Maximising Your Rent
How Do You Determine the Best Rent For My Property?
We always strive to get you the maximum rent possible; however we also must keep in mind setting the correct market rent to get your property rented as soon as possible. Both factors are important to present your property on the market successfully for rent.
To do this, we consider these factors:
- Demand – Is there a high or low demand for properties at present. This can be seasonal and affected by a number of factors.
- What Is Available Now – we look at properties currently available for rent in the newspaper and/or the internet, and consider their location and features for comparison to calculate a maximum rent for your property
- What We Have Rented Right Now – We compare your property with what we have currently rented, taking into account property location and features.
These factors allow us to give you enough information to set the right rent for your property.
What if I want a rent amount that is higher?
You may place your property on the market at the rental amount you wish. However keep in mind that it is the market demand that sets the rent, and if the market (prospective tenants looking for a rental property) deem the amount of rent too high, your property may stay vacant longer than necessary.
With this in mind, be aware your annual rental return will be reduced by 2% for every week it is vacant!
How is the rent reviewed during the time that you manage it?
When we need to secure you a new tenant, we will always review the rent against market conditions. This will also be done at lease renewal time, or at other times when required.
Getting the Best Tenant
How Does Someone Apply For My Property?
We always ask that the prospective tenant fill in an application form, signing giving permission for us to check the information provided. We will never discuss an applicant with you without this application form completed prior to contacting you.
How Do You Check An Applicant?
With the information provided we confirm their payment and tenancy history by calling their current and/or previous landlord/agent as well as confirming their employment, checking them against a National Tenancy Internet Database to see if they have been lodged as a bad tenant by a previous agent.
In some cases where an applicant may not have a tenancy history we try and confirm other information that may give us insight to show their ability to maintain a tenancy in your rental property, for example a stable employment history.
In some cases where this is not possible we may simply reject the application.
What reason do you have to give the applicant to reject their application?
Legally we do not have to give a reason and by industry practice we never give a reason.
You do! We will simply give you the information we have collected and by using our experience give you a possible guide as to the tenancy outcome, but at the end of the day it is always your choice!
Do You Guarantee The Tenant?
We can never guarantee any approved tenant for your property. We can only attempt to collect information on their past history and confirm their income arrangements. As their paying of rent and maintaining the property is purely voluntary we cannot guarantee any tenancy outcome. This is a landlord risk that comes with allowing someone else to rent your property!
Pets at My Property (If Permitted)
If I Allow Pets At My Property, What Expectations Will Be Given To The Tenant?
We always sign pet conditions with your tenant on their tenancy agreement. This obligates them in 4 ways:
- No additional pet may occupy the property without prior permission.
- The pet must be removed from the property if it becomes annoying or bothersome to neighbours (after reasonable warning has been given in writing).
- The tenant must be responsible for any damage caused by their pet, and remove any rubbish or faeces deposited by the pet.
We also record the details of the pet on the agreement, which is then signed by the tenant.
Receiving My Rent Monies
When do I get paid my rent?
We will deposit all monies collected into your nominated bank account on the first day of each month.
How do you collect the rent?
The rent is paid into our Trust Account via Internet Banking
What happens if my tenant does not pay the rent?
Paying the rent is always a voluntary action on behalf of the tenant. We can never force a tenant to pay their rent. Even a Magistrate Court order can only ‘order’ a tenant to pay but can never physically force them to pay. The Tenants sign a copy of the process we follow at the beginning of the Tenancy which begins when the Tenant becomes in arrears by 2 days.
Without landlord insurance, the chance of recovering owed rent monies is minimal. If you have no protection for your rent payments, the problem is further compounded with the fact that the bond will probably be exhausted with cleaning, water consumption and re-letting costs.
Therefore without landlord insurance, this process can be quite financially damaging.
Inspecting of My Property
Do you inspect the property at the beginning of a tenancy?
We conduct a comprehensive inspection of your property when a tenant first moves in.
We inspect your property area by area (lounge room, bedrooms, kitchen, front and rear yards, garage etc) and then all items present in each area (walls, ceiling, light fittings, curtains, windows, stove etc).
We record their condition and cleanliness item by item, and then a brief description and detail about the item. This would involve recording details of any marks, scratches and dents etc.
We also take photos outside, as well as inside the property (where required).
How often do you inspect the property during the tenancy?
We inspect the property approximately every four months. This inspection is not as detailed as the start of tenancy inspection. This inspection is more of a walk through, checking room-by-room the tenant is keeping the property damage-free and reasonably clean. We will also take photos of the outside of the property, and any repairs or concerns observed provided we have.
We also note any repairs reported or observed by us and any other recommendations needed to assist you in keeping the property in the best condition possible.
We will mail you a copy of the inspection however if there are urgent items requiring attention, we will let you know as soon as possible.
What about when the tenant vacates the property?
When the tenant lets us know they will be vacating, we send them detailed information on our expectations of how the property needs to be presented.
Once the tenant has fully vacated, we compare the property to the ingoing inspection report completed when the tenant moved into the property.
We carefully check through the report item-by-item, ensuring it has been left in the same condition as when they moved in, taking into account reasonable wear and tear for the period of time they have been in the property. This is a legislative requirement.
We ensure the property has been left reasonably clean
We will also arrange to have a special water reading performed at your property.
Taking a Bond
How much bond do you take from the tenant?
In general, you cannot ask for more than the equivalent of four week’s rent.
When do you pay back the bond monies?
We only refund the bond after the following has occurred:
- The tenant has fully vacated the property and keys returned
- The property has been inspected, and is satisfactory when compared with the ingoing inspection report.
- All monies are paid. This could be any outstanding rent, water or anything owed by the tenant.
- If the tenant is breaking their lease, any re-letting fees and advertising costs (part or full costs)
What do you explain to the tenant when they move into the property?
We go through all of the most important expectations. For example, how they must pay their rent on time, where to pay their rent, what we do if they do not pay their rent. We discuss our repairs and maintenance policy, what happens in an emergency repair situation, how often inspections occur and what we look for.
We ask they sign our arrears and cleaning policies – please see copies attached.
We also supply them with two copies of the ingoing inspection form, explain how they must check, sign and return one copy of the form within 3 days. We explain and get them to sign the Bond Lodgement Form.
We also hand to them a RTA booklet that explains some of their tenancy rights and obligations. We must issue them with this booklet in accordance with legislative requirements.
What do they sign?
We prepare a Tenancy Agreement covering the details of the tenancy, with terms and conditions.
We explain the main parts of the agreement to the tenant before we get them to sign it. We will then send you a copy of the tenancy agreement.
When do they get keys and possession of the property?
After all the forms have been explained and signed, all bond monies and first payment of rent received we will then grant them the keys and possession of the property.
Repairing and Maintaining My Property
Who is responsible for repairing my property?
Under legislation it is the responsibility of the landlord to repair the property. This means it is at the landlord’s expense.
Who is responsible for general wear and tear?
General wear and tear that occurs from tenants just living in a property is expected and legislation provides that it be allowed. A few extra marks and scuffs on the walls, some chips and scratches to doors and doorways will occur over time, along with the gradual wear of everything that is in the property.
The only time a tenant can be held responsible is if wear and tear is considered “excessive” for the time frame that the tenant has been in possession. For example, a newly painted property with walls severely marked after 2 years resulting in the walls having to be painted again may not be allowed as ‘reasonable’ wear and tear.
In a tribunal this type of situation, if proved, could result with the tenant paying for the painting to be done, minus any depreciation for the age of the paintwork at that point in time when it was repainted again.
What if the tenant is at fault?
If a tenant has caused damage to an item that is not the result of normal break down or wear and tear, this will be charged to the tenant.
Normally, a tradesperson would let us know that the repair was normal or was influenced or caused by the tenant.
What happens if a repair is required after hours, or on weekends?
The tenant has been explained our policy at the time of signing the lease that should a repair be urgent and requires immediate attention after hours or during the weekend, they are to contact our recommended trades people. The invoice will be sent to our office and payment will be made from the owners funds. Should the invoice be deemed ‘not urgent’ then the call-out fee may be forwarded back to the tenant for payment.
Who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens?
Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant is responsible to maintain the lawns and gardens to the standard they were given at the start of the tenancy.
If the property is provided with watering systems these need to be working and kept maintained during the tenancy.
What about cleaning the roof gutters and pruning?
According to legislation it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure these are done. Of course, we can arrange gardeners on your behalf to do these for you.
Notice Required when My Tenant is Vacating
How much notice must my tenant give when they want to vacate the property?
Tenants are required to give a Form 13 Notice of Intention to Leave 14 days prior.
If they break their lease, they may do so with little to no notice, however they are subject to paying rent until a new tenant is secured, or to the end of the lease (whichever occurs first). They must also reimburse your for any costs associated with reletting the property ie: Advertising, final bond inspection, letting fees etc (please refer to the next section).
Breaking of a Fixed Term Lease
Who pays for the letting fee and advertising costs when a tenant breaks their fixed term lease early?
Unfortunately we have no control over the tenant breaking their lease early. People’s circumstances change and sometimes they move out earlier than expected. In this case, we will need to charge letting fees and advertising again.
However, under legislation we are entitled to charge a tenant for part or the full amount of these costs to be reimbursed back to you, depending on how much of the lease remains when it is broken. We also must take into account the current lease or entire term of leases they may have already served at the property, when calculating monies for reimbursement.
Breaches of Tenancy
What happens if the tenant breaks one or more of the conditions of tenancy?
Depending on what has occurred depends largely on what action is taken. If the breach is minor approaching the tenant verbally or in writing maybe appropriate. If it is something serious we will consult with you first to discuss what action to take.
Serious breaches of tenancy may involve using the property for illegal purposes or bringing in pets without prior permission etc.
We will let you know whether we should serve a termination notice on the tenant first or use more diplomatic means to rectify the breach.
Why do I need landlord insurance if I have an agent?
We at no time can guarantee your tenant’s performance at your property. The risk belongs to the owner of the property, and therefore the owner should be insured for such a risk.
Why do I need landlord insurance if I have a good tenant?
Even a good tenancy can turn bad. If the tenant’s circumstances change sometimes the tenancy will become unstable. This can result in rent owing and the property not maintained.
It pays to be properly insured, even with a good tenant.
What does landlord insurance cover?
Landlord insurance will cover rent loss due to tenant default and malicious damage to the property caused by the tenant.
It is important for you to know what your landlord insurance policy will and won’t cover. Please consult with your landlord insurer so that you are fully aware of the extent of your cover and also any excesses that may be applicable in the event of a claim.
Pest Control Services
Should I get my property regularly checked for termites?
Yes! We strongly recommend all of our clients choose a pest control service and request that they regularly check your property for termite activity at the frequency they recommend.
Unfortunately we do not contract them to do this on your behalf, unless you specifically instruct us in writing to do so each time it is required.
Please note, it is a general exclusion of all building insurance policies that damage to your property caused by termites is not covered (not insurable). Therefore regular checking is the best way to prevent termite damage, or at least attempt to identify warning signs that termites are creating damage.
Without this the damage could be substantial and very costly to rectify.
Cost Incurred at My Rental Property
Who pays for electricity and gas charges?
These are a tenant expense. However if there are charges relating to the supply of these services to a property, then the supply charges are at a landlord cost.
Who pays for water charges?
Water consumption is paid by the Tenants if the property complies as per RTA Water Charging Fact Sheet.
What about council and water rates?
All these costs must be paid by the landlord as specified by legislation.
Receiving My Financial Statements
Why do I receive statements?
We will issue you both monthly and yearly financial statements (if applicable), accounting for all monies we have handled and disbursed to you on your behalf in accordance with legislative requirements.
You will receive your monthly statements together with any tax invoices from tradespersons or other disbursements paid during that month on your behalf. Your end of year statement accounts for all monthly statements accumulated, for accountancy ease.
When do I receive these statements?
Your monthly statement will be sent to you approximately on the first working day of every month, and the end of year statement will come to you in July of each year being the month immediately following the end of the financial year.
What do I do if I misplace a statement?
Call us and we will reissue another one to you.
Selling or Moving Back into My Property
What happens to the tenancy if I wish to sell my property?
You may sell your property at any time. However any fixed term lease in place is guaranteed to your tenant. This means if a person buys your property and they wish to occupy it, they must wait until the tenancy is finished unless the tenant agrees otherwise.
Can you sell my property on my behalf?
Of course! Selling your property is part of the service we provide.
It is always preferred that we sell your property. It is much easier to coordinate access with the tenant between the sales and rental departments if you are using the same agency for both services.
Your tenant will also be more comfortable to deal with a company they are already familiar with.
Just let us know if you want to sell, even if you are just thinking about it.