While many people choose to become a landlord on their own, others employ an expert property manager (often a licensed real estate agent) to help advise them and essentially be the middle man. It can help save potential confusion and headaches in the long run. A specialist property manager may cost you a percentage of your rent – but with their advice, you can maximise your rental return and will have assistance in organising paperwork, maintenance and finding quality tenants.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND THEIR RIGHTS
As a landlord, you need to make sure you are familiar with your rights and responsibilities under Australian law. Ensure you read what is relevant to your state in Australia. One common factor among all states is that landlords need to ensure rental property is safe and all appliances are fixed. It is important not to skimp on safety when it comes to your property.
Being organised with documents is highly important when ensuring all tenant agreements are signed and documented in writing, to ensure all parties are on the same page. Effective communication is always key to a successful tenancy. Any expectations you have about how the property should be kept must be communicated to the tenant or your property manager in advance.
COLLECT THE BOND
It is advisable to collect a bond up front, so you are prepared for future damage or loss of rent from tenants. A landlord cannot hold the bond themselves as it must be lodged with the state tenancy bond authority, who will hold the bond for the duration of the tenancy. A bond can be held against any damage to the rental property but it cannot be held against fair wear and tear.
KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
With great power comes great responsibility. Search for quality tenants who will treat your property as if it was their own. Make sure your property is desirable and don’t skimp on reference checks when assessing candidates. Understand the local legislation when rental inspections are permitted and the correct processes to go through. Once you have chosen tenants, keep the property maintained, be reasonable when rent has to increase and make sure all their queries are addressed promptly.
It is important to consider landlord insurance. A bond only covers a small amount of damage or loss of rent, whilst landlord insurance covers a wider range of risks that may be associated with renting. Work out which landlord insurance policy best suits your situation.
LEARN HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR EARNINGS
Finally, being a landlord and owning your own home is all about maximising your earnings. A rental property is an investment, so keep yourself updated and informed with market rents, choosing a desirable area to invest in and making sure your property is well maintained. Seek out expert advice and ensure you understand what you can and can’t claim through the ATO.
Hat Tip to Emma Sorensen at Real Estate
Featured Image: ABC