The DO NOT INSTALL List for your Investment property

You have a rental property and you want to make it as attractive to tenants as possible, but there are certain amenities that if you do install, will only create headaches for you. By headaches I mean, they will suck up money on maintenance and time to get them fixed. Anything that is likely to break, will break at some point, so you need to strike a balance between adding a feature that will attract tenants, and a feature that will cause you headaches.

So what are they?

A Pool
Why on earth would you want to install a pool, unless of course the tenant is responsible for all care and maintenance? You do not want to be responsible for cleaning filters and green pools and broken pumps. This is also does not take into consideration laws around fencing and pools. Pools also includes spa pools too. Lots of headaches here.


Waste disposal
How many times do you want to be called out because of the tenant shoving eggshells down the waste disposal and jamming it? Yes there are good quality waste disposals units around, but a  fork being munched in the unit will adversely affect it forever. So avoid it.

Bidet
Anything over and above the basic bath/shower/toilet and vanity is probably asking for extra work. You could consider installing a heated towel rail to add an extra touch, but again, anything that may break will break, so just be prepared.


Water Filter
This is not the end of the world if you do install one in you property. For it to be worth it your tenant it will need to have the filters changed regularly. If that is not such a big deal, and you don’t mind the odd call out for a dripping tap, then maybe it is a nice feature for your tenant.

Appliances
Washing machines, dryers fridges and freezers etc. It’s not common for these to be included in rentals in Australia and that’s a good thing, the more a tenant can be responsible for the better.

Features that may break but really are worth it:

Heating/Cooling
Heat pump or some kind of built in heating/cooling device is a good thing, especially in a market like Melbourne. The summers can get very hot and with winters cold, tenants are looking for ways to make their life more comfortable.

Dishwasher
Yes they break, but tenants will look for this, or at the very least a space where they can install their own if you are wary of including one. Modern day living means modern day features, and dishwashers are more and more a ‘necessity’.

Alarm
I’m on the fence about this one. I think it often depends on the area that the property is in. If all surrounding properties have one then it would behoove you to install one too. They don’t need to be hard-wired to a security company and can act like more of a deterrent to untoward activity. It does show your tenants that you care about their safety and that of the property, but like with anything, there is maintenance involved and they can be tripped by insects or heat.

Solar Water
This is a tough one, because the environmental benefits are wonderful, the appeal to a tenant is huge, the value you may or may not add is debatable and the amount of maintenance can be high. I guess if your property is in a very competitive area, this maybe what you need to include. A vegetable garden and solar heating would definitely set you apart.

So did I miss anything on the list? What would you not install in your rental property?
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