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1. How do I select the right agent to manage my property?
For a new property investor who has just gone through the process of purchasing an investment property, the actual management of it is generally an afterthought. At first glance, it may seem straight forward – the agent will advertise the place, choose the tenant and transfer the rent to me every month. This however is not the case and can prove to be costly in both time and money if not done properly.
You should consider the following before engaging a Property Manger to act on your behalf;
Who will be my point of contact throughout the tenancy?
How many properties does that person manage?
How will you go about finding a suitable tenant for me property? How will you screen them?
What will you do if my tenant falls behind in rent?
Will I be contacted if the tenant reports any repairs or maintenance?
How regularly will you communicate with me?
How many inspections will you conduct at my property through the tenancy?
2. How much rent per week will my property achieve?
When you engage a property manager, part of their job is to provide you with an estimate of the achievable rent for your property. The agent will base this amount of properties they have recently let in the area of similar size and quality. Your agent will also compare your property to similar properties on the market for rent at that particular time and take other factors into consideration such as the time of year.
3. How long will it take to find a tenant for my property?
Depending on the market place, its very difficult to know the length of time required to secure a tenant. In general, if your property is well presented and reasonably priced it should lease fairly quickly. Obviously there are many factors that can effect this, however, if your agent has ensured the online marketing is appealing, placed a signboard at the property where possible, and kept you informed with feedback from prospective tenants, your property should lease in a reasonable time frame.
4. Can I increase the rent during the lease?
In most states, the rent during a fixed term agreement can NOT be increased unless otherwise stated in the lease. (unless in SA or NT, where rents can be increased every 6 months, regardless of fixed term).
The notice required to increase the rent does vary from state to state. Check with your local Professionals office for more information.
5. What happens when a tenant stops paying rent?
When a tenant falls behind in their rental payments, they are issued with a notice of breach advising them that they are behind and requesting that they rectify the problem. If this is not done within the stipulated time frame according to that particular states’ legislation, a termination notice may be issued, requesting all tenants must vacate the premises. Generally the termination notice can only be issued when the tenant is more than 14 days in arrears.
6. Should I allow pets at my property?
Research has shown that 25% of new investors allow tenants to have pets. Choosing to allow pets in your investment property can not only improve your chances of renting your property faster but in some cases attract a higher rent. Given that not many landlords offer pet-friendly properties, those that do reach a larger demographic of tenant, which is particularly important in family orientated suburbs. Ensure the tenant is able to provide a reference for the pet from a previous agent or neighbour.