Perth landlords have been urged to improve their properties or adjust their rents in response to significant changes in the rental market.
Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey said market conditions were significantly different compared to 18 months ago, but many property owners were still holding out for higher rents.
REIWA figures showed the rental property vacancy rate across the metropolitan area was around 4 per cent, with more than 6,000 dwellings available to lease.
Mr Airey said typical rents for houses were down by $10 per week, while units had fallen by $15 per week since last year, but he forecast a further fall in the new year.
More expensive homes in the western suburbs have recorded rent falls of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent, compared to 2012, Mr Airey said.
“Owners of luxury properties enjoyed a pretty good run until recently, but in the same way that the mining and resources boom has ended, so too has the boom for luxury rentals,” he said.
Mr Airey said the rental market was clearly in tenants’ favour, and that wasn’t likely to change soon.
“This means owners need to make sure the presentation of their property is at its very best and prospective tenants are offered creature comforts to secure a longer lease,” Mr Airey said.
Features needed to entice renters include air conditioning, good security, a lockable garage or a covered outdoor area, REIWA property managers network co-chair Jenni Wood said.
“Tenants don’t expect everything to be brand new, but they do expect everything to be neat, clean and tidy,” Ms Wood said.
“If the property looks a bit tired, the carpet is worn, the garden is messy, the walls have scuff marks or the blinds have seen better days, then they will choose something else.”