A NEW ABS housing and mobility study has revealed that residents in Perth are very mobile with around 33% or one third having lived in their current property for 2 years or less.
Housing mobility is a key issue for landlords because of the biggest financial headache landlords have to deal with is when reliable tenants leave their property and they have to find new tenants.
The study highlights that in order to retain tenants, landlords have to properly maintain their properties. When asked why they left their previous rental property, some 58.5% of tenants stated the poor condition of the property. Also more than 40% of tenants stated they were dissatisfied with the level of security and felt unsafe.
These findings are very timely as Perth landlords are now finding it more difficult to secure new tenants for their properties with the latest REIWA figures showing that during the September 2009 quarter the rental vacancy rate jumped by 1.3% for the quarter to 4.8% which was the highest level in 14 years when it reached 5.4% in December 1995.
Landlords who have properly maintained rental properties will find it much easier to retain current tenants or find new tenants in the current rental market.
Properly maintaining a property is an issue often overlooked by landlords especially if they manage the property themselves.
Regular property inspection reports should be undertaken by landlords and while they are time consuming they will ensure that minor maintenance issues are quickly fixed and do not become major problems at a later stage.
Keeping a good tenant happy means low vacancy rates and the added expenses involved in finding a new tenant.
If the landlord does not have the time to undertake regular property inspection reports and organise speedy repairs of maintenance matters, then they should seriously consider using the services of a reliable property management company who will undertake these services.
Landlords should also ensure that their property offers a high level of security for tenants by installing security features such as deadlocks and security grills.
If the property is located in a strata complex, the landlord could encourage other owners to collectively ensure that the complex is properly maintained and also improve the overall security of the complex by installing security gates at the entrance to their car park. Such measures will not make their property easier to rent but also enhance its resale value.