LANDLORD Q&A

IS YOUR PROPERTY CURRENTLY BEING LEASED? 

Below we have answered some commonly asked questions by landlords. If we haven't answered your question below or are in need of more information, please give us  a call on 07 3264 6738 and we will be happy to have a chat. 

 

The following advice is a general guideline only and is intended as a broad guide. The advice below should not be regarded as legal or financial. We advise you to obtain independant professional advice specific to your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions

Q. How can I pay my investment property off sooner? 

  • Talk to our Property Manager regarding what improvements you can make to achieve a higher rent.

  • Pay your mortgage payments every two weeks (or twice per month) to pay off the loan faster.

Q. How do tenants pay their rent? 

  • Direct debit from their nominated bank account

  • Internet Banking through their chosen financial institution

  • Cheque or Money Order

Q. What happens if my tenants stop paying rent? 

If a tenant falls behind in their rent, they are issued with a Notice of Breach advising them that they are behind and requesting they rectify the situation.   If the rental arrears is not paid up to date within a specified time, or a suitable arrangement has not been entered into for payment of the arrears, a Notice of Termination is then issued, requiring the tenant(s) to vacate the premises.

Q. How can I hold onto quality tenants? 

It is just as important to hold onto good tenants as it is to find the right tenants. Disruptions in a tenancy can be costly and sometimes stressful. Good quality tenants will provide you with regular income as well as keep your investment property in good condition.

There are three key elements to keeping good tenants:-

  1. Privacy – Respect your tenants privacy. Make sure you give them their privacy so that they do not feel like they are living in your home. The property has to feel like their home.

  2. Attention – Whilst respecting their privacy, you must still ensure that you attend to any repairs and/or maintenance issues promptly. They should not have to be continually chasing you to attend to a repair.

  3. Appreciation- Showing a good tenant appreciation goes a long way. Something as simple as a Xmas card or a small gift around the holiday season  shows your gratitude and can help create a bond of loyalty between yourself and your tenant.

Q. How can I increase the rent from my investment property? 

  • Review your rent -  the rental market can change quite often.  Fluctuations in vacancy rates and median rents can all impact on how much you can charge for your property.  Review your rent on a regular basis to meet the market.  Obtain a rental appraisal from an agent.

  • Freshen up your property – The key to ensuring that your property continues to be rented is to keep it in good condition.  Ensure that maintenance on the property is kept up to date, and at the end of a tenancy you can take advantage of this time to give your property a fresh coat of paint, replace carpets if needed and give the gardens an overhaul.   This will not only make your property more attractive to potential tenants, but will also add value and may even allow for an increase in rental.

Q. What are some common mistakes landlords make? 

While managing the property yourself may save you on Property Management fees, it can also be very costly if you start making mistakes.

Some of the most common mistakes made by landlords are as follows:-

  • Access – Failing to give the tenant the correct Notice.  Most entry notices require 24 hours notice to be given to the tenants in the prescribed form.  However tenants must be given at least 7 days notice for a general inspection. 

  • Bonds – Some landlords ask for more than 4 weeks Bond and fail to lodge the rental bond with RTA within the prescribed time limit.   This is an offence and the landlord may be fined for this breach.

  • Use of proper documentation – Some landlords fail to put a written tenancy agreement in place or complete entry and exit condition reports.  This leaves the owner at risk in the event of a dispute with the tenant.

  • Charging for Water – A tenant may be charged for water provided:

    • The property is individually metered

    • The property is water efficient if it meets the minimum water efficient standard in respect of Internal Cold water taps and mixer taps/Showerheads/toilets. Property owners should be able to demonstrate the presence of water efficient fittings and where it is unclear they will need to provide a plumbing report.

    • The tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption

The tenant cannot be charged for Sewerage or water supply

Q. Why should you make your investment property pet friendly? 

By allowing tenants with pets, you will improve your chances of renting your property faster.   This is particularly important in family orientated areas.  This will also help in attracting more long term tenants, as the property will feel more homely where a pet is permitted.