Renting out your property means more than just collecting rent - there are some important points that all landlords must consider to ensure the best experience for both you and your tenants.
Renting out your property or investment is a decision not to be taken too lightly. There are a lots of legal and financial issues involved - so doing research to make sure it's the right decision for you is essential. Firstly, look at properties currently up for rent in your area and compare the features and location. This should give you a rough idea on the possible price you could rent your own property for.
Get your property appraised by a reputable property manager.
Employing A Property Manager
You need to select a property manager you can be confident in; experience, knowledge and training should all be prominent factors in your selection process. Fee rates should never be the deciding factor - you need a professional who can provide you with the best service and often a fee reflects the manager's ability.
Presentation & Home Safety
Once selected, speak to your appointed manager about what may or may not need to be done to improve your properties appearance to make it more appealing to a potential vendor. Refer to the next section for tips on presenting your property.
You also need to make sure you understand your responsibility as a Landlord. Again, speak to your property manager with regards to these standards.
This is an essential part of getting your property leased. Your agent needs to be able to provide you with the best marketing options to get your property maximum exposure. This should include a strong online presence.
Your property manager should communicate with you on a regular basis throughout the leasing process; including advice on the performance of certain marketing mediums and feedback from home opens.
During tenancy you should also receive regular communications with regards to the maintenance of the property and results from property inspections.
Tenant selection and the application process
You should be notified as soon as an application is received on the property. Your selection manager will process this application on your behalf, checking references, previous tenancies etc. and give you advice on which tenant to select - but the final decision of course will ultimately come down to you.
Make sure you are happy with the Tenancy Agreement before you accept - check on the rent amount, lease period and any special conditions or clauses that have been included.
When the tenant moves in
There are a number of items that will need attending to initially and on an ongoing basis. These include:
- Property Condition Report: Prior to a tenant taking possession, this document will be completed by your manager; it outlines the condition of everything in, on and around the property. Comprehensive photos will also be taken - both yourself and the tenant need to sign off on this report which must only be done if you are satisfied that the report truthfully documents the condition of the property at the time tenancy commences.
- Routine Inspections: your property manager will conduct these on your behalf regularly. These are to ensure the tenants are adhering to their responsibilities as tenants to maintain the property. You are also welcome to inspect the property yourself, should you wish to do so - relevant written notice must be provided.
- Rent: your manager maintains rental payments on your behalf. If a tenant is in arrears they should legally be issued with a termination notice, giving them time to rectify their payment.
- Maintenance: it is a requirement of a Landlord to keep the property maintained. Should maintenance on the property be required, your property manager should notify and gain your permission to arrange quotes and undertake the amendments/service.
Any further questions regarding Insurance, Rent Payments, Rate Payments etc. should be made to your manager as these differ from agent to agent. Make sure to ask for advice on any matters you are not sure about.
Presenting your property to the highest possible standard will ensure that quality tenants are secured as quickly as possible. Some handy hints to assist in achieving the best results are:
- Lawns should be neatly mowed, edged and healthy and garden beds weeded. Ideally all lawns and gardens should be reticulated. If there is reticulation, make sure it is serviced and working correctly, install automatic watering systems
- Any large trees or shrubs pruned back from driveway, windows and roofs.
- Garage or shed cleaned and free of rubbish.
- Windows cleaned inside and out.
- Swimming pools cleaned and all pool equipment to be in good working order.
- All rubbish and household items to be removed.
- Clean gutters.
- Repair dripping taps.
- All carpets professionally steam cleaned.
- Walls cleaned and any large chips/ scuffs repaired.
- If repainting walls, a neutral colour should be used.
- Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms – these areas often affect a tenant’s decision to rent your property. Tiles and grout should be clean and sealed, surfaces free of mould and grime.
- Line the interior of kitchen cupboards if they are aged. Replace dated and damaged bench tops.
- High wattage light globes will brighten a room; also ensure that the light fittings are clean.
- Curtains and blinds cleaned and in good repair (torn curtains can ruin the presentation of a room).
The Tenant’s Safety, Comfort & Convenience
- Windows and deadlocks (tenants may be unable to obtain contents insurance without these).
- Air-conditioning and heating
- RCD Switch
- Ensure all sliding doors and shower screens have safety glass and working rollers
- Fully automatic reticulation
- Hard wired Smoke Detectors
- Secure parking.
- Telephone/ data connection point
- TV aerial
- 3 x sets of keys for ALL entry locks