What tenants want – and will pay more for

It might be worth installing air conditioning ahead of the summer heat – it came top of every tenant’s wish list in a recent (if unscientific) Facebook survey.

It’s not surprising when you consider that more than three-quarters of home owners in Victoria had air conditioning in 2008, but less than half of renters, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The cost? Wall or window-mounted traditional “box” air conditioners start from about $350, while split systems which also provide heating range between $700 and $3000-plus (installation costs are extra).

By claiming an allowance for depreciation, property investors can get some of their expenditure back on tax while also benefitting from any extra rent they can negotiate – and hopefully reduced vacancy periods.
Other desirable features of a rental property include:

•    pet friendly
•    clean and tidy
•    modern bathroom and kitchen with dishwasher
•    long-term availability (so tenants don’t need to move)
•    near schools and shops;
•    easy access to public transport;
•    storage, including sheds and built-in storage;
•    off-street parking, and
•    a well-kept garden or outdoor space.

Other research in inner-city Brisbane found parking topped the list of features for which tenants were willing to pay more rent, followed by outdoor living space, storage and high speed internet.

However, the 485 tenants surveyed by Bees Nees City Realty were not that keen on gyms or Foxtel cabling.