Ongoing maintenance of rental properties can maximise rental return

In many cases where a landlord has not lived in the property he rents out, there will possibly be items that need updating or repair, but because he is not resident in the property concerned he might either not realise what is needed nor realise the importance of renovating, says Gail Cawood, rentals manager for Knight Frank Residential SA. 

While renovating an investment property might be seen as “wasting money”, it is sometimes necessary to keep up to date with current tenant needs and while the landlord certainly will not want to over-capitalise, he should consider some of the cost effective ways of updating the property, in the process attracting a higher paying tenant which would assist in maximising his return on investment. 

The most important thing to remember is that even though most rental properties will find tenants, said Cawood, the goal should be to get the right rental each month and the more inviting and liveable the property looks, the better the chances of doing just that. 

Simple things can be done to make a property more attractive and sometimes cosmetic changes can make a huge difference to its appeal. Things such as painting the interior a contemporary neutral colour and updating the look of the kitchen cupboards (perhaps by changing the handles and painting the fronts of the cabinetry) and bathrooms (again by using paint and perhaps changing light fittings to more modern types) can create a lighter brighter looking home. 

Carpets in some cases get “tired” very easily but often a proper professional clean might revive them to the point of looking almost new again. The owner might consider, however, replacing these when the time comes with a low maintenance flooring such as laminate wood or tiles. 

Ceilings are sometimes forgotten and they can become yellow with age, a good clean with a commercial chemical cleaning solution or a steam cleaner might be good enough to revive it. Alternatively, one coat of paint is often the best and does not cost too much to apply, which could revive the look of a house completely, said Cawood. 

Other items that should always be addressed are door handles that stick, toilets or taps that leak, any lighting or electric installation that is old and could possibly create a fire hazard, cabinetry that has lost its finish and has faulty hinges or latches, window latches that are loose, window and door frames that need sanding and treatment, and blinds or curtain rails that have broken parts, as these items, while small, could detract from a property’s being able to achieve a good rental each month, she said. 

Most rental agents will keep an eye on a property they manage and will often notice items that need replacing or repair when they do their quarterly inspections of the home. These items should be tackled as and when they arise and the landlord should not wait until there are too many things to be done at once. A little money spent every few months in maintaining a property is better than a large sum having to paid out due to lack of continuous upkeep, said Cawood. 

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us