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$176 way to boost your property’s appeal

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Row of detached bungalow homes in the residential suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne with white picket fence and a blue sky background. Power cables overhead.

Image: Getty

Landlords looking to fill vacant rental properties have been reminded of one easy way to boost their property’s profile: a good clean.

The number one rental turn off is poor cleanliness, according to Jones Ballard Property Group, right up there with garden maintenance, no security and no air conditioning.

The same goes for buyers, with a 2019 Finder survey finding bad smells will force 60 per cent of buyers to walk away. A study from UK home furnishing company Terry’s Fabrics also found that nearly one in two renters will decide against renting a dirty house.

And while rental vacancies across Australia fell to 1.9 per cent in January, they remain elevated in inner city areas in the wake of COVID-19, meaning landlords need to work hard to make their homes appealing.

However, steam cleaning, fresh paint and improving outdoor areas is one way to get ahead, and landlords are taking advantage of this, according to Airtasker data shared with Yahoo Finance.

“The month of January always brings a general sense of new beginnings,” said the gig platform, which recorded a 33 per cent year-on-year increase in removalist jobs that month.

“It appears to be one of the busiest periods for rental moves people return from holidays and begin making arrangements for the year ahead.”

Over 12,000 cleaning jobs were posted in the first weeks of January, while gardening tasks increased 63 per cent and painting jobs jumped 30 per cent.

The average Airtasker cleaning job costs $176, and the average gardening task costs $128.

“[These] small investments such as these can offer a big return, often being just what a property needs to stand out to renters.”

Additionally, installing high quality fittings and air conditioning will also ensure a property appeals to a wider range of renters.

A fresh coat of paint ($560) will also make a property appear fresher, with this task jumping 30 per cent year on year.

Cleaning all your appliances, and checking they’re in good working order, is another way to avoid turning away potential tenants, home search platform Homely advises, as is installing fresh blinds and curtains.

“If you’re not ready to replace and your curtains or blinds are still in great condition, give them a good clean so they’re free of mould and grime,” Homely suggested.

And clean your walls: walls with marks, holes or cracks don’t look welcoming. Ensure you’ve fixed leaking taps and replaced dodgy light fittings and shower heads. Also, keep an eye out for problems with doorknobs, fly screens and locks.

“Mould is the biggest turnoff in any bathroom, so consider having the grout professionally cleaned or re-grouted.”