Tips for leasing in tough times

The Sydney rental market has been tough for landlords – especially over the last 12 months. But that shouldn’t mean your property remains vacant for weeks or months at a time. Instead, it calls for a more responsive approach to the concerns of tenants and what they are looking for.

Here are our 5 tips for landlords to ensure rental success.

Tip 1:  Critically evaluate your investment property

It can be hard to be objective about your own property but in a competitive market, it’s a vital step because it’s what every prospective tenant is doing.

General appearance and maintenance issues such as peeling paint, bold paint colours, weeds in the garden and aging appliances will each negatively impact a prospective tenant’s first impression of your property. If you want to attract good tenants, you need to invest in property maintenance and upkeep. The good news is, these things are often tax deductible against your rental income.

Tip 2:  Look at your numbers!

What’s better – a slightly lower rent than you’d like or no rent at all? As a landlord, this is the question you need to ask yourself. Of course higher rents mean more income for you. However, if properties aren’t achieving the same rents as before due to things like a sluggish economy, then surely considering a lower weekly rental income is better than none at all.

The property market has peaks and troughs so accepting a lower rent now doesn’t mean it will be low forever. It may simply be for a year or 2. In the meantime, the overall value of your investment property should continue to increase – helping you achieve your medium-long term financial goals.

Tip 3:  Look after your existing tenants

Having a property manager who is responsive to your tenant’s enquiries along with prompt attention to any maintenance concerns, will make it much easier to keep your existing tenant when it’s time to renew their lease.

With rental prices dropping in some areas of Sydney, you may need to consider a rental reduction instead of a rental increase at renewal time. But remember, keeping good tenants is far better for your hip pocket than an empty investment property for weeks or months at a time!

Tip 4 – For landlords managing their own property:  Know the legislation!

Over the last 12 months, there have been many changes to the Tenancy Act – especially in light of COVID-19.

Tenants are often highly knowledgeable about their rights so it’s easy to find yourself with a tricky situation if you don’t follow the regulations to the letter. In addition, it’s expected there will be further changes to the legislation as the economic effects of COVID-19 continue. Keeping up-to-date with these changes can be challenging so perhaps it’s time to consider engaging a property manager to help you.

Tip 5:  Evaluate your property manager

Both tenants and landlords need to have a close working relationship with the property manager. A good property manager should be a landlord’s advisor and the tenant’s mentor on how to care for your investment property.

In sluggish markets, your property manager also needs to be innovative; finding new ways to attract and retain great tenants. So how is your current property manager responding to your calls or the concerns of your tenants? The answer to this question could really determine the income you can expect from your investment property over the next 12 months.

Is it time to look at your options?

If you haven’t used a property manager before, or if you would like a second opinion about how your investment should be managed, talk to Brigitte Stills. With over 35 years’ property management experience, she’s seen every type of market fluctuation.

With all that experience, she knows how to make a property stand out as well as how to evaluate and select the right tenant. To explore your options, contact Brigitte from Stills Properties on 1300 091 638 or email

Selling vs Renting

Keep your eyes on your goals … The Sydney property market is improving!

Investing in property should be considered a medium to long-term investment. The market will go up and down over the years, but a well-positioned and maintained investment property should appreciate in value while your tenants help to repay your mortgage.

However, when the rental market is tough for landlords, it can be tempting to consider selling your investment property. But don’t lose sight of your goals by focusing on short-term fears.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • According to the latest figures from CoreLogic, Sydney property prices are on the rise so if you sell your rental property now, you may have trouble re-entering the market later.
  • While rents have decreased, properties located in highly sort after areas have been minimally impacted.

Quality returns require quality properties

Carefully selecting an investment property is the key to weathering the ups and downs of the property market. Already, high quality rental properties are seeing an upturn in their overall value and are attracting good quality tenants. That’s why at Stills Properties, we offer complementary, pre-purchase investment inspections to help our landlords make wise rental property investments.

“Average” investment properties may see a slight reduction in overall value and lower rents for a little longer. As a landlord, it’s important to see this in context because it’s still better to have a good tenant paying less rent. The alternative is having an empty property and searching for a new tenant who is unlikely to pay any more than the existing one.

Here’s the good news. The Sydney vacancy rate is changing and some commentators expect the market to improve within the next 12 months. So if your investment property is vacant at the moment, consider investing in upgrades. It will make your property more attractive to good quality tenants.

The secret to success … Appreciate your tenants

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and heard. It’s the same with tenants. Successful landlords attract long term tenants by:

  • Acting promptly when maintenance issues arise
  • Engaging attentive property managers who speak with tenants and listen to their concerns
  • Ensuring repairs and upgrades to the property occur on a regular basis because they increase the value and desirability of their rental property

Brigitte from Stills Properties has been a property manager for over 35 years. In that time she’s seen Sydney’s rental market go up and down. But the one constant that never changes is the care and attention she gives both landlords and tenants. That’s why she’s been in the industry for so long.

If you would like to retain or attract high quality, long-term tenants, contact Brigitte. She’s an expert in her field. Call 1300 091 638 or email

Kissing Point Turramurra

45/10 Kissing Point Rd Turramurra NSW 2074

Deluxe 2 Bedroom Apartment in Sought After Location

Spacious two-bedroom apartment located on the first floor in Cooinoo.
One of Turramurra’s sought after boutique buildings.
Generous open plan living and dining room, leading to sunny balcony.
Spacious kitchen with loads of cupboards. Master bedroom with built-ins and Juliet balcony.
Conveniently located, 300 m to Turramurra Station and only minutes to shops, restaurants and coffee shops.

  • Spacious living areas
  • Bright Kitchen, new stovetop and loads of cupboards
  • 2 spacious bedrooms master with robe & Juliet balcony
  • Bathroom with tub and separate shower
  • New carpet and paintwork throughout
  • Separate internal laundry
  • Lock up garage and storeroom
  • Beautiful park-like common areas
  • Walk to the train station, shops and restaurants

Layton St, Camperdown

313/1 Layton, Camperdown, NSW 2050


Stylish one bedroom apartment located on the third floor of this renowned and highly sought after Grace Building. Freshly painted and new carpet. This stunning designer apartment will suit the most discerning resident seeking style and glamour. 3.6 meter high ceilings, with timber beams. Timber flooring and video intercom. City bus at the door within minutes you can reach RPA, Sydney University campus and the culinary delights of Newtown.

  • Open plan living area adjoins a covered terrace-style balcony
  • Modern kitchen with gas cooking & stainless steel appliances
  • Master bedroom with ensuite
  • Spacious bathroom
  • Internal laundry
  • Video intercom security
  • Lift access
  • Common rooftop terrace

137 Jones St

137 Jones Ultimo NSW 2007

Well Maintained Victorian Terrace

Impressive -Spacious 2 bedroom terrace well located just minutes from Darling Harbour, walk to CBD and surrounds.
This property offers a peaceful lifestyle with back court yard access. Modern kitchen with gas cooking and dishwasher, granite bench tops. Two bedrooms, Master with en suite and Juliet balcony, 2 modern bathrooms Internal laundry. polished timber flooring
Rear lane access with garaging.