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It's essential to know what keeps tenants happily residing, as opposed to disgruntled and working on their exit strategy.

Tenants are your bread and butter. Without them, you’d be hard pressed to find enough consistent cashflow to service all those mortgage repayments and maintain your portfolio, so it’s important to know what will keep them happily residing in your rental, as opposed to disgruntled and working on their exit strategy.

Last year, popular property search portal realestateview.com.au (REV) gave investors some important insights into the Aussie tenant psyche, releasing the results of an extensive Housing Sentiment survey.

In case you missed it, or just need a refresher in ‘How to attract and retain quality tenants 101’, here are the five ‘must haves’ that topped the tenant wish list and four pet peeves. 

1. Size comes first

Apparently, when it comes to rental abodes, size DOES matter! In fact, 27.4% of respondents to the REV survey said it was their number one priority.

Keep in mind, though, it’s not just about how big it is, it’s also what you…err…do with it that counts! Layouts should be user-friendly and provide ample light, storage and livability, with floor plans that emphasise functional use of space.


2. Modern, equipped kitchens

Large, well-appointed kitchens came in a close second, with 26.5% of tenants paying close attention to the cooking facilities in a prospective property. If your ‘deal breaker’ room is stuck in the days of acid wash and mullets, perhaps it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Kitchens can be relatively cost effective to revamp and sparkly new stainless steel appliances can see you manufacture additional returns immediately, with increased weekly rent.

3. Temperature control

Hopefully, it’s toasty warm in your rental property and of course, cool and inviting on those hot summer days. If your tenants find themselves having to rug up against the elements while indoors or baking hot on a February afternoon, they might decide to seek more temperate climes.

Just over a quarter, or 26.1% of tenants said that heating and cooling facilities played a significant role in their rental accommodation assessment.

4. Ample storage

A place for everything… well, maybe not everything! But the additional security of a lock up garage to park the car, or just for extra storage rates highly with 19.7% of Housing Sentiment Report respondents.

People Summer Garden Sitting

5. Private outdoor space

Australians love the outdoors. There’s nothing like a good ‘barbie’ in the backyard. Today’s more discerning tenants are after useable and engaging outdoor space.

Quality decking and landscaping, or at the very least a balcony from which you can sit and watch the world go by, is the icing on the cake for 19.1% of tenants.

6. Location still matters

Of course, the most compelling draw card for tenants, as with homebuyers, is always going to be location. Identifying a suitable property investment means understanding the fundamentals that drive particular postcodes and the markets within them – being tenants and owner-occupiers.

So what gives different areas that extra appeal? ‘The survey said’…

  • A safe neighbourhood (53.9%)

  • Good public transport (44.2%)

  • Shopping & retail amenity (34.7%)

  • Close to work (34%)

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What Tenants Avoid

Karma works quickly in real estate, particularly when it comes to the prospect of extended vacancies and a disruption to your cashflow. So you need to understand not only what boxes your tenants want to tick, but also what really ticks them off!

Top four things tenants most dislike…

1. The inability to ‘personalize’ their space, with a lick of paint or a picture on the wall, was a real turn off for 59.7%.

2. Unresponsive property managers that fail to communicate effectively frustrated 44.1% of tenants.

3. ‘No pets’ policies were off-putting for 37.8%.

4. Having to attend to repairs yourself, because no one bothered responding to multiple maintenance requests, understandably annoyed 30.3% of tenants.

Of course, all of these ‘sticking points’ when it comes to finding and retaining quality tenants can generally be mitigated for with the right property management team.   

At Little Real Estate, we recognise that your assets are not just bricks and mortar buildings, but the tenants who reside in them. Why not contact us to find out how we work with you, to make sure your tenants feel right at home.

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