When you own a property investment it’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief when you have a great tenant sign the lease. Finding someone who you and your property manager believes will treat your property as their own home and will keep it in as good as condition as possible can be the first step to ensuring the value of your investment is maximised. However having a property company that conducts regular professional inspections and provides you with informative property reports is equally important to giving you peace of mind.
Regular Property Inspections
As a landlord you have to balance your desire to keep a close eye on your property investment and intruding on your tenant’s privacy. A good property management company such as Ironfish will be able to advise you on a suitable schedule for general inspections. Every state in Australia has different requirements and rules surrounding the frequency of property inspections. In South Australia, for example, properties can’t be inspected more than once every four weeks. In New South Wales you can have your property inspected up to four times a year. It is also worth noting that there are strict rules about the amount of time that a property manager must give to tenants before they can enter the property. Apart from notification of regular inspections, these rules also apply in cases such as if you want to sell the property and need to show prospective buyers through, want to obtain a property valuation or for maintenance obligations such as replacing smoke alarms.
Property Inspection Reports
When it comes to the property inspection report, as a landlord you want as much information as you can get for your property investment. As an example, on at least an annual basis it is very helpful to have photos taken of the interior and exterior of your property. This will give you a consistent record of the condition of your property, document any issues that may have occurred or allow you and your property manager to monitor a potential problem that may require repairs in the future. At the very least the inspection report should contain a checklist or summary of the general condition of the property, and it should note any comments from the tenants about maintenance issues or repairs that may need to be done.
Property inspections can also be an opportunity for the property manager to conduct a rent review, although again each state has regulations about how often and by what percentage the rent can be raised. Generally the frequency of rent increases will be documented in the lease, and most states have rules prohibiting increases more than every 6 months.
To conduct a rent review property managers will look at similar properties and look at the rental market in the surrounding area to gauge whether your property’s rent is appropriate.
Ironfish offers a professional property management service that provides landlords with total peace of mind through regular inspections and detailed inspection reports. They also provide high quality assistance with all ongoing maintenance issues and repairs.