Simple ways to grow your rental return

I can’t imagine not having an internal laundry. The thought of schlepping my stuff to a laundromat and sitting there while my clothes wash, then dry, is nightmarish. I’m just far too lazy for that.

It’s therefore no surprise tenants will fork out extra rent for the luxury of even a launderette. I’m not talking a spacious room with a tub and linen press. A cupboard enclosure with a few taps and a drain will do the trick. Generally speaking, that’s not a huge investment on the part of the landlord and it could pay for itself in a year or two.

I came across a number of relatively cheap and simple tricks to instantly boost rental return while researching and writing a feature for the current issue of Australian Property Investor magazine. Growing your yield doesn’t have to be confined to those semi-regular rent increases, and it certainly doesn’t have to cost a bomb.

Installing security screens and doors will set you back a grand or two, depending on how many you need, but you could get an extra $15 per week in rent, experts say. As well as peace of mind, your tenants will probably get a discount on their home contents insurance. Now that’s a win-win.

Adding some storage space, particularly in smaller properties, is also a potential cash cow. Like everyone, tenants have stuff like Christmas trees, suitcases and golf clubs. If you can provide somewhere to store it, your place suddenly becomes more desirable.

Even a mezzanine shelf at the end of the garage, which might set you back about $800 in materials and labour could return an extra $15 per week in rent. There are occasionally wasted spaces that could be converted to cupboards – the space under the stairs or a nook in an extra long carport.

Kitchen renovations are expensive, but adding a dishwasher can make a big difference. Plus, imagine the tenants’ thrill at not having to wash by hand. Personally, I love my dishwasher more than almost anything.

There were some less exciting but equally effective ideas from our team of experts, like refinancing your mortgage and getting a depreciation schedule for tax time. Even enlisting the services of a clever accountant can improve cash flow.

These are just a couple of the 30 yield-boosting tips I uncovered. Find the full list plus real-life case studies in the September issue of API.

Shannon Molloy is the deputy editor of Australian Property Investor magazine www.apimagazine.com.au