Leasing - Landlord Commonly Asked Questions
Maximising Your Rent
How do you determine the best rent for my property?
We always strive to get you the meximum rent possible; however we also must keep in mind setting 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:
a) Demand - Is there a high or low demand for properties at present. This can be seasonal and affected by a number of factors.
b) 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.
c) 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.
How does the rent get 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 conidtions. This will also be done at lease renewal time, or at other times when required. We will always contact you for your premission before the rent is increased.
Getting You 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 applicatn 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. We also obtain 2 personal reference reference on each application.
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.
Who selects the applicant for my property?
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 thier past history and conifrm their income arrangements. As their paying 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!
The Marketing of My Property
What do you do to advertise my property?
Once we have signed Management Agreement authorsing us to act on your behalf, we list your property in the following forms of advertising:
a) Newspaper - Using the ( SMH/ Central Courier) This is optional and payable by the landlord
b) Rental Listing Brochure - Your property is added to our office listing brochure with a photo and details of your property. This is given to anyone that comes in looking for a rental property.
c) Active Mailing List - Your property is added to our active mailing list which will be sent out on a weekly bases to prospective tenants.
d) Internet - Your property along with photos is entered onto the following websites, maximising coverage to any prospective tenant using the internet to locate a rental property.
How should the property be presented?
We ask that the property be presented in the best manner possible to attract the right tenant for your property. We don't want a bad first impression to detract the right tenant from renting your property.
Pets at My Property (If permitted)
If I allow pets at my property, what expectations will be given to the tenant?
If pets are permitted we will always require them to sign a formal set of pet approval conditions.
This obligates them in the following ways:
a) Permission to be obtained from Strata (if applicable)
b) No Additional pet may occupy the property without prior permission.
c) The tenant must be responsible for any damages caused by their pet, and remove any rubbish of faeces deposited by the pet and have the carpets professionally cleaned.
d) The tenant must have the property professionally fumigated inside and outside upon vacating the property with a receipt provided to the managing agent.
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 last business day of the month.
How do you collect the rent?
We collect the rent by Bpay, Cheque, Credit Card & Direct Deposit.
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 tribunal can only ' order ' a tenant to pay but can never physically force them to pay.
If a tenant does fall behind in their rent, we will follow a legal procedure which can lead to be very drawn out and lengthy if the tenant continues to not pay their rent.
Unfortunately the bond will never cover the shortfall in rent.
Only if you have landlord insurance will there be a reasonable prospect of covering the rent payment shortfall, in the case of your tenant defaulting in their rent payments.
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 owed rent. Your will then most likely have cleaning up and re-letting costs, as well as outstanding monies like water usage owed by the tenant.
Therefore without landlord insurance, this process can be quite financially damaging.
Inspecting Of My Property?
Do you inspect the property at he 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, bedrooms, kitchen, front and rear yards, garage etc) and then all items present in each area (walls, ceiling, light fittins, curtains, windows, appliance etc).
We record their condition and cleaniness item by item, and then a brief description and detail about the item. This would involve recording details of any marks, scartches 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 6 months, we are allowed a maximum of four (4) inspections per year in accordance with legislative requirements. 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. Please note that due to privacy reasons we are unable to take photos inside the property showing the tenants belongings, and also we are unable to take any photos if the tenant refuses permission - this is in accrodance with privacy legislation.
Taking A Bond
How much bond do you take from the tenant?
For both unfurnished and furnished premises the bond is set by legislation at a maximum of four (4) weeks rent.
When do you pay back the bond monies?
We only refund the bond after the following has occurred:
a) The tenant has fully vacated the property and keys returned.
b) The property has been inspected, and is satisfactory when compared with the ingoing inspection report.
c) All monies are paid. This could be any outstanding rent, water or anything owed by the tenant
d) If the tenant is breaking their lease, any break fees have been recovered.
If the tenant has a pet, can i ask for an extra bond (a pet bond)?
Unfortunately no! We are legally only allowed to take one bond, as specifield above.
Repairing and Maintaining My Property?
Who is responsible for repairing my property?
Under legislation, it is the responsbility of the landlord to keep the residential premises in a reasonable state of repair, considering the age of , the rent paid for and the prospective life of the property.
Who is responsible for general wear and tear?
General wear and tear that occurs from the 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 the 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 responisble 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 severly marked after 2 years resulting in the walls having 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 the time when it was painted 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.
Renewing the Lease with My Tenant
Who decides if the lease will be renewed?
You do! We will contact you by email before the lease is due, and seek your instructions if you wish to renew or in fact not renew the lease. Once we have your approval we will then approach the tenant to have the lease renewed.
If I do not wish to renew the lease, do I have to give reason?
If you do not wish for the lease to be renewed you are not obligated to give your tenant a reason.
Notice Required When My Tenant Is Vacating
How much notice must my tenant give when they want to vacate the property?
The tenant can give 14 days (14) notice in writing to vacate at the end of the fixed term of the Tenacy Agreement.
Once the fixed term if the Tenancy Agreement has expired, the tenant is required to give 21 days (21) notice in writing if they want to vacate.
Breaking Of a Fixed Term Lease?
Who pays for the letting fee and advertising costs when a tenant break 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 the advertising again and charge the tenant accordingly.
If the tenant wants to break their fixed term lease and leave early, the following requirements will apply:
a) The tenant is responsible for paying rent until a new tenant is secured, or to the end of the fixed term (whichever occurs first). The tenant must also contribute to the letting fee and advertising costs, or
b) The tenant will be required to pay a 'Break Fee' equal to 6 weeks rent (if they are in the first half of th fixed term) or 4 weeks rent (if they are in the second half of the fixed term).
It is your choice which requirement you wish to apply to the tenant.
Breaches Of Tenancy
What happens if the tenant breaks one or more of the conditions of the tenancy ?
Depending on what has occurred depends largely on what action is taken. If the breach is minor approaching the tenant vrbally 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 property for illegal purposes or bringing in pets without prior permission, etc.