The only way you can start to make a profit on your rental is to get it leased out. This means you need to have a home or commercial building that presents well; it must be spick and span, with no obvious faults and definitely not shabby-looking. So property maintenance is the order of the day as soon as your present lessee calls in the furniture movers and moves out. Of course you have to make essential repairs while tenants are in your rental, but there are other things to do that can’t be done until it is vacant.

Walls get shabby after a house has been lived in for some years. Cleaning doesn’t always make them look any better. Repainting the interior will make your rental look like new again, with more modern colours and that new look and feel. Some homes also need new carpets or other floor coverings and new curtains or blinds to make them look like a home.

The fittings could also be upgraded for a small cost, especially taps that leak – and don’t forget that a leaking cistern costs money so is likely to turn potential tenants away. Any appliances that look ancient should also be replaced and if the electric water heater has been in for over a decade you may want to think of replacing that, too. When you think what it will cost to replace other components such as kitchen cupboards and skirting boards and to have the carpet professionally dried out if it breaks down and floods the house, you will understand that replacing it before that happens will save you money.

So what about the outside of the home? If you want to ensure your rental is leased quickly rather than standing vacant for weeks or months, tidy up the outside of the home. You may need to repaint the walls or have them hosed down to clean mould off them. Make sure the front gate shuts properly and that the front door is freshly painted on the outside. If flyscreens are torn or damaged, have them replaced too.

If there is a garden, pop in a few dependable shrubs that won’t die if they are not watered every day and have the lawn mowed on a regular basis. If the previous tenants left any rubbish, make sure you remove it – and don’t give them back their bond, to pay for the costs. Take a look at the home from the street in front. Does it have street appeal, or does it look shabby and neglected?

Of course you can’t do all these chores on your own. Hire a reputable handyman to get it done in no time and make sure it is done professionally.

Renting a home is a bit like selling it. If it looks clean and homely tenants are sure to make a beeline for it and quickly sign on the dotted line.