Charge suitable rent for a suitable tenant

Successfully investing in rental property has one caveat - you have to be able to attract a suitable tenant.

And arguably the best way to go about this, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet real estate agency group, "is setting a fair rent and keeping it constant as market conditions and demand patterns change.

"The trick is to attract a responsible long-term tenant, and your chances improve if you set an equitable rental that gives your tenant a fair deal," he says.

"Successful landlords are only too aware that a frequent turnover of tenants is time-consuming and costly in terms of advertising, cleaning and painting expenses, and very probably vacancy time."

In this respect, the services of a reputable managing agent are invaluable to determine what would constitute a fair rental. "Such agents can track the effects of interest rate movements and other factors that influence the demand for rental property in the area and are able to suggest a market-related rental."

The classified section of the local newspaper is also a good reference point as it reflects what rentals are being asked for similar properties in the same location. And, says Schultheiss, it is always easier to enlarge the pool of prospective tenants by pitching your rental slightly lower than the going rate.

"This will give you the opportunity to choose the best candidate and if you keep rentals stable in future, you increase the chances that your model tenant chooses to stay put. And there is much to be said in favour of a tenant that takes care of your property and ensures you have a reliable rental income."
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