One of the cheapest ways to raise your rental income is to ensure your property is well maintained, easy to heat and has no damp or condensation issues.
Giving it a good clean and some paint touchups will also help to make it more attractive to suitable tenants. Leasing faster and to higher quality tenants will increase your return. Here are some other ways to get the maximum rent out of your property.
1. Improve the front appearance of your property
First impressions count and some simple aesthetic improvements can make a world of difference. Replacing an old mailbox or a street number, mowing the front lawn, painting the front door or adding some window boxes or shutters are all affordable improvements that can get a property rented quicker and for more money.
Affordable Property Management provides a full property management service to help owners rent their residential homes and will confirm just how important such small changes can be. It has provided full leasing services for over 30 years throughout most Northern California cities.
2. Screen potential tenants carefully
It is no use renting your property for a high price to bad tenants. It may be more worthwhile to rent at a little lower price to really good tenants who will look after your property and stay for a while. This will reduce your costs of having to re-let or the risks of having your home standing empty.
Kicking a bad tenant out can be a costly affair and damage to your property will ruin your cash flow even more. Make sure you check out tenants properly by getting employment records, previous landlord references and running a credit check to get a sense of how financially responsible they are.
3. Always raise the rent on lease renewal
You will need to increase the rent annually just to keep pace with inflation. It is important to make sure your tenants know that you will be doing this and include this in the original lease agreement. If they expect a raise on an annual basis, they will be more accepting when it happens.
Even if the market has not really gone up, you should still increase the rent, even if it is by a small amount. This will not be enough to cause a tenant to move out, but every additional dollar you get is profit.
4. Keep your tenants happy to make sure they stay
Tenant turnover can cost you. It helps if you can keep your tenants by maintaining positive contact with them and making sure they are happy. For example, respond promptly if they have any maintenance issues.
If you do raise the rental when you renew the lease, give them an incentive to stay, such as a small upgrade on renewal. A tenant who stays in a property for a couple of years is also less likely to complain about small issues that a new tenant may find unacceptable.
5. Don’t include utilities in the rental price
Never include variable utilities like heat or electricity in the price of rent. Including utilities in the price of rent overly inflates it in a market that is extremely competitive. When utilities are included, there is no incentive for the tenants to conserve which often leads to higher utility bills.
If you don’t add enough to the price of rent to cover all the utility bills, you will end up paying the difference. Utility providers often increase their rates and this can result in inconsistent invoice amounts.