There is a lot to consider before you start to market your property so you know what your Ideal Tenant looks like so you can make sure your property presentation and advertising appeals to them and attracts the right people. Here are a few things to think about when picking your requirements.
Will Your Property be Pet Friendly?
When looking to make your home Pet-free, in Australia it’s important to consider that you could be effectively cutting out up to 60% of your potential rental pool. Yes pets can cause damage to a property whether it be by scratching your floor boards, damaging carpet, inviting fleas or digging up your backyard.
However, there are ways that you can protect yourself against damage to your property when you have tenants with pets without having to increase the rental bond. You may think - well I’ll just increase the bond so I have a bigger buffer to cover extra damage. However, in NSW it is actually illegal to request a bond higher than 4 weeks rent - even if there are pets allowed and even if the property is fully furnished. However, a way to get around this is by putting a make-good clause in your lease so that tenants must repair any damage even when the repair bill adds up to higher than the 4 weeks bond amount. You don’t quite have the security of having that money sitting there to do the repairs, but it does help to make sure your tenant is legally required to foot the bill.
The suitability of your property for pets depends on the size of your yard and whether it is fully fenced. If it’s not fenced, it may be worth considering doing this to appeal to a bigger rental pool of tenants. If you have a small yard you may want to restrict your applications to only bring a small indoor lap dog or cat.
If you prefer no pets at all that is also fine, but beware that tenants that are forbidden to bring pets often lie about not having any so they have a better chance of being accepted into the property and can sneak in pets and hide them during an inspection. For this reason I think it’s better to be flexible and listen to what the market really wants to discourage deceptive behaviour. It’s important to sure your lease covers you for damages in all cases - whether you allow pets or not. To read more on this topic - click here [http://snip.ly/5vzt1]
Can Tenants be Smokers, Outdoors Only Smokers or Non-Smoker Only?
Cigarette smoke can cause a lot of damage to a property - including soaking into the walls and fabric in the blinds and curtains, having a dank and musty smell & turning everything a dirty yellow colour.
A house that has been heavily smoked in for many years will need blinds & curtains replaced and will need the whole house repainted. If you repaint just with top coat you will find the yellow stain will still come through. The only way to seal it and stop it from soaking through the paint is if you first use an oil based undercoat and then apply the two top coats.
After all this - is it worth letting people smoke in your property? It really depends on your market. If the majority of your market smoke, you may need to be more flexible to make sure your property does not remain vacant. You can set rules on outdoor only smoking, however a make-good clause could be enough to cover the costs of having to repaint and replace carpet and blinds.
Other Questions to Consider:
- Number of Occupants Allowed?
- Can they sublet? I.e. out some rooms or the whole property?
- Will you allow your tenants to Airbnb rooms? Even if they pay extra rent?
- Minimum Income or Savings to Demonstrate Ability to Afford Rent?
- Minimum Rental History / Experience Living out of Home?
- Stability - How Regularly they Change Home or Jobs? I.e. if you are looking for long-term 5+ year tenants this is important!
- What do you value when it comes to taking care of your property? This is helpful so you can communicate this to the tenant as they move in...
As Jade Hamilton does not know your individual circumstance and is NOT qualified as a financial adviser, accountant or solicitor, this blog contains information and opinion only. Jade is speaking only as a Real Estate Agent and Investor from her own Personal Experiences, and recommends you seek your own personalised advice from a suitably qualified person.