20 Feb Common Landlord Questions (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of our Common Landlord Questions. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
Regardless if you are a landlord for the 1st or 5th time, it can often be a daunting experience – especially considering the ever-changing legal requirements when it comes to managing a tenancy.
This blog will look at a few meaty issues that are most often asked.
5. How Often Should I Refresh My Property?
Refreshing your property can include giving the walls a new coat of paint, carpets professionally cleaned or replaced and having the outdoor area renovated / re-landscaped.
When you purchase a brand new property, you may think that it is unlikely that you will ever need to do this… but in actual fact, after a few years and a few different tenants, it can be a good idea to ‘refresh’ and reinvigorate your investment.
Not only will refreshing your property keep it in good shape, it will also ensure that it is kept in prime condition which ultimately will attract a better quality of tenant.
Scheduling in a refresh between tenants is a good idea not only to minimise disruption but to have a pristine looking property for advertising and open for inspections.
6. Rent – Reviews & Increases
There are very strict rules when it comes to tenancy arrangements – especially when it comes to increasing rent on a property for an existing / renewing tenant.
These rules differ from state to state throughout Australia.
In South Australia, there are different rules for pre and post-March 2014 (if you are lucky enough to have a long-standing tenant!) and also for a fixed term and periodic agreements.
Failure to abide by the Tenancies Act can result in the tenant lodging a complain with the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT – formally known as the Tenancies Tribunal)
7. Pets…. yes or no?
We are finding more and more tenants apply for properties have a fur baby (or feathered or scaled baby!).
There is discussion to have all new properties accept pets as the default position, with the landlords being able to tailor their strategy accordingly. While it is up to you ultimately, we will be able to tell you whether it’s a good strategy or not for your particular area.
8. Empty Property = No Rent!
When you make the decision to purchase an investment property, your primary goal is to receive rent regularly to fund the expenses (mortgage, rates, insurance etc).
Occasionally you may find yourself in a position where your property is vacant. In the unexpected event that a tenant breaks their lease early or decides to not take up the offer of a contract extension, there may be a short time frame where the previous tenant has vacated the property and the new tenant has not yet commenced their lease.
This time may be a good opportunity to ‘refresh’ the property (see point 6 above)!
Having an understanding of the tenancy strategy for your property, the current market conditions and an expected time-frame will set realistic and mutually agreeable expectations. We find that regular contact with your property manager during these times assists our landlords through these times.