Landlords Must Improve Properties; Adjust Rents, REIWA

President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, David Airey, has expressed concern that many investment property owners had failed to grasp how much the rental market had changed.

Mr Airey said many owners still thought that the market was like it was 18 months ago, when in fact things had changed ‘significantly’.

“The vacancy rate in Perth is now almost 4 per cent with more than 6000 available properties. Rents have come down and tenants have much more choice,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said the slowdown in population growth and jump in rental listings was expected to continue through next year and that owners had to adjust expectations.

“While the median rent in the metropolitan area sits at $450 per week, typical rents for houses have dropped by $10 and units by around $15, with reiwa.com data suggesting a further drop may be coming before Christmas or in the New Year,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said more expensive homes in areas such as Claremont, Nedlands, Cottesloe and Mosman Park had seen big drops in rent of between 20 and 40 per cent when compared to 2012.

“Owners of luxury properties enjoyed a pretty good run until recently, but in the same way that the mining and resources boom has ended, so too has the boom for luxury rentals,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said owners holding out for higher rents were engaging in a ‘false economy’ because the lost income from several weeks of vacancy quickly outweighed the extra $10 or $20 per week they might be hoping for.

“The rental system now favours tenants and is not likely to change any time soon. This means owners need to make sure the presentation of their property is at its very best and prospective tenants are offered creature comforts to secure a longer lease,” Mr Airey said.

Co-Chair of REIWA’s Property Managers’ Network, Jenni Wood, said tenants now had higher expectations with properties and will easily overlook those which do not meet their standards.

“Air-conditioning is now an increasing expectation and tenants also look for good security with locks, latches, gates and solid doors.

“A lockable garage or carport area where they can secure their vehicle is also highly regarded, as is an outside entertaining, patio or balcony area,” Ms Wood said.

Ms Wood said that most of all, however, a property needed to look its absolute best.

“Tenants don’t expect everything to be brand new, but they do expect everything to be neat, clean and tidy. If the property looks a bit tired, the carpet is worn, the garden is messy, the walls have scuff marks or the blinds have seen better days, then they will choose something else,” Ms Wood said.

Ms Wood agreed that many owners were being unrealistic and needed to consult with their property managers.

“They need to meet the market with better presentation and price adjustments if they want to avoid long vacancy periods and to attract good, longer term tenants,” Ms Wood said.

Show More

News Room

If you have any news for the Real Estate industry - whether you are a professional or a supplier to the industry, please email us: newsroom@eliteagent.com