10 Landlord FAQ – Answered

18/10/2018

  1. Should I pay additional costs for Professional photography when marketing my property?

Professional Photography is being highly used across most advertised rental properties nowadays and it’s a worthwhile investment. A set of professional photos shows your property in the best light and makes your marketing present in line with the majority of properties listed. Have a scroll through domain.com.au or realestate.com.au and you’ll see some really poor photography that won’t get potential tenants through the door. Photos can generally be reused several times if the property remains in the same state.

 

  1. How much vacancy is there usually between tenancies?

This always depends on supply and demand but good planning and best practice should have your agent planning and allowing a minimum of 2-3 business days in between any tenancies. This ensures there is time for a final inspection, any cleaning or necessary repairs to be carried out to ensure your property is ready to start your next tenancy on the right footing.

 

  1. Do I really need landlords Insurance?

Put simply, Yes! Just like you ideally wouldn’t drive your car without insurance the same goes for an investment property. The bond can be consumed so quickly with rent, cleaning and damage whether it be accidental or malicious.

Landlords insurance can equate to as little as $1 per day. My recommendation is to always go with a specialist Landlord Insurance provider.

 

  1. Every agent recommends Annual Smoke Alarm servicing, is this a must?

It is highly recommended because it properly documents that you have taken steps to be compliant in ensuring a working smoke alarm is fitted. Outsourcing this to a professional for a small fee of $99.00 is paying for peace of mind as you are issued with a certificate of compliance and the annual fee covers as many call outs as necessary throughout the year.

 

  1. What do agents mean when they offer “Portal” or online access to information?

This means an owner & tenant for that matter has 24/7 access to their statements, access to any invoices and can check things like, the lease expiry, balance of rent held and where their tenant is paid up to.

Landlords also have access to see any maintenance that is pending or completed.

The portal I utilise also displays past inspection reports and anything I feel is important to share with clients. It also gives tenants access to receipts, shows them where they’re up to and next due.

 

  1. Should I have my agent pay my outgoings, such as council rates, water rates etc?

This completely depends on your financial position as an agent will pay any invoices as they come in, from your rental income. It takes the onus off the owner. A major benefit is that at the end of the financial year all of your Income and expenditure is captured in a statement that your accountant can decipher in minutes, so for that it is worthwhile. Plus, it is one part of the service that agents offer inclusive of the management fee.

 

  1. Can I see my property during a tenancy?

Why not, if anything I’ve always thought it’s a good idea from time to time for an owner to see their property first hand with the agent present to discuss maintenance and/or to establish a maintenance plan, in order to maintain the property and its market value.

Tenants don’t seem to mind as long as the appropriate notice is given and it’s also a good opportunity to catch up with your agent.

 

8. How do I change agents when my Property is tenanted?

For the landlord it should be a simple as some paperwork.

The newly appointed agent will oversee the changeover process in contacting the tenant and liaising with the previous agent to collect everything all the necessary paperwork in relation to the property.

 

  1. Does changing Agents during a tenancy impact or inconvenience my tenants?

No, the only real change for tenants is who their new point of contact is and where they pay their rent to. Aside from that an inspection should be carried out for the new agent to familiarise themselves with the property and an opportunity for the agent to meet the tenant.

 

  1. Is using an Agents trades person the way to go for maintenance?

In most cases the agent will have a set of tried and tested contacts for repairs, maintenance and improvements. These tradespeople value their working relationships with an agent and it is in their best interest to ensure that a job is done effectively and efficiently.

Unless you have your own contacts then outsourcing the management of repairs and maintenance to your agent, on your instruction, is the most efficient way as the agent will keep records such as warranties and document details regarding the history of completed maintenance for your property.

If I’ve missed something you’re curious to know – as always feel free to reach out.

Tenant’s Questions Answered coming soon!