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Must Have Amenities and Lease Terms

One of Stott Property Management, LLCs primary responsibilities involves finding a new qualified tenant as quickly as feasible when a rental becomes vacant.  While property condition and location are important, another critical feature involves what a house or condo offers and what tenant preferences a landlord will allow.  A landlord can easily change these features in some cases and others may not be possible.  Therefore, choosing the correct investment property from the beginning is paramount.

Must have amenities vary based on the region of the country your investment property resides and the type of renter you are looking to attract.  This article will focus on the most desirable traits for long-term rental properties (a lease greater than six months) on Oahu.  Most tenants today look for a rental that have at least one assigned off-street parking space (two is optimal for a two- or more-bedroom rental), stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and air conditioning.  Air conditioning has become much more important over the past decade and it has a measurable impact on rents and vacancy rates.

When it comes to lease terms, allowing pets has the greatest impact on rents and vacancy rates.  The landlord typically has the discretion when the rental property is a single-family home.  Investors targeting long-term tenants should verify that the association allows pets and the type and size of pets allowed.  Please note that if you refuse to allow pets, then it is better to buy a condo in an association that does not allow pets so that you minimize your competitive disadvantage.  Please also note that a tenant could still bring in a pet into the rental if they have a doctor’s note claiming that the pet is an emotional support animal.

The list of must have amenities and lease terms is not a buffet of items that you can pick and choose from.  A rental missing one of the appliances, or one that does not allow pets, will turn off a significant percentage of potential renters.  While most rentals do offer a full kitchen and washer/dryer, many still lack air conditioning or prohibit pets.  Over the past three years, Stott Property Management, LLC has witnessed rental properties languish on the market because the client refuses to install air conditioning and/or allow pets.

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