We offer our landlord's the best possible Investment management service by striving to obtain the best rent returns. We make every effort in providing you with best tenants, keeping expenses to a minimum, achieving maximum capital growth and keeping you informed every step of the way.
Tenant Selection Process
Regarding the tenant selection process, agents generally have more ready access information on potential tenants, such as defaulting tenant databases which provide rental history and other tenant information, e.g. if a tenant caused damage to a property or vacated without cleaning. Tenants with past defaults who are listed on a database often seek out private investors for this reason.
Also, an agent meets many prospective tenants from which to choose the best for your property. Their experience usually allows them to ask the right questions as well as being able to "read between the lines" in relation to the answers.
The lease and condition report can be the most important documents in the entire process having to find you a tenant and prepare the initial paperwork for you puts you in the best position for a secure tenancy.
- Private owners are bound by the same legislative requirements when dealing with tenants as apply to agents, so an owner needs to be fully conversant with these ever-changing legal requirements.
- As an intermediary between the property owner and the tenant, the agent can often prevent ill feeling over repairs or rental arrears.
- Management fees paid to an agent are tax deductible.
- A private investor needs to honestly consider if they have the detailed knowledge required to handle the variety of legal paperwork and scenarios, e.g. serve notices if the rent is unpaid; if action has to be taken to obtain vacant possession; to corrently complete leases; to handle neighbour complaints, etc., and to consider if they will have the time and disposition to investigate and follow the requirements of each when the time comes.
- Disputes over late or non payment of rent can be very difficult and emotional when the communication is directly between the owner and the tenant. Agents can often diffuse these difficult situations.
- Professional real estate agents are usually able to negotiate more attractive rates with tradespeople. They also generally have more "influence" with tradespeople due to the volume of work they give the tradesperson. This influence can be very handy when something has to be attended to urgently or after hours.
- Agents are always in touch with current market conditions and rental prices and are able to negotiate the best rent with a tenant.
- Agents naturally attract a greater number of tenants due to a brand name, reputation, location, media advertising, Internet presence and advertising profile. On the other hand, a private investor may need to spend additional funds advertising to find a tenant.
- If properties are damaged and it is necessary for an owner to appear before a Tribunal you will benefit from having an experienced agent handle the matter on your behalf and/or by your side. A lack of experience can result in unsatisfactory outcomes and extra expense if you have to seek legal assistance from a solicitor.
- Generally speaking, quality landlord protection insurance policies are not available to private investors.
We arrange to show the property to prospective tenants by appointment including Saturdays where required. Applicants are carefully checked ensuring employment and previous tenancy references, to make sure we get the best possible tenant for your property. You the owner will be advised once we believe we found the right tenant and you can be involved to make the final decision ensuring we get the right tenant.
Once the application has been approved by you, we arrange the preparation and signing of the Tenancy Agreement and will sign the Agreement on your behalf.
On signing the agreement we collect from the tenant four weeks rent as a bond on unfurnished premises and six-week rent as a bond on furnished premises and two weeks rent in advance. The rental bond is then forwarded to the Rental Bond Board, where the money is held until the end of the tenancy.
Tenancy commences after we do a thorough Condition Report on the state of the property, including taking photos of every room the exterior and garden as a safe guard on your investment to ensure the property is kept in top condition.
End of Tenancy
We will notify you when the tenant gives notice of the end of tenancy, it is always good to know in advance instructions on re-letting the property. We will carry out an extensive inspection to check the condition of the property. Expenses such as unpaid rent or damage can then be claimed from the bond money.
In extreme cases where a dispute may arise over the bond, we will arrange for the case to be taken to the Tenancy Tribunal and will act on your behalf at the hearing.
Rent and rent increases
How much rent can I receive for my property ?
The factor which will determine how much rent you receive for your property is known as "market rent" - that is, how much money similar properties are renting for in your area. If you are thinking of renting out your property, we suggest you research similar properties on the Internet and note, not only the prices, but how long they are on the market at the requested rental.
Dealing with a complaint
My property still has eight months on the lease but rental prices are skyrocketing. Can I increase the amount of rent currently being paid?
The current rental must remain for the remainder of the lease term. You should then give your tenant the required amount of notice that you intend to increase the rental at the end of the current lease (notice periods vary depending on your state).
You may have received advice about a complaint being made. Use this opportunity to contact your tenant and let them know about the neighbours' concerns. We suggest you do so in writing and advise them that they are in breach of the terms of the lease further notices from may result in a formal notice to vacate.
My tenants have left the property with damages far in excess of the amount of the bond they paid. How do I go about recovering the differences between the cost of the repairs and the bond?
You will need to make an application for an order to recover the amount in excess of the bond. Ensure you collect proof of the damages and any relevant conversations or correspondence. Depending on your policy, you may also be able to claim on your Landlord Protection Insurance either before or after a Tribunal hearing.
Water & sewerage
In most areas in Australia tenants may be charged for all or part of the water usage costs.
We strongly suggest that you take out Landlord Insurance. This insurance cover includes: contents such as floor coverings, light fittings, paint work and window furnishings, malicious damage, vandalism and loss of rent and public liability of up to $10,000,000.
If the property is a strata unit, the strata body will have main building insurance, so you may not need the full insurance cover, but this can be discussed with us. All inclusions and landlord protection is still mandatory in ensuring your full protection.
Some good advice to our landlords:
Ensure that there is the necessary equipment available (eg hoses and sprinklers) to encourage the tenants to maintain the grounds.
Prune trees and shrubs at least once a year , we are happy to arrange this if required
Maintain the property and allocate funds to prevent deterioration (painting and carpeting where necessary, for example).
If travelling or residing overseas, appoint a Power Of Attorney to act on their behalf. Remember that our authority is specific and may not cover all eventualities.
Advise agent of any change of address, telephone number or banking details.
Maintain landlord insurance for peace of mind and protection. This can be as little as $330pa.
Repairs and Maintenance
We are aware that labour can be expensive, and thus endeavour to keep these costs to a minimum. If any maintenance is required, we can arrange for one of our tradesman, or your preferred tradesmen, to carry out the work required. If the cost exceeds the amount laid out in the Management Agency Agreement, we will contact you before any work is undertaken.
Alternatively, you might like to carry out repairs and quotes for maintenance yourself. A professional is always preferred when conducting work for safety and OHS and reasons.
Emergency repairs are at the agent's discretion when and only if you can not be contacted. It is therefore important to inform us of any change of address or telephone number. The tenants are also able to order urgent work up to $1000.00, however as your agent we prefer to have the final decision on this.
We highly recommend that professional companies regularly maintain the pools and large lawn areas. If this is the case, costs should be shared through the rent.
More generally, we recommend that you keep your property in good condition. Letting your property become 'run-down' will not only lead to expensive maintenance and repair costs in the future, but will also effect the value of the property, the amount of rent you will receive and the type of tenants you will get renting your property.
Remember that repairs and maintenance to a rental property are tax deductible. See your accountant for details.
Administration & Statement of Accounts
We liaise between the tenant and the landlord. Rent is collected by us and deposited into a trust account. On the 3rd last business day of the month, we transfer monies electronically into you elected bank account and forward a statement of monies received and expenses incurred to you by mail and email, together with the original invoices paid on your behalf. Funds transferred into a bank account are cleared on most occasions by the next working day.
Arrangements can by made for us to pay disbursements, such as unit levies, water service charges, council rates, insurance, pest control, law mowing, etc. Where the property has a separate meter, tenants are responsible for paying for water usage. We arrange this payment.
Tips for Investing
Investing can bring valuable benefits offering regular income and tax benefits.
Over time a well managed investment property can give you the benefits you deserve to have that luxury retirement.
Lets get started;
Research - find out the growth areas and top spots in the market. Doing this will tell you where you get greater returns and have high demand and where the lower vacancy rates are.
High maintenance properties – these should be avoided at all cost unless you want to add value by renovating.
Finance – consult your accountant or financial adviser about the benefits of negative gearing your investment property. This will ensure you are fully informed of the maximum tax advantage before you invest.
Long term investing – property is a great long term investment offering solid capital growth. If chosen wisely a good investment can pay for itself and provide a great little nest egg for the later years of life.