmare to clean and maintain.
Not no pets, just no dogs. Man's best friend is certainly not investor's best friend. They have a tendency to chew skirting and architraves, dig holes in yards, rip up lawns and soil carpets.
Have it stated in your contract that it is a non-smoking property. The damage caused by smoking inside is horrific. It seeps into and onto everything including into light fittings, power points, it even stains the cords on your blinds not to mention carpets and it is time consuming and expensive to clean up. When we clean a property that has been inhabited by a heavy smoker (1 pack a day inside), once we have finished chucking out what has been ruined and finished cleaning you can be up for a hefty bill certainly in excess of most bonds.
Do not be greedy. By offering a reasonable rental price you encourage more candidates to view the property. This in turn means more applications to choose from and more chance of finding a great tenant that will look after your investment. It will also mean that you will have less time where your property is vacant ensuring a steady and continual cash flow.
Like in all industries there are great ones and there are not so great ones. The best people to ask are not the previous tenants and landlords but the contractors that they engage to maintain your property. We have experienced them all, and although if asked we're probably not going to give you a detailed overview (remember property managers are our customers) we certainly have a best candidate at the front of our mind that we would use for our own investment properties.
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