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DIY Renovation: how to attract good renters

By Mikaela Fowler

If you own a rental property, then chances are you have considered how to find renters for a house. Renovating your home not only helps you to find good tenants – it can also boost your rental income and pay off tenfold in the long run.

The considerations you need to make when renovating a rental property are different from renovating your own home: you’ll need to think about how to attract renters by presenting your property in the highest standard possible, while also minimizing the amount of investment you put in. Unless you’re looking to spend a significant amount to overhaul your property, DIY home renovations in Australia can be an affordable hack to help you increase your rental income within your budget.

If you’re looking to make some updates to your rental property, here are some affordable DIY home renovation tips that can help you.

How to attract renters to your property: start with your target market

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a landlord is to focus on what you want out of a renovation, rather than what your tenant wants and needs. When you’re renovating to attract good tenants, start by understanding exactly what the needs are of your ideal tenant, and what changes will bring more value to them.

For example, if you own a three bedroom property in the suburbs, chances are your target market will be families. In this case, your renovations could be focused on creating a more appealing kitchen and living space, or updating any outdoor spaces. On the other hand, if you have a property in the inner city and are targeting young professionals, you could significantly increase your rental income by converting a garage into a granny flat.

On top of this, it’s important to focus on creating practical updates that will make your home look clean, well-maintained, and bright for tenants, rather than expensive renovations that are based on personal preference, such as investing in luxurious carpets or expensive lighting.

Our top DIY home renovation ideas for your rental property

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls. This is perhaps one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your property more appealing to renters, particularly because potential tenants may be viewing your home without any furniture in it. Painting your walls can instantly make your home look brighter and boost its rental return. Just make sure to stick to a neutral colour: we recommend whites, greys, or other earthy shades.
  2. Fix any cracked tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Good tenants are also looking for good landlords who have well-maintained properties, and nothing is more off-putting than seeing cracked or loose tiles. Replacing loose tiles can work wonders to make your property look more presentable to future renters. If you can’t find the same colour or type of tile, consider finding a substitute then painting over your tiles – this can also add a fresh new look to your kitchen and bathroom.
  3. Install appliances that add value. This doesn’t involve handiwork, but installing essential home appliances can be extremely effective in making your property more attractive to tenants. As Australians become increasingly time-poor, appliances like a dishwasher or a dryer become more valuable: these are affordable, and can instantly add rental return to your home, as well as make your property more attractive to a large range of tenants.
  4. Improve your window treatment. While replacing window screens altogether can be expensive, there are quick DIY renovations you can do to improve the appeal of your property. Use curtains to hide any ugly frames (or paint over them), install mosquito nets, and make sure all the locks are working for your windows, particularly for those on the ground floor. The more considerations you make, the less your tenant has to consider. This attentiveness chalks up bonus points for a good tenant to choose your property.
  5. Update your flooring. If you have tatty or dirty carpets, consider getting them cleaned or replaced with fade and stain resistant carpet, or just strip the floors entirely. As a landlord, floorboards are a great choice: they bring better rental yields because they don’t get old over time, and many renters prefer floorboards because they’re easier to clean.
  6. Use mirrors to create the illusion of space. Mirrors can instantly make any room look larger, and are the perfect DIY fix if you want to give your property a fresh look. Choose full length mirrors for the bedroom, and replace any mirrors that are cracked or irregularly shaped.
  7. Convert an unused basement or garage into a granny flat. Although this may take a little bit more time, granny flats can significantly increase your rental yield. Granny flats will make your property more attractive for renters, particularly for young professionals who are looking to find housemates, or families who want a separate space for kids or teenagers.
  8. Light up your rooms. Good tenants are looking for bright and well-lit spaces, and while you can’t always control the natural light in a room, you can control the artificial light. Add light fixtures or wall lamps to large spaces such as living rooms and master bedrooms – just make sure to keep the style simple and neutral to cater to a large range of tenants.
  9. Don’t neglect the outdoor spaces. Whether you have a balcony or a garden, it’s important not to forget these when renovating your rental property. Little changes can go a long way: oil your deck for an instant balcony refresh, plant flowers in the garden beds, or add safety fencing to the garden to appeal to families.
  10. Consider pets. If you allow pets in your property, then adding pet-friendly upgrades are one of the best DIY home renovation ideas that require minimal spend, but increase the appeal of your home to potential renters. Australians are willing to pay a premium for a home that’s animal-friendly: simple things like adding a pet door to your front and back doors, or installing a kennel in the yard, can work wonders to attract good tenants.

DIY home renovations in Australia don’t have to be costly and time-consuming. Remember that, with renovations, a little can go a long way, so focus your time and budget on cost-effective updates that will bring you the best rental income, while also making your home more attractive for good tenants.


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