How do we select tenants?
The first step to ensuring we attract the right tenant is to aim at the right target market, which is achieved through price and description of the property. As potential tenants enquire, we filter the tenants through a few simple questions about their lifestyle and if it will be suitable for their needs. We only show tenants by appointment only, which helps to narrow the enquiries down to only the suitable and interested. When showing people through the property we are aware of who is attending and therefore able to monitor the tenants for security reasons and also to speak with the tenants individually and assess if they will be suitable. Application forms are then handed out to the interested tenants and these are checked thoroughly once returned to our office. Once the application and references are thoroughly checked we will then consult with the owner of the property. We will then offer the selected tenant to sign a lease and then the lease agreement will begin.
How do we manage tenant arrears?
We use a system which is specifically designed for property management. On a daily basis the system will highlight any tenants which are in arrears. We then send out reminder messages to all tenants in this category. If rent is not paid, we then send out a reminder letter which states exactly how much the tenant is in arrears and when their next rent is due. If rent is not paid after 14 days, we will commence legal action which is put in place by the residential tenancies to recover funds.
How often are inspections carried out?
Inspections are carried out every three months by our property inspector who ensures each property is up to a specific standard and to ensure that the property is being maintained by both the tenant and landlord. This is also a chance for the tenant to inform us of any maintenance which may need attending too. You will receive a copy of the inspection report in a letter with your end of month statement. The tenant is also provided with a copy.
What if a tenant breaks a lease?
Tenants occasionally have to break leases due to unforseen circumstances that life can sometime throw at us. Prior to a tenant signing a lease, the tenant is notified of conditions associated with breaking a lease. Costs such as advertising and re letting fees are shared by the tenant and landlord depending on how far the tenant was into their lease. The tenant is also reliable for any rent until a new tenant is found.
BACK TO TOP
What are my responsibilities as a landlord with regards to maintenance?
The landlord must make sure that premises are reasonably clean, and fit to live in at the start of the tenancy. The landlord must then maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair considering:
• Age of the premises,
• Amount of rent the tenant is paying, and
• Prospective life of the premises.
This does not mean that the premises must be let in perfect condition, or that the landlord must immediately attend to every small matter during the tenancy. The state of the property and level of repair expected should be in proportion to the premises’ age and the amount of rent. An urgent repair is any work needed to fix: Burst water pipes , blocked or broken lavatory system, serious roof leak, gas leak, dangerous electrical fault, flooding or serious flood damage, storm or fire damage, failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises, failure or breakdown of any essential service on the premises for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering and any fault or damage that causes the premises to be unsafe or not secure.
BACK TO TOP
Do smoke alarms have to be installed in the property, if so how many and what type?
According to the South Australian legislation all “Class 1 and 2 buildings*” must be fitted with a regulation smoke alarm (*Any single dwelling including detached houses or attached houses such as row houses, terrace houses, town houses, villa units, etc.) Every dwelling must be assessed individually to ensure that in the event of a fire, occupants of every bedroom in the dwelling will receive an audible warning so that they may safely evacuate. Refer to http://www.samfs.sa.gov.au/ for more information.
BACK TO TOP
What about water rates?
The landlord pays the rates and charges for water supply and any associated levies. Every six months the landlord will receive a six monthly usage charge on their water bill. Once the landlord has sent the water bill in to our office we will invoice the tenants for this portion. We also take water readings at the commencement and end of tenancies so we are able to work out exactly how much the tenant has used and at which rate to charge. The landlord has an obligation to provide the tenant with water accounts as they become due. If no accounts are provided to the tenant during the course of the tenancy and it is clear that the landlord had every opportunity to present the accounts to the tenant, the tenant may only be held responsible for part of the account.
BACK TO TOP
What if I want to sell the property while my tenant is still in the property?
With a fixed term lease the tenant has every right to stay in the property until their current lease expires, even after settlement with a new owner of the property. For the purpose of showing prospective purchasers through rented premises the 'reasonable notice' referred to has been accepted as:
• One open inspection per fortnight, giving at least 4 days' notice
• Two inspections per week, by appointment only, giving at least 24 hours' notice. The tenant has the right to remain on the premises during all inspections - including the open inspection. In respect to auctions, five open inspections plus the auction day is accepted as reasonable. The same guide is used in respect to showing prospective tenants through the rented premises. The agent/landlord may put a 'for sale' sign on the rented premises. The tenant would have to show that having the sign on the rented premises would interfere with their peace, comfort or privacy in order to refuse.
BACK TO TOP
• If any of the rooms have very bright colours or carpets, you may want to neutralise them.
• Choose the correct lighting for each space which can improve the mood of the room
• Make sure front door is immaculate as first impressions count.
• Cut lawns and edge along pathways and drive way.
• If your bathroom or kitchen looks tired then by applying some of the following practices will make a difference. Re-paint the ceiling and walls. Clean, re-grout any tiled areas that are going black. Taps and handles are also an effective way of modernising a tired looking kitchen or bathroom.
• Air the property by opening windows and purchasing a few air fresheners. Also remember that some buyers may be allergic to pets, so make sure that all signs of animal smells and hair are removed.
• Clear away any clutter. If possible store it off-site.
BACK TO TOP