Reduced rental demand is the key feature of the Perth residential market at present. Tenant enquiry volumes are significantly down, leasing timeframes have blown out from 1-2 weeks vacant a year ago to 3-4 weeks and beyond. What can you do as an owner to lease your property quickly?
Firstly, ensure your property is ready to rent. The front lawn and gardens must be trim and weed free. Cut excess vegetation away from the front windows and entrance. Inside, professionally clean the carpets, do a full vacate clean of the house, and repair all minor maintenance items. Remove any rubbish or old tenant belongings left behind. Check all lights have operating globes, heaters are operational and kitchen appliances work. Positive first impressions are vital in this weak market.
Secondly, ensure your property is marketed well. Use a professional photographer, erect a professional for lease sign, and write professional advertising copy. You will need to be listed at a minimum on realestate.com.au and reiwa.com. In addition you will need to conduct home opens twice a week. Tenants do not show up for by appointments much anymore. Relying on the phone to ring, classified ads in the newspaper and online with gumtree screams “private landlord” and is a magnet for sub-prime tenants. You may as well leave the keys in the meter box now.
Thirdly, be prepared to review your asking rent. If your property is vacant for more than two weeks, then cut the rent now, and cut it hard. Drop the rent by a minimum of $30 per week. You cannot retrieve the lost rent from empty weeks, but you can increase the rent to a sitting tenant at the 6 or 12 month lease renewal. Focus on getting a rent-paying tenant in the property, not the actual rental amount.
Fourthly, do not drop your screening standards. If you have already got your property looking good, marketed well and dropped the rent, it will lease. It is better to wait another couple of weeks than to place a bad tenant and lose thousands of dollars in repairs and rent arrears. Be patient and a decent tenant will apply. Remember when the rental market was hot and you never had an opportunity to get inside your property to repaint and spruce up? Guess what, now is your time!
HouseSmart Real Estate Pty Ltd