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Whether you have just purchased your first investment or you’ve owned your property for a number of years, there are ways to maximise your rental return.

Whether you have just purchased your first investment or you’ve owned your property for a number of years, there are ways to maximise your rental return.

1.    Regularly review the rent

The best way to ensure you are charging the right amount for rent is to compare it with the market. This will give you an idea of what other similar houses in similar areas are charging.

If you find that the rent you are charging is lower than the market average, you could consider raising the price. However, it is important to give the tenant an adequate amount of notice before increasing the rent.

2.    Refresh the property

There are several ways landlords can make simple changes to the property to help improve its rental value and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Some examples include:

• Coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can add an instant improvement to the property. Stick to neutral colours in order to appeal to a larger group of potential tenants. Fresh paint on the outside will also improve the first impression appeal.
• Clean up the garden: You can make your investment property more attractive to renters just by keeping the lawns short and the garden tidy. A low maintenance garden will most likely be very appealing to the majority of renters, so there is no need to go and buy fancy plants that require constant attention.
• Add on a room: You could increase your tenant pool just by adding in another room. For example, if you have a one or two bedroom house and add on a third bedroom, your property may be more appealing to larger families.

3.    Make the property pet-friendly

Turning your property into a pet-friendly home doesn’t have to cost you anything extra upfront (unless you want to put in a doggy door or other extras) and they can be a valuable asset. Pet-friendly properties are in demand and since many landlords do not allow pets, you could charge a higher rent as you are offering something extra.
If you are nervous about animals damaging your property, implement conditions that the tenant must abide by. For example, the carpets must be cleaned every six months and the tenant is responsible for all damage costs caused by the pet. 

4.    Review your home loan

You could be spending an unnecessary amount of money on your mortgage and not even know it. This is why it is important to regularly review your home loan and compare it with other lenders in the market.

The mortgage market is very competitive and there are new and innovative products being released on a regular basis. Before you consider refinancing, you will need to think about what your overall goal is. You may wish to pay off your home loan as soon as possible or may prefer sticking to a consistent repayment plan with stability. These factors will affect what home loan would suit you best.

If you can find a better home loan product which will cost you less, then more money will go back into your pocket.

5.    Review your property management

Whether you self-manage or employ a property manager, you should review the management process and results on a regular basis.

If you have a property manager, the first thing you should do is review their performance. Do they fulfill their responsibilities and do they keep in regular contact with you? Also take a look at the performance of the property. If there has been a significant amount of vacancy periods or the property has not been maintained, it could be a sign that the property manager is not doing their job correctly.

If you find that you are not getting the results you want or you feel that you want to have greater control over your property, then it may be worth considering self-managing your investment. This will also help you save money and boost your rental income.