03 Sep How often should you update and freshen up your Investment Property?
Some of the things that start to show their age quickly in an investment property are fixtures and fittings. While some fixtures and fittings may need to be updated due to damage or a fault in the item, knowing when to update things in your home is important. This keeps your home in excellent condition before you need to make major updates. Another major benefit of keeping your fixtures and fittings updated-A home in great condition is more likely to attract great tenants. Here’s our guide to when different fixtures and fittings should be updated in your properties.
Firstly, if you’re unsure about all of the fixtures and fittings in your property, take a look at the entry condition reports for your property. These documents may include notes on items you may have forgotten about. Some examples of common fixtures and fittings include electric sockets, security systems, smoke alarm systems, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances, built-in wardrobes, heating and cooling systems, carpet, mirrors, and furniture (if applicable).
Make sure your property manager checks the condition of fixtures and fittings
When your property manager completes an entry condition report, exit condition report and routine inspections, make sure they check all fixtures and fittings and report their condition. This is the best way to understand if anything at your property needs replacing.
If you’ve included appliances like fridges, a washing machine, dryer and dishwasher in your property, make sure you know when the warranty ends. The life span for household appliances can vary greatly depending on the brand of appliances in your property and how often they are used. Generally speaking, most appliances will reach the end of their life span anywhere between 5 years and 15 years. For items such as electric and gas cooktops, expect to get up to 15 years of use. For other appliances like washing machines and fridges, you’re likely to get closer to 10 years of use out of the appliance.
For any older appliances that need major repairs, make sure you weigh up the cost of repairing the appliance against purchasing a replacement. The older an appliance is, the more expensive it is to repair. In these cases, it may be best to organise a replacement. You could also talk to your accountant and make sure you time your purchases smartly within the financial year.
For carpets and light fittings
The condition of carpets and light fittings in your investment largely depends on how old the property is and how well it has been looked after. If the carpet is beginning to look worn or showing other signs it needs to be replaced, investigate the cost of replacing the carpet against having it professionally cleaned (though cleaning should be completed at the end of each tenancy). Expect to get between 5 and 15 years out of your carpet depending on the quality of the carpet and how much foot traffic goes through the property.
Light fittings can last many years in a property. It’s when light fittings get broken or stop working that they need to be replaced. If possible, keep light fittings simple and easy for your tenants to reach for changing light globes. A trip to Bunnings or other home improvement stores will show you a great range of what’s available at all price points.
Heating and cooling
If your property has heating and cooling systems make sure you understand how often it needs to be serviced. Most central heating and cooling systems need to be serviced once per year. Paying this annual cost for a service could also save you more money down the track as the contractor may be able to pick up issues before they arise.
Owning an investment property comes with many tasks that need to be remembered. By keeping in regular contact with your property manager and tenants (if applicable), you’ll be able to remain proactive about keeping your property in great condition.