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Maria Bekiaris

Maria Bekiaris

Collect up to $100 a week extra

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As an owner of an investment property, boosting its rental income should be a priority for you. There are a number of things you can do to make sure you are getting top dollar. Some strategies will cost you money but they will be one-off expenses (which you can most likely claim as a deduction) and they will pay for themselves in the long run. Here are seven ways to get more rent:

1. There’s no doubt a well-presented property will be more appealing to tenants, which could translate into more rental dollars for you. Presentation could make the difference between people willing to pay $300 a week or $350 and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Property investor Jane Slack-Smith, from www.yourpropertysuccess.com.au, says creating a garden in an overgrown front area and adding a new letterbox and house number could mean an extra $10-$20 a week in your pocket. She says her “Renovate Repair” strategy, which would involve spending about $1000 on a general clean-up and such things as painting tiles and bench tops and replacing door handles could return an extra $20 to $50 a week.

2. Add a dishwasher. Many tenants, especially families, will thank you. It will set you back about $600, or less for a second-hand machine. Slack-Smith estimates a dishwasher can get you an extra $10 a week.

3. Install a reverse-cycle air-conditioner, which cools in summer and heats in winter. Air-con is particularly important if your property is in a hot climate. How much extra you can get depends on the location. In Queensland, air-con could make you an extra $20 a week, Slack-Smith says. “You can get the same increase with ceiling fans in bedrooms,” she adds.

4. Say “yes” to pets. This won’t cost you a cent, but pet-friendly rental properties are hard to come by and it will give you an edge. About 36% of households own a dog and 23% have a cat, so chances are you’ll find tenants willing to pay $10 to $20 a week if they can bring their furry friends. Slack-Smith she has achieved $50 a week extra by allowing pets, but recommends a pet bond. You could also get tenants to sign a “pet agreement” outlining what happens if the pet causes damage and other issues.

5. Renting out the rooms individually could get you an extra $50 to $100 a week rent, says Slack-Smith.

6. Storage, storage and more storage. Built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms, a decent-sized vanity in the bathroom and even a shed outside are all options to consider.

7. A simple way to get an extra $20 a week is to accept a shorter lease, says Slack-Smith.

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