Preparing your investment property for summer

If you own one investment property or many, it’s important to keep them in good condition, firstly so you attract and retain good tenants and also to ensure your investment is looked after. That means doing some specific maintenance when summer rolls around in order to keep your investments in tip-top shape.

Smoke Alarms

It’s a term of every residential tenancy agreement that the landlord will install and maintain smoke alarms according to the standards in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

For landlords the consequenes of not having a working smoke alarm can be disatrous. Not only could you be fined thousands of dollars for not having smoke alarms installed, but in some states it is a criminal offence.

Smoke alarms save lives, it is as simple as that. In fact according to Fire and Rescue NSW one third to a half of deaths due to residential fires could be prevented if the homes had working smoke alarms.

As a landlord you are responsible for ensuring your property meets the minimum requirement of having at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home. You are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in your rented premises and you have the right to access the rented premises to fit smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least two days’ notice.

After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms. Hard-wired smoke alarm back-up batteries are to be replaced by the landlord. If the tenant is physically unable to change the battery the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable.

With day light saving about to commence now is the time to ensure your smoke alarms are in working order. Talk to your property manager about this to ensure the tenants change the batteries and that the smoke alarms are all working. Not only are you legally obliged to do this, most importantly it could save lives. We buy houses Ormond Beach.

Clean out the Gutters

Summer also means it’s fire season…so if your investment is in a fire risk clear out your gutters before the heat arrives.

If there’s a build-up of leaves, sticks or other debris in gutters, this can be a fire hazard. That’s not to mention the potential to block up the structure itself, which can make it difficult for water to drain through.

This can lead to bigger problems later on, such as gutters that sag, along with mildew accumulating in the area. It can also cause water damage, which could potentially affect the home itself.

Planning for the next year

Given the fluctuations in students and people’s employment many tenancy agreements finish either at the end of the year or the beginning of the next given fluctuations in student living situations and employment. If you are happy with your tenants and want them to resign it is now a good time to talk to your property manager to see how you can get your tenants to resign.

The benefits of keeping good tenants are you don’t have find new ones, you don’t have to screen new applicants, you avoid vacancy costs and advertising costs and the current tenants are aware of the rules of the property and payment conditions.

Summer garden maintenance

After winter you might find your garden needs a bit of TLC. Refresh the mulch, weed the garden beds and consider adding some flowering plants for a splash of colour. If you have a watering system, adjust the timer to day light saving time (if that applies to your state), clean the exterior lighting and windows and check if the entertaining deck needs any repairs and that the BBQ is set up safely to be enjoyed throughout summer.


While insulating your rental property is a cost for you, you might find that you can secure a better weekly rent from tenants, given they won’t have to spend as much on their electricity bills and less likely to switch on the air conditioner bills.

If you get the opportunity to insulate the property thoroughly, this could pay off in the long run. How you do this will depend on the kind of dwelling you’ve invested in, but have a chat with your property manager if you’re not sure of the right approach.

Check the property isn’t being sub-leased

Many investment properties are rented to students and over the Summer holiday period, they all head home. It is worth finding out if they are looking to sub-lease your property while they are away. Unless it is in the lease, they will need to get written approval from you to sub-lease to someone else. Whilst you are not allowed to withhold this permission without a good reason, it is important to understand who is living in your investment.

Preparing your property for a summer sale

Generally speaking, summer sales are all about showcasing the exterior of your property and making the most of your garden and outdoor areas, even your balcony.

Learn How To Generate Leads

Before you start making any repairs / changes it is a good idea to ask your agent what they think you should focus on. They are highly experienced in selling and know what features buyers value over others. Here is deep dive into preparing the outside of your home and our step by step infographic on what else you need to focus on.

Preparing the outside of your home

Make all necessary repairs.

Walk around the outside of your home with the eyes of a buyer and make a list of the things that need to be fixed. Start at the front of the home, does the gate need to be repaired, does the front fence need to be repainted, are there any issues with the path, is the front door in good condition, how are the windows, gutters?….you get the idea.

Make the most of your curb appeal

Many potential buyers do a ‘drive past’ a property before they come in for an inspection – they are seeing if the property looks any good and worth their time. This means that first impressions are critical and this starts at the curb.

Make the most of your back garden

Aussies love being outside and one of the key benefits of selling in Summer is you can promote your outside area as another entire living space. This creates a whole new room in the eyes of a buyer and a major selling feature in summer.

If you are lucky enough to have a back garden spend a few of hours weeding the garden beds, keep the lawn mowed, trim any bushes and trees and plant flowering plants in the garden beds.

Repair your deck

If you have a deck – wash it down or water blast it to remove any grime. If there is damage, make any necessary repairs – drive any protruding nails flush with the surface of the board or replace them with deck screws. Repair or replace boards that are badly deteriorated and sand any rough spots to stop splinters. Once it’s dried apply a sealer or stain the deck – you’ll be surprised how great it looks…and your buyers will love it.

Quality Leads for Real Estate Agents

Maximize your courtyard space

If you have a courtyard it is important to maximise this space. A trick of the landscaping trade is to create a focal point like a water feature, statue or urn. This should be placed at the furthest point from the entrance so your buyers vision is drawn a distance, giving a sense of space.

If you have time before the sale, you can also give an illusion of space by paving the entire area with large pavers (500x500mm) to make the area look wider and less busy. Don’t use any dark colours in your courtyard structures as these reduce the perception of space.

Add some Outdoor Furniture

If you don’t have an outdoor setting it my be a good idea is to hire some nice outdoor furniture for the sale. A table and chairs, a BBQ or an outdoor lounge setting looks great and helps people envision themselves sitting back with a glass of wine or a beer entertaining friends. If you already have outdoor furniture make sure it is clean and in good condition.

Enhance the entrance

Spruce up the entry way and the front door. Add a welcome mat, make sure the front door is clean or consider painting it if it is looking a bit tired.

If you have sufficient space, place a range of matching terracotta pots with plants against the wall near your entrance. For the average sized doorway use the pots up to a metre high. If your home is an older style, aged classic cone shaped pots with a rolled rim containing colourful flowers, like geraniums, will give a traditional welcome feeling. For more modern homes tall angular pots that taper downwards are very popular. Architectural plans like succulents are also good as they create a dramatic effect.

Try and keep everything symmetrical. If you are using pots and plants to add interest, put one either side of the entrance or you might like to hang two matching lanterns for a warm glow. The trick is to keep it simple and not clutter the space.

Keeping your home cool and light filled

Whilst summer is the time to make the most of your outdoor areas, Internally it’s about finding a balance between light and keeping the property cool. It’s about getting the balance of light and temperature

If you have air conditioning, turn it on. If you can create cross ventilation breezes that is even better and if you have fans use them too. Your aim here is to make your home comfortable and cool, but not all closed up with the air conditioning on so high that the potential buyers teeth are chattering.

Sponsors: We buy houses Winter Garden

Styling to sell

Whilst summer selling lets you show off the outside features of your home, spending time styling the whole property is essential to a successful sale. To help you get ready for your up coming sale, here is our easy to following Styling to Sell infographic that walks you through the eight steps to successful styling to sell. Of course you agent is the best person to talk to here so make sure you ask them what they suggest you focus on as every property is different.