Congratulations on purchasing your first investment property and becoming a landlord!
Christine Steere, Director and Principal of Wilson Real Estate Property Management, is an experienced representative of the Real Estate industry specialising in Property Management. Christine’s passion is to assist clients through each step of the process.
Common issues can be a source of frustration for both Landlords and Tenants and can be overcome. We provide below a list of the everyday issues that Landlords face, together with examples of our strategies to manage them:
Do your own research
Agents will often quote exaggerated returns in an attempt to win your business. Anyone can quote you a high rental return, it can be very difficult though to actually achieve it. Do your own research to see what similar properties in the area are renting for. Investing is a numbers game and relying on an inflated return can be a risk.
Having a trusted property management team looking after your investment property
If you have no prior experience with investing and you’re not sure what the process entails, having a trusted property management team in place is important. Not only will they be able to set you up correctly from the very beginning, they’ll also be able to explain your rights and responsibilities as a landlord and handle all payments, entries and exits, inspections, maintenance request and vacancy periods. If you try to handle it alone, chances are mistakes will be made and it will cost you more in the long-term.
Make sure to research potential agencies and choose one which you feel is the most capable. Your property management team should look after your property in line with your specific instructions.
Take out landlord insurance
Although landlord insurance may not be compulsory, we highly recommend taking out Landlord Protection Insurance. You may have a fantastic tenant in place, however this does not guarantee things won’t go wrong in the future.
Landlord insurance protects your pocket so that you’re not out of pocket. This includes malicious or accidental damage to the property caused by the tenant or the tenant’s visitor, rent arrears, lease break situations, etc. Could you afford your mortgage repayments if your tenant was unable to pay their rent?
Demonstrate respect for your client
There are just as many horror stories about terrible landlords as there is about nightmare tenants. Good landlords create an environment where tenants feel like they are truly home while maintaining a professional relationship and transaction. A good tenant is worth their weight in gold.
Have an emergency fund
Things have a tendency of going wrong when you least expect it. It can be a good idea to have an emergency fund to cover things such as new hot water systems, leaks and other repairs. Approximately between 2 to 4 weeks’ worth of rent is a good figure to have to cover unexpected costs.
Don’t underestimate getting your property ready for rent
Happiness begins from day 1 of a tenancy!
Getting your investment property ready for tenants is similar to the induction process undertaken when you commence employment with a new workplace. Setting clear expectations on presentation is part of this. When relating to your property, demonstrating clear parameters for cleanliness and behaviour will assist your tenant to continue this level of care.
Properties should be thoroughly cleaned (to a bond clean standard) to set a high standard from the very beginning. This includes everything from tops of ceiling fans, window tracks, carpet cleaning, ovens, bathrooms and more – the property should be immaculate. Lawns and garden areas should also be presented in a neat and tidy state and preferably be designed for continuous easy care.
It is also smart to be proactive and get a property management team involved as soon as you know when you would like to rent your property out. By getting a property management team involved earlier, you can reduce your vacancy period and by arranging for advertisements and photos to be prepared in advance.