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Attracting better tenants (Auburn, NSW)

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by JayOh, 6th Aug, 2016.

  1. JayOh

    JayOh Member

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    Hi!

    We have an investment property in Auburn that seems to be attracting problematic tenants. Two lots weren't too bad, apart from leaving a lot of mess, but the other two have skipped out owing rent, causing minor damage and leaving a lot of mess behind.

    When it's up for lease it usually takes a few weeks to get an application - very few people turn up to the opens and we end up accepting the only application we get.

    It's a 2 br house with no parking. It's two blocks away from Auburn Hospital, Auburn shops and station are about 1.4kms away and Lidcombe station is about 1.2kms away. We thought the location might bring hospital workers, but no - we've had a young family (turns out the dad was a crook) and they stopped paying rent, some Bangladeshi refugees through the Red Cross (decent tenants apart from the huge mess they left behind), a nice young couple who tried to turn the backyard into a hobby farm with chickens and a veggie patch and the last tenant was a single mother who caused some grief with the neighbours and skipped out on the rent.

    The house is a 1920's weatherboard that was cladded over some decades ago and is now looking tired from the outside. The interior was very neglected so we painted the house and carpeted the bedrooms and lounge room. These rooms still have the weatherboard walls and ceiling so lots of character. We renovated the bathroom and internal laundry as these were awful. The kitchen was fairly new so it just needed painting. We also did some landscaping front and rear to make it presentable.

    Once you get into the house it's very nice, charming and lots of character.

    To my eyes the house needs a new fence on one side as it is falling over in places. The cladding is looking old and the powdercoating is coming off in places, the paint on the window frames and the rest of the woodwork is looking old. The street appeal could be improved a lot with a fresh coat of paint, but is this likely to change the standard of tenants? Or are we just seeing the typical sort of tenant for this area in our price range?

    We have a few friends with investment properties (not in the same area) and they keep telling us not to spend any money on the house as it won't make a difference .

    Any suggestions on what we could do to improve our luck with tenants?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Can you at least paint and spruce up the front of the house?

    You won't attract decent tenants if the property looks grotty and run down. Many probably won't even go inside to have a look and they write your property off straight away.
    Marg
     
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Well-Known Member

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    @JayOh I may be interested in renting it based on your description above. I've sent you a PM about it.
     
  4. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I read your other thread, get a PM that cares, and consider applicants carefully.
     
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  5. JayOh

    JayOh Member

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    Thanks for the tips. We'll go ahead and get the fence fixed and outside painted and scout out a new PM.
     
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  6. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I agree with above comoments, good tenants know they are good and have a lot to choose from.
    The better a house looks the more prospects it will attract.

    Get professional photos too
     
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  7. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    The lack of parking and bedrooms has to be big turnoffs for a lot of your potential tenant pool.
     
  8. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Charming and lots of character.... That's what i write when I'm describing a house that looks like crap.

    From how you describe its probably tired. If it's a long term hold, look at how you can change it from 2 to 3 bedroom without an extension. For example, some of these older houses have sunrooms extensions - perhaps look at the cost of moving the kitchen (a new one) to these sunrooms and creating 3rd bedroom.

    Also, it is possible to create off street parking - only relevant where there is little on street parking, where there is plenty (i.e. I rock up at any time of day and can park in front of the house), then it will add value, but not that much.

    My parents have an ip similar in description near auburn - it had "charm and character" too - translation it was tired and looked like crap. Did a proper reno and increased rent from 350 to 500 with substantially better quality of tenants (i.e. Ones with stable jobs and paid rent).
     
  9. JayOh

    JayOh Member

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    Here is a picture of the house after we had the interior done and the exterior landscaped. The bushes in front of the verandah are much bigger and are now trimmed to the level of the handrail around the verandah.

    [​IMG]

    I've got another post at the moment in the renovation thread about removing the front verandah to make space for parking but the general opinion there is negative on this idea due to the lack of space, the tree out the front that would need to be removed and the visual impact of getting rid of the verandah.

    Adding a 3rd bedroom would be great but the current layout makes this difficult. The first 2 rooms as you walk in are the bedrooms and the hallway then opens up into the lounge room and this is where the original house ended. After the lounge room there is a bathroom on the left and laundry on the right and then you're in a small eat-in kitchen and then out to a long backyard.

    You could turn the loungeroom into a 3rd bedroom but then you lose the living area. To make any substantial changes we would need to either demolish and start again, or demolish everything from the bathroom back to create to more space. If we were to keep the original front of the house I would also look into moving it backwards enough to create parking space at the front and to retain the character.

    I think our short term plan is to replace the fence on the left to match the one on the right and paint the whole house exterior and front fence to improve the street appeal.
     
  10. New Town

    New Town Well-Known Member

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    put some nice timber balustrade to finish off the verandah railing. Replace the cheap table and chairs with nicer version. Paint the fence white to colour match
     
  11. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    Call the hospital (or get your new PM to do it) if health professionals are your target market.

    Ask them the best way to get the attention of the incoming staff who may need closeby accomodation.
     
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  12. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Colin. Get in touch with the hospital. There would be someone in HR who helps visiting staff find accommodation. I wonder whether furnishing it would help with that market? Don't do that of course until you have talked to someone at the hospital.
     
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  13. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Can you sketch up a rough floor plan?
    Also, that front verandah doesn't look like its original, more so it's been added in in the last 20 years.

    If that verandah was removed, would it fit a car?
     
  14. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Does it have air conditioning? If it doesn't or it's some crap window box mounts then I'd spend some money on that before I touch that side fence. A few good split systems make the world of difference.

    @neK he measured and even if he took the verandah off it's only 4.6m which isn't enough for a carport but might do a car bay however there is a street tree on the verge which is large so no driveway would be allowed really.
     
  15. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Looks quite tidy from this shot to me, if it is as clean and tidy inside, I would do nothing, just select a better tenant. Tenant wont care about the fence :)
     
  16. JayOh

    JayOh Member

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    The house has 3 aircons, the front bedroom has the wall mount that you can see in the picture next to the window. The second bedroom has a split system and the kitchen also has a split. I've been in the house on a hot summer's day and the front is actually quite cool, but the back of the house cops the afternoon sun and gets very warm. There are a couple of big jacarandas a few metres from the back of the house and they provide reasonable shade.

    The fence really needs doing though, it is collapsing in places and looks terrible.