The opportunity in a vacancy

02-May-2016

Many landlords hear the word ‘vacancy’ and immediately go into a panic... 

But while minimal vacancy periods are the aim to ensure steady cash flow, a property vacancy does in fact have an upside. How? If your property is on the verge of becoming vacant it can be a great opportunity to assess any potential to add capital value to your investment property by making some improvements to the property. These improvements may then also allow you to achieve a higher rent and more easily attract a quality long-term tenant.


Ask your Property Manager about the most costeffective improvements that could be made to your property. Some common examples include:

  • The installation of a new oven and/or cooktop
  • If the oven, cooktop or both have seen better days, installing new appliances is something to consider. A shiny new oven and/or cooktop not only adds capital value but also increases the attractiveness of your property to prospective tenants.
  • Installing or improving built-in wardrobes
  • If your investment property doesn’t have built-in wardrobes, then installing them would instantly increase the appeal of your property. If your property has built-ins but they are very basic, you could consider upgrading them by adding more drawer and hanging space. By having built-ins, your property instantly moves to the top of a tenant’s shopping list, thereby reducing vacancy periods.
  • Installing new window coverings
  • Modern blinds or shutters instantly increase the appeal of your property, even before prospective tenants step inside as they can see the difference from the street. Fresh modern window coverings are another means to increase the income you could achieve and are a long-term value-add to your property.
  • Installing a dishwasher
  • Dishwashers are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. Not only does a dishwasher make your property look more modern, it also enhances the appeal of living there for prospective tenants who like the idea of not having to wash dishes by hand.
  • Increasing the fridge space

Take a good hard look at your kitchen space. Could the fridge space be increased? Often the difference between a property leasing or not is inadequate fridge space. Make the effort and reap the rewards. It's also wise to give your property manager the dimensions of the fridge space so they can promote this information to prospective tenants.

To increase your property’s rental appeal, reduce vacancy rates, increase the rental value and improve your property’s capital value consider the above points and use your imagination to think about what else you could do to improve your property during a vacancy period.