7 New Years Resolutions for your Investment Property


With 2019 fast approaching now is the time to be thinking of the goals you’d like to achieve for the management of your investment property, to ensure that your investment will continue to provide a sustainable, consistent and trouble free income for years to come.

An investment property requires advanced planning and follow through. Creating a list of New Year’s resolutions before the start of the new year can ensure that you have confidence, a systemised approach and the right mindset to grow your asset.

Here is a checklist for you to get started when preparing for a successful 2019.

1. Insurance

Landlord insurance is your investment property safety net. You should be asking yourself ‘Do I have the appropriate cover?’ and ‘Am I making the most out of what I pay for?’. There are also different types of cover depending on whether you have an agent or manage the property yourself. Take the time to review what you have. For more on Landlord Insurance see our previous blog ‘Landlord Insurance- Manage Your Risk’.

2. Smoke Alarms

As a landlord you are legally required to have met the obligations for the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms in your property. Many smoke alarm companies will offer unlimited servicing programs to provide peace of mind knowing your tenants and property are protected. Make sure all your bases are covered. New reforms to the tenancies act coming next year will mean you, as the landlord, will be fully responsible to make sure smoke alarms are operational.

3. Mortgage review

Keep your investment tailored to your budget and working in your best interests by regularly reviewing your home loan. If you haven’t reviewed your current interest rate in the last few years, you may be paying too much interest. It’s easy to let the finer details of your mortgage fall by the wayside but by keeping an eye on the market you may just come across a great deal. Sign up to a comparison website or ask a mortgage broker for advice.

4. Rent review

The new reforms to legislation will mean rent increases may only be implemented once in a twelve month period. Schedule your rent review date a few months in advance to coincide with a routine inspection. At Property Quarters we conduct regular rent reviews and keep an eye on market changes to ensure your property is keeping pace. See our blog ‘Rent Reviews- 5 points to Consider’.

5. Property Maintenance

One of the most nagging of New Year’s Resolutions, but just as equally important, is appraising your property for repairs and updating. Unexpected repairs can happen at any time, don’t be caught out unprepared. Create a plan and put aside funds. Most repairs and maintenance are tax deductible, check out our ‘Landlord Resource Centre’ on our website for a quick overview of investment depreciation.

6. It’s not who you know it’s what you know!

Knowledge is power so make it a priority to become as shrewd as possible in property investment. Your carefully planned nest egg is critical to your future. It can make a real difference between struggling to make ends meet and the joy of a secure retirement- so make your investment work to its absolute potential! You can do this by brushing up on your knowledge. Our website ‘www.propertyquarters.com.au’ is packed with free information to get your landlord mindset on the right track.

7. Review of your managing agent

“Choosing a Property Manager is possibly the most important part of owning an investment property. You are relying on a professional to guide you towards financial independence; make sure you are in the right hands.”–George Astudillo.

Your managing agent should be in regular contact with you, efficient with planning, have extensive market and industry knowledge and above all they need to look after your best interests at all times. If you have any doubts about how your property is being looked after it might be time to make a change.

About Us

George Astudillo is the founder of Property Quarters, an agency that values communication and great relationships with its landlords.

George now has more than 30 years in real estate, including 15 years as the owner of a national real estate franchise. He’s also an accredited auctioneer and is the author of “The Landlord Mindset”, a book with his best tips to help landlords look after their investments. His book has been quoted in the SMH, The Huffington Post and The Age.

As the founder of Property Quarters, George takes great care in looking after his landlord’s investments. Having seen it all and worked with may landlords and tenants, he’s a strong mediator and negotiator and knows how to navigate through property legislation.

George is trusted by his landlords to advise on the financial management of their investments. He’s put in place proven processes to ensure each property he looks after is managed effectively to retain its value, quality tenants and rental income.

If you’re looking for a property manager who thinks like a landlord and whose business is built on tested processes, contact us by clicking HERE.

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Rent Reviews- 5 Points to Consider


A rent review is essential to check whether it’s time to increase the rent or leave it alone.

I’m going to stick my neck out here and state that most people hate losing money. You know, you buy a big-ticket item and then a couple of days later find that you could have bought it elsewhere for substantially less money. Ouch.

In real estate investing, there are many ways to lose money and they all hurt. But I’ve noticed there is one way to lose money that investors don’t even notice – Rent Increases. Many owners (and their agents) don’t have a schedule and procedure to review the rent. This means that money is being lost and you don’t even know about it until it’s too late.

For a lease to be eligible for a rent increase it MUST NOT be in a fixed term. Tenants that have signed a 6 month or 12 month lease are exempt from rent increases until the fixed term of the lease expires and becomes a periodic lease (or continuing agreement).

So how do you check if it’s time for a rent review?

There are 5 key points to consider,

1. Timing

Outside of a fixed term lease of less than 2 years, NSW legislation says you can make increases as frequently as you like. It is recommended to conduct a ‘Rent Review’ annually at the same time you are performing a routine inspection. This will keep you in tune to the movements of the rental market and your tenants will be conditioned to small increases over time.

If your tenants are on a fixed term, a good time would be 70 days before the fixed term ends. If your tenant is worth keeping, offering a new lease term may be a good idea.

2.Size

Smaller increases are preferable over larger jumps. A high sudden increase will feel like a shock and may spur the tenant to consider moving or apply to the tribunal for a review.

3. Rental Market- Comparable Rentals

To conduct the review, we simply look at how many similar properties are currently available and what is the asking rental, and what similar have properties recently been leased for. Knowing what’s happening in the area is critical, you don’t want to lose the tenant for a few dollars and then find the property is vacant for weeks.

Keep in mind that tenants generally look for value when choosing a rental property. Increasing the rent based solely on the level of your expenses is not a good strategy.

4. Condition of the Premises

In performing a rent review it’s also important to see how the property has changed. Is it still looking like it did when the tenant moved in or is it starting to look a little tired? When looking at comparable properties make sure the level of finish and condition is similar.

5. Correct Notice

NSW Legislation states that we must give the tenant 60 days’ notice plus 4 days for delivery by post unless you have authority from the tenant to use email to deliver notices.

The notice must include the amount the new rent will be, the day the new rent amount will take affect and be signed by either the landlord or agent.

Managing investment properties require thorough schedules, take a look at our previous blogs ‘Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail’ or ‘Budgeting and Expenses’.

If you would like help with conducting a rent review or would like to know what your property could rent for in today’s current market, call George from Property Quarters on 0412 330 588. You will be provided with a free and no obligation, detailed report on the rental market in your area and where your property fits in. Alternatively you can leave a message here and one of us will be in touch with you.

About Us

George Astudillo is the founder of Property Quarters, an agency that values communication and great relationships with its landlords.

George now has more than 30 years in real estate, including 15 years as the owner of a national real estate franchise. He’s also an accredited auctioneer and is the author of “The Landlord Mindset”, a book with his best tips to help landlords look after their investments. His book has been quoted in the SMH, The Huffington Post and The Age.

As the founder of Property Quarters, George takes great care in looking after his landlord’s investments. Having seen it all and worked with may landlords and tenants, he’s a strong mediator and negotiator and knows how to navigate through property legislation.

George is trusted by his landlords to advise on the financial management of their investments. He’s put in place proven processes to ensure each property he looks after is managed effectively to retain its value, quality tenants and rental income.

If you’re looking for a property manager who thinks like a landlord and whose business is built on tested processes, contact us by clicking HERE.

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

The Perfect Open for Inspection


Is your rental property ready for business?

Whether it’s an open-home inspection or by appointment, to be successful requires planning and preparation.  How’s we conduct the perfect inspection. Early planning is crucial.

1. With or without tenants?

You are entitled to show the property to potential tenants prior to the current tenant moving out, in NSW two weeks written notice must be given to the tenant before the first and subsequent inspections are organised.

When the market is strong, we can often find a tenant to move in straight after the old tenant has vacated. However, it’s best to allow a little time to make any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary.

The main risk of hosting inspections in a tenanted property is that you don’t have much control over the presentation. Even with the best tenants however, there might be stacks of packing boxes scattered which may make the property look smaller and cluttered.

If the tenant is breaking the lease you can expect their cooperation. They won’t be able to vacate until a new tenant is found, so, it’s in their best interest as much as yours to find a new tenant quickly.

When showing the property with the current tenant still occupying, we try to arrange private appointments. This gives us time to to explain any awkward situations and also addresses the issue of security, as we are better able to look after the tenants belongings.

2. Open house or by appointment?

In the case of a vacant property, there are many advantages to having an open-house inspection.

Most tenants actually like the simplicity of just showing up without having to call an agent or owner to arrange an appointment. Additionally, having a number of interested tenants in the property at the same time will also create a sense of urgency. This is the main reason why we restrict inspection times to fifteen or twenty minutes – to make the inspection look busy.

With private appointments, we can give a more personalised tour, taking time to highlight all the best features.

3. First impressions

You only get one chance at a first impression.

We like arrive early and prepare the property to its best advantage.

* Open curtains, blinds, windows and doors to freshen the property. Use curtains and blinds to your advantage to soften less-desirable outlooks while letting in as much light as possible.

* Switch all lights on, even in rooms that may not need it; people love light. In the kitchen, turn on the range- hood light and bench-top lighting. Use lamps to create mood lighting where possible.

* Ensure sinks and basins are clean and clear of any residual water.

* In winter we’ll try to have the heating on and in summer the air-conditioner, to level out any extremes.

* Turn on outdoor spas, fountains and garden lights.

* Blend some essential oils to create a calming fragrance, such as lavender and bergamot.

We are now ready to host a perfect inspection.

About Us

George Astudillo is the founder of Property Quarters, an agency that values communication and great relationships with its landlords.

George now has more than 30 years in real estate, including 15 years as the owner of a national real estate franchise. He’s also an accredited auctioneer and is the author of “The Landlord Mindset”, a book with his best tips to help landlords look after their investments. His book has been quoted in the SMH, The Huffington Post and The Age.

As the founder of Property Quarters, George takes great care in looking after his landlord’s investments. Having seen it all and worked with may landlords and tenants, he’s a strong mediator and negotiator and knows how to navigate through property legislation.

George is trusted by his landlords to advise on the financial management of their investments. He’s put in place proven processes to ensure each property he looks after is managed effectively to retain its value, quality tenants and rental income.

If you’re looking for a property manager who thinks like a landlord and whose business is built on tested processes, contact us by clicking HERE.

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Marketing Your Rental Property – The 5 Essentials


Laptop property search

Marketing is how you let potential tenants know your property is available.

The goal of marketing is to attract the right tenant that would love to rent your property. Ideally, we would like to see more than one tenant apply for the property, as this will give you choice.

Once you have decided on the asking price it’s time to begin marketing. So where do you start?

Here are 5 points to consider:

1. Disclosure
While rules on disclosure vary from state to state, it is important to make sure you are not knowingly making any misleading or deceptive statements or promises. You need to disclose the following,

  • Any repairs that are needing to be made after the tenant moves in.
  • Whether you intend to sell the property and have prepared a contract in readiness. This is necessary in some states.
  • Any material facts: This includes whether the property is prone to bushfire, flooding, health risks such as lead paint or asbestos on the premises and any violent crimes that may have occurred.

Your marketing must not state or imply that you wish to exclude possible tenants (either directly or indirectly) because of their: Race, sex, pregnancy, disability, sexuality, sexual preference, or age.

2. Copywriting
Good copywriting is an art. Using words to describe a property that are accurate and enticing is not easy. Tenants are looking for lifestyle, so start by converting the physical features of the property into word pictures that have feeling.

  • ‘Glorious, light-filled rooms’
  • ‘Sparkling kitchen and bathrooms’
  • ‘Beautifully-proportioned bedrooms’
  • ‘Outdoor area perfect for entertaining’

The challenge is not to sound repetitive or dull.

It’s a balancing act of giving the necessary information without going over the top or being misleading. Nothing is more upsetting to potential tenants than taking the time to inspect a property and then being disappointed by inaccuracies in the marketing. If you advertise harbour views or glimpses, make sure they are easily viewed or glimpsed.

3. Photography
A picture paints a thousand words, so what are your photos saying about your property?

Photography is playing a larger role in real estate rentals. Have a quick look at some property websites to see what you’re up against. Start with the Sales sections – you’ll quickly see that professional-looking photos make a property look amazing. Then look through the rentals.

Many tenants don’t even read the description; they judge the property from the images. How do you want your property to appear on a big screen?

The limitation on a typical digital camera is the focal length of the lens. A wide angle lens will let you fit more of the scene into the frame. This is critical with internal photography, as you are often limited with space to manoeuvre.

Good, professional looking photos make a significant impact on the success of your marketing.

For tips on taking excellent real estate photography see our previous blog “7 Tips For Great Real Estate Photography”.

4. Floorplan
Floorplans have been used in selling real estate for many years. From a rental perspective, a floorplan is an easy way to differentiate your property from the competition and provides a very effective memory jogger for potential tenants of how the property flows.

They are a useful tool that tenants can take home to imagine and plan the placement of furniture. By doing this, the tenant starts the process of mentally moving into the property.

5. Advertising
Once you have your marketing materials in place, the next decision is how you will advertise your property.

The Internet has become the place to look for rental property, now well surpassing print media publications. The largest two Australian websites are realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. These two represent the bulk of property in Australia, both in sales and rentals, and are the first places that tenants look. These two websites have convenient smart phone applications that are used by the majority of those routinely looking for a rental.

The first few weeks of marketing is vital and every week your investment is vacant counts as lost rent. By following the right steps you can rest assured knowing you will have the right tenant in no time.

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Copyright © 2018, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Landlord Insurance- Manage Your Risk


Proof of Identity checklist image

Landlord insurance is your investment property safety net and should be considered a ‘must have’.

It will protect you, your family and your property from potential financial difficulties, thereby lowering your investment risk.

Nobody knows what’s around the corner. Situations change and good tenants can also change under specific circumstances. You don’t want the events in your tenants’ lives to consequently have an adverse impact on yours.

Looking for the appropriate insurance cover can be confusing and time-consuming. Take your time deciding as above all you don’t want to find out you are not covered when you need it most.

The following is a guide to the different types of cover and what they entail.

Building insurance covers:

  • Replacement cost of the building;
  • Demolition and removal of debris;
  • Locks and keys; and
  • New structures to comply with all statutory requirements.

If you own an apartment, building insurance is paid through your quarterly fees. Wallpaper and paint may not be included though and should therefor be included in your contents cover.  Other items that can be added separately are things such as air-conditioning, lighting and flooring.

Contents insurance covers:

  • Carpet and other flooring
  • Light fittings
  • Window finishes
  • Manchester and linen (if supplied)
  • Any furniture itemised in the tenancy agreement
  • Kitchenware cabinets and appliances
  • Bathroom vanity, cabinetry and shower screens
  • Tap ware
  • Tiling, paint and wallpaper
  • Household goods such as gardening equipment
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Potted plants
  • Portable pools, spas and equipment

In an apartment, make sure you know which items are not covered by the strata building insurance as you may want to include them in your own insurance. In the event of fire elsewhere in the  building, your unit may be affected by smoke and water damage consequently needing new paint and carpet, or at the very least cleaning as a result.

Events

There is a wide variety of events that can be covered, including:

  • Accidental loss or damage
  • Malicious damage
  • Theft
  • Fire or explosion
  • Lightning
  • Earthquake
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Water damage – leaks, rain, floods and tsunamis
  • Oil heater leakage
  • Accidental glass breakage
  • Storm or rainwater
  • Electric motor burn out
  • Impact from aircraft, trains, automobiles, space debris, satellites, falling trees or branches, TV antennae, satellite dishes or radio masts

Keep your property safe from unnecessary damage by reading our previous blog: Winter is Coming- A Rental Property Checklist.

Check policy exclusions carefully. For example, some policies do not cover:

  • Accidental damage caused by the tenants
  • Theft by the tenant
  • Damage by the tenant’s pets
  • Tsunamis or other actions by the sea or rivers

Loss of rent

This covers you for loss of rent in the event that the property is not habitable and cannot be leased due to any of the events listed above.

It also covers any rent default by the tenant. However, there are usually conditions attached to a rent default claim, so check the conditions carefully.

When choosing a good tenant there are a few things to consider in order to maximise your financial return. See our blog: 3 Keys to Choosing the Right Tenant.

Public liability

This relates to your legal liability as the owner. It is in regards to an event at your investment property which results in death or injury to other people or damage to other people’s property in or at your investment property.

Consider a minimum public liability cover of no less than twenty million dollars.

No matter what your appetite for risk is, having the right Landlord Insurance goes a long way to creating peace of mind.
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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Routine Inspections- How to Keep Your Property Looking Great


Photo of a sunny room

You should be inspecting your property twice a year.

During these inspections, you are looking for repair and maintenance issues and ensuring the tenant is looking after the property.

An accumulation of dirt, together with a cluttered and untidy lifestyle, will accelerate wear and tear. This means appliances may break down more often and will need replacing sooner. This also applies to carpets and painting – resulting in higher costs.

With a new tenant, schedule the first appointment by the end of the third month. This will give the tenant a little time to settle in and you can see how they keep house.

Give the relevant notice, which in NSW is 14 days in writing, and arrange a mutually acceptable time. Your relationship with the tenant is important, so try hard to fit in with his routine; most tenants aren’t too fussed about allowing you access and in some cases they may not wish to attend.

Keep this inspection informal and quick. If you have chosen your tenant well, the property should look great, but if you see that the property is being poorly looked after, you are well within your rights to request the property be brought up to standard. It is a condition of the lease to keep the property reasonably clean, meaning that the tenant should not be causing damage or excessive wear and tear. You should also expect it to be tidy enough that all areas are accessible for regular cleaning. Give the tenant seven days to clean the property to a reasonable standard and arrange to return for another inspection.

If the property is still not appropriately clean, discuss the situation with the tenant. At this stage, take photos as a record, as you may need them later. Then, if all else fails, you can treat this situation as a breach of the agreement and give the tenant a termination notice.

If the property is clean and you’re happy with the presentation, diarise another inspection as permissible in your state. The second inspection should take place six months later or about three months before the tenancy agreement expires. This time the inspection should be more thorough – again looking at the presentation of the property and at any maintenance and repairs that may be needed.

If the lease is approaching or past the end of the fixed term, you should also use this time to consider any rental increases.

When sending out the “Notice of Inspection” attach a simple form that the tenant can fill in recording matters requiring attention or repair. Usually, the tenant is aware of most of the issues with the property and it is a great help to note them down.

Tenants will undoubtedly at some stage ask for alterations to be made to your property, for more information on how to deal with these requests see our previous blog “Has Your Tenant Asked to Make Changes to Your Property”.

This is also a good time to update the tenant’s contact details.

Once at the property, start inside and work your way through every room with the following checklist to guide you:

  • Does the woodwork need repainting or varnishing?
  • Is general painting required?
  • Presence of mould, often found in bathrooms and laundries but can be particularly dangerous if found in bedrooms.
  • Loose electrical fixtures such as power points, light switches, light fittings.
  • Check for worn carpet areas and any stains
  • Check locks with your set of keys
  • Are kitchen cupboards still aligning and closing correctly?
  • Check bench tops
  • Check appliances – cook top, oven and exhaust fan etc
  • Smoke alarms should be in working order, there should be one on each level of the home.
  • Check outside – look at gutters and downpipes
  • Check the gardens and pool
  • Check overhanging branches- Check for any pruning or cut backs that are due and in the case of council approval make a note to lodge an application.
  • Pool fences and gates in compliance, check the perimeter to ensure there are no unsteady railings or backyard items against the fence.
  • Lawns should be cut regularly, and gardens maintained neatly in accordance with the lease

How involved are you in the management of your property? See our blog “Managing Your Investment Property.”

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

3 Keys to Choosing the Right Tenant


Approved Tenants

The right tenant is the corner stone of a successful investment property. This is where the rubber meets the road. The tenant can either make or break both your financial position and your spirit. Many property owners have already experienced the pain and frustration of a nightmare tenant which can potentially be 12 months of well.. hell.

The following are the three crucial qualities we need to identify and look for in a tenant to become the perfect match for your property,

1. Reliability – will they pay the rent on time?
Successful applicants will need to prove financial stability and a regular income. Without this your steady income stream is at serious risk. Once this has been established, avoid the burden of costs associated with rental arrears by ensuring your tenant has a long history of disciplined payments. After all you may be relying on this income to pay bills of your own, such as a mortgage.

2.Responsibility – will they look after the property?
A responsible tenant that will treat your property like their own are worth their weight in gold. Respect and diligence goes a long way, this means taking great care in the cleanliness and presentation of your property as well as reporting any maintenance concerns with effective communication. Remember: A clean tenant that takes care of their home and surroundings will be attracted to apply for a property that is in tiptop shape to begin with.

For more information on presenting your property to attract the right tenants see our previous blog “7 Easy Ways to present Your Property to Attract Great Tenants”

3.Co-operation – will they be co-operative in the event of an emergency?
An easy-going effective relationship between landlord/agent and tenant is essential. Emergencies will happen from time to time and prompt access to the property to carry out repairs or clean ups can save further damage and/or costs. A good tenant needs to be willing to communicate and be co-operative to find and implement a solution if necessary.

Having the right tenant will not only give you a good financial return but will also give you the peace of mind you are looking for. Take your time in choosing a quality tenant and don’t be afraid to go with your instincts on occasion, it is better for your property to remain empty for another week then to be occupied with a bad tenant that will be difficult to remove.

When you find ‘the one’ look after them and they will in turn look after your investment.

See our previous blog for the featured Landlord Checklist, a guide to a maintaining a happy tenant in “How to Keep a Great Tenant”.

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

How to make it easy for a property manager to choose you as a tenant.


Keys to your new home

The Sydney rental market can be very tight sometimes, with vacancy rates usually under 2% in most suburbs, especially at this time of year.

It’s not unusual to have over thirty groups of people visit an open for inspection and then compete with 10- 15 other applicants.

So how can you give yourself the best chance of winning against such odds?

1. Tenant Application
Make sure you fill it in accurately and completely. If a property manager has to chase anything up they may decide it’s easier to look at the next application.

2. Documentation
Make sure you have all the necessary documentation. You need to demonstrate to the property manager that you can afford the property, that you are reliable and that you will take care of the property.

You need to provide pay slips, bank statements and possibly tax returns if you are self employed that prove you can afford the rent without undue strain. Remember that an average rental of $500 per week is a commitment to pay over $26,000 over the next twelve months.

From your past and present landlords/agents obtain an up to date tenant ledger.

Written character references are also important. They show that people think of you as honest and reliable, and this will help you stand out as a worthy tenant.

Proof of identification is required in the form of passport, drivers licence, Medicare card etc. For the 100 point checklist see our previous blog “Proof of Identity”.

3. Are your referees ready?
If your application makes the shortlist, the property manager will call your past and present employer and landlord/agent, as well as any other referees you have nominated. It’s important to let your referees know they will be receiving a phone call and that you would appreciate any messages be responded to quickly. Any delays here will open the door to other applicants whose information can be verified quickly. Also, check with your employer or HR department to see if they need written permission from you to enable them to discuss your employment details with a property manager.

4. Are you ready?
Don’t wait until you see the perfect property before you start to complete an application form. Do it now, be ready, so when you do find your ideal property you can act quickly. Think of creating a tenant resume, much like an employment resume, that you can keep updating. There are several sites that offer on line applications such as 1Form and tApp.

To a property manager this type of tenant is a clear winner, because the easier you make it for a property manager the better the chances are of them selecting you as their tenant.

There are three crucial qualities landlords look for in a tenant, find out in our blog “3 Keys to Choosing the Right Tenant”

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Managing your property investment


Property Management written on blackboard

How involved are you in the management of your investment property?

Managing an investment property requires many tasks to be scheduled and carried out. Collection of rent, routine inspections and attending to repairs are just some. Responsibility for these tasks can vary from landlord to landlord.

There are however four basic types of involvement.

  1. Complete do-it-yourself

This means you handle all aspects of managing the property, from finding and screening the tenant to handling repairs, maintenance and all of the accounting.

The most useful skills in property management are common sense and a willingness to understand and compromise.

At this level you will need to understand the tenant’s rights, your obligations as a landlord and applicable documentation.

Apart from understanding the applicable legislation, you will need to have a flexible timetable to allow for problems when they arise. Repairs, particularly emergency repairs, need to be acted on quickly. Problems that come up may require many hours negotiating and possibly time at tribunal hearings.

The two main benefits of this style of involvement are having complete control over your investment and saving on agent fees.

For a closer look on managing deadlines see our blog “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”

  1. Do-it-yourself management with some outsourcing to an agent

This level of involvement is the same as the first except you outsource some tasks.

Finding a tenant and attending to the initial documentation are the most common tasks that DIY landlords hire an agent to assist with. The minimum fee for finding a tenant is usually two weeks’ rent and there are many agents that offer this service.

The benefits and problems of this level of involvement are similar to the previous level with some added agent fees for the services you prefer an agent to do.

  1. Professional property manager under your supervision

This is where you engage a professional property manager to do all the work and they report back to you for all approvals. You make all the decisions and they carry out all the tasks. The agent is then responsible for complying with all relevant legislation, finding a tenant and managing the property. When a problem arises, they contact you for instructions, then take care of it.

The agent, in effect, becomes fully responsible for ensuring all aspects of your investment are looked after, with clear communication before and after completion. They handle all contact with the tenant, giving you a clear buffer and access to professional advice before responding to problems or tenant requests.

The agents fee is an added expense but it is fully tax deductible. However, keep in mind that not all agents are the same and you may still need to manage the agent.

  1. Professional property manager with clear written parameters

Sometimes, a landlord has no desire or available time for anything other than emergency issues and engages a property manager to undertake all tasks.

The property manager is given authority to undertake these tasks and reports back to the landlord on completion. This allows the property manager to approve repairs up to an agreed value, review rents as appropriate, negotiate with the tenant and attend to all the necessary duties to keep your property running smoothly and profitably.

This type of arrangement needs a clearly documented and comprehensive schedule, monetary limitations and a plan. Both you and the agent need to be clear on who is responsible for what and when.

Most investors start with a level-three involvement and slowly allow things to slide into a level-four arrangement. As time passes, they tend to take less and less of a hands-on interest in their property and rely more and more on the agent. As the transition is not planned, there is no schedule, guidelines or plan for the agent to follow. This can lead to tasks not being completed and ultimately a neglected property and tenant.

So how hands on are you?

For a simple look at budgeting and expenses see our blog here.

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Copyright © 2016, www.propertyquarters.com.au

Proof of identity


Proof of Identity checklist image

According to an ABC news article dated 14 April, 2015, “More than three quarters of a million Australians were the victims of identity theft in the past year, costing the average victim about $4,000…”.

As a landlord you must be sure who is getting the keys to your property. Using the “100 point checklist” together with a tenant reference check, will virtually eliminate the risk of identity fraud. The checklist is designed to accumulate 100 points from various sources. There must be at least one document from the primary documents list and one from the secondary documents list that has a photo.

Primary documents (only one can be used) 40 points

  • Australian passport (current, or expired within past two years, but not cancelled)
  • International passport (current, or expired within past two years, but not cancelled)
  • Other document of identity, e.g. diplomatic/refugee (photo or signature)

Secondary documents – First document 30 points, others 25 points

  • Current driver’s licence or permit (government issued)
  • Working with children/teachers registration card
  • Aviation security identification card
  • Maritime security identification card
  • Public employee photo ID card (government issued)
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs card
  • Centrelink pensioner concession card or health care card (government issued)
  • Current tertiary education institution photo ID
  • Birth certificate/birth extract
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Reference from a doctor (must have been known for a period of at least twelve months)

10 points

  • Foreign/international driver’s licence
  • Proof of age card (government issued)
  • Medicare card/private health care card
  • Council rates notice
  • Property lease/rental agreement
  • Property insurance papers
  • Tax declaration
  • Superannuation statement
  • Seniors card
  • Electoral roll registration
  • Motor vehicle registration or insurance documents
  • Professional or trade association card
  • Utility bills (phone, gas, electricity, water)
  • Credit/debit card (if using more than one, each must be from different sources)
  • Bank statement/passbook (if using more than one, each must be from different sources)

And don’t forget the tenancy reference check.
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