Thursday, November 03, 2016

Setting up your property from the outset… It just makes cents.

Recently I have re-embarked on the journey of becoming a landlord again, deciding to rent out my home in Norwood. Even though I am involved in property investment all day every day and am exposed to what we do as agents, 
I still have questions.

This got me thinking about the role we play as agents, and how important the upfront discussions and planning with a landlord truly are. Every property is different, and no matter how many times you have been there, receiving answers to your questions is so important.

So what are some of the burning questions every landlord is (or should be) asking their agent? What vital areas should be addressed that you might not have thought of?

1. Inclusions and Exclusions.
Are there any areas of the house that you want to exclude from the tenancy agreement? This might include areas such as the cellar or back shed. Also, think about alarms... if there is an alarm system at the property, will you be providing this as part of the property? If not, be sure to exclude it so there is no confusion. 

2. Description of your property.
It is essential to ensure your property is advertised correctly on all marketing and advertising channels. For example, is the air-conditioning evaporative or ducted reverse cycle? Be sure to double check and let your property manager know before the advertising commences. If you own a property 
with a body corporate, we recommend confirming necessary details such as the number of parks allocated to your property. These by-laws can change over time, and it will ensure that you don't end up in a dispute with your past neighbours 
or tenant.

3. Compliance and Preventative Maintenance.
This is a biggie! Compliance in particular is gaining a lot of attention across the country. For something as important as regular smoke alarm and gas heater checks to ensure the risk of an accident is minimised... this is a no-brainer, so be sure to arrange regular checks at your property.

4. Appliance manuals.
New reforms introduced in 2014 provide landlords with some relief with regards to the accountability of operating appliances in the home. Quite simply, if you have provided a manufacturers manual (even 
hand-written instructions) for an item in the home and this is listed on the lease agreement, you are able to claim compensation for unintentional damage to the item under the Act. Be sure to make the most of this by collating the relevant information before the tenancy starts.

5. Fly screens.
Do all of the open windows have fly screens installed? This can catch out many landlords, particularly as the Tribunal does not look favourably on this topic. Ensure you have a quick look around the property and see whether these are all intact.

6. Keys.
This one can be time-consuming and 
a bit of a nuisance, but remember to think of all the places that could require keys... including the letter box! 
If you are considering purchasing an investment property or adding to your portfolio, be sure to chat to your agent about these areas. 

At Toop&Toop, we are here to help ensure nothing is forgotten and you are comfortable with the management process from the outset. Setting your property up correctly from the beginning will save you a lot of time and cents.

Suzannah Toop

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