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Renting your property at the right time of year could increase your rental returns by hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars.
Conventional wisdom tells us that there are two great times to rent property; January and June. That's when people settle down for the upcoming school and university semesters and when many businesses transfer staff to new locations (the latter is especially true for June due to the new financial year).
We take our share of responsibility for fuelling this idea. After all, we began promoting this strategy to achieve higher rents way back in 2007. It's important to note too that Rental Express was much smaller and more focused on Brisbane's inner suburbs back then.
Nowadays it seems like every man and his dog are queuing up to rent their property in January.
But we'd suggest that many of them are doing so under a flawed logic.
Ask yourself these three questions...
- Is your property nearby a school or university?
- Is your property less than five kilometres from the CBD?
- Is your property furnished and would you be open to short-term leases?
If you answered 'yes' to one of more over these questions, then it probably makes sense to target January or June to rent your property. In doing so, you could get an additional $20-50 rent per week.
In other areas, this seasonality is unlikely to make a difference to demand – a property that is in an outlying district would be better marketed for other reasons.
In fact, trying to rent your property in these peak periods when it's unnecessary to do so could actually hurt your returns.
Determinants of the best rental period
In order to determine the best time to rent your property, it’s best to take a more considered, logical approach.
If you have a rented inner city apartment to rent, then the business transfer season will certainly attract higher demand. A property within walking distance of the university will appeal to students. But outside these catchment areas it’s necessary to look for other drivers: just as in the property sales market, rental potential is determined by location, location, location.
If a property manager blindly gives the advice of ‘January, June’, then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
Nowadays so many property managers and investors operate with the blanket rule that renting in January is good that the rental market is flooded properties.
That means that it's very easy for properties to get lost amongst other properties that are more relevant to what people are looking for at that time of year.
As a result, you could actually dampen your rental returns if your property is outside a catchment areas.
One final, and often overlooked point, is that tenants need only give two weeks’ notice to leave. So if your tenants give notice at the start of December, it can leave you in a dire position - trying to rent your property across the Christmas and New Year break - often resulting in additional vacancy (besides, who wants to be arranging inspections and maintenance over Christmas lunch!).
What you can do to avoid these problems
There are several things you can do to avoid the seasonality problem of property renting:
- To achieve the best rent available, put your property on the market when fewer other properties are being released to renters;
- Pay attention to the location of your property and the local drivers of demand;
- Use a property management agency that will find out as early as possible whether a tenant wishes to vacate your property
Savvy investors will use these three questions as a determinant in their leasing decisions and will almost certainly achieve better rental returns as a result.
If you have any questions about the best time to rent your property, feel free to contact our team of property management specialists. We'd be happy to weigh in with our expertise. We can even arrange a free rental appraisal.
By Simon Waide, Rental Express