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Five tips for landlords who have (or want!) a home office in their property

Five tips for landlords who have (or want!) a home office in their property
May 14, 2020 Cian Murphy

With technology advancements and an increase in suitable business opportunities, it is no surprise to see so many Australian companies being operated from residential properties right now.

In fact, remote working has become even more important since Covid-19, with many businesses that traditionally had their workers in office blocks are now offering an option for their staff to work from home.

As a landlord, you may be taking notice of this, particularly if you are renting a furnished apartment. After all, there are plenty of tenants who want to use the property they lease as both a home and a workplace.

If you have a suitable space within your property, you are probably already appealing to these renters. After all, if you are planning on renting the property in an unfurnished state, then it’s up to the tenant how they use and furnish each space.

However, as we’ve previously stated, a furnished rental could bring in higher overall returns than the unfurnished equivalent.

Not forgetting that ‘business travellers’ and ‘regular business leases’ are two types of renters who often go for fully furnished properties and they are also two types of tenants who often require a home office.

Thus, incorporating one into your furnished property could be a smart move.

If you are a landlord who has, or wants, a home office in your property, here are five valuable tips.

Location, location, location

When designing a room or area in a property that you will not be using yourself, it can be easy to have a “that will do” attitude.

However, one of the best ways to design such a space is with the thoughts of how you would like the place if you were a daily user. Although, going down this route can make the office too individual and not suitable for a tenant, so a better question to ask yourself would be: “how would I like this space to be if I used it every day, but also shared it with others?”

The answer most of you will arrive at is probably “functional but also attractive”.

Thus, it makes sense that an office space in a rental property should be in a place where there is plenty of natural light and is spacious enough to operate within.

Fresh and vibrant decoration

A fresh and vibrant looking property will usually gain more traction in the rental market and that rule isn’t just for the kitchen, living room and bathroom. It also applies to home offices.

Thus, give prospective tenants who are looking for this type of property the right first impression with a fresh and vibrant, recently painted and decorated area.

Don’t get too specific

Of course, decorating is important, but it is best that you don’t get too specific.

For example, don’t lose the run of yourself and create a home-based workplace with all the trimmings for an upholstery professional, only to get a renter who is an app-developer and can’t work within those confines.

The same rule can be applied vice versa too. Essentially, you do not want to overspec the property as this could narrow the pool of potential tenants.

You don’t know what industry your lease holder will be working in, so keep the area easily adaptable.

Space, natural and artificial light, a desk and a comfortable chair should be enough furnishings if you go down this route.

Allow for personalisation and functional storage space

Building on the last point, a corner with a desk stuffed into it with barely any room to move does not constitute much of a home office.

We are not saying that you’ll need a large converted conference room if you want to advertise this feature, but you will need an area that can be adapted by your tenant and enough space for them to function.

Otherwise, the attractiveness of this feature will be neutralised.

Online?

All rental property listings on Rent.com.au show the NBN status and seven out of every ten renters said they couldn’t live in a property that doesn’t have internet access.

If you’re yet to invest in a property, then this is something that may be worth considering.

If you have already purchased a property, you should be aware of what’s available in your area. Tenants want to know what they’re getting from the local area and connectivity has become an essential element of their home search.

It’s not necessarily a “decorating” point, but knowing what modems will work in your property is a smart idea for all landlords – not just ones who are renting properties with home offices.

Adding features to a property is a simple and effective way to add rental value and a home office is a characteristic that more and more prospective tenants will be looking for in the future. With advancements in broadband and communications, this is a trend that’s likely to gather pace in the future too.

 

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