Becoming a property investor means more than simply purchasing an asset that will bring you income and grow in value over the years. It will also bring with it a number of responsibilities and tasks such as finding suitable tenants and making sure the property is in good condition and compliant with various state regulations and legislative requirements. One of the best property investment tips from experts is to find out as much as possible about your role as a landlord to avoid any unnecessary stress, conflict or even regulatory fines for breaching state laws.
The responsibilities of landlords extend to looking after the condition of the property, both inside and out. This type of property maintenance generally falls into two categories:
- General ongoing care of the property, such as ensuring the exterior is painted regularly, cleaning of gutters and ensuring all “installations” such as gas, water, heating and electricity are working appropriately and to current safety standards. For the most part this type of maintenance can be checked regularly during yearly or 6 monthly inspections; and
- One-off repairs or preventative measures to ensure the property is in good condition and not harmful to health including appropriate damp and mould prevention or protection, or emergency repairs for broken appliances or main services such as water or electricity.
Tenancy agreements can include other specific responsibilities and tasks for landlords, and will vary on a state-by-state basis. In NSW, for example, landlords must make sure that their tenants receive a copy of the “New Tenant Checklist” before signing the tenant agreement, as well as keeping up to date with relevant laws and good practice in regards to issues such as discrimination, fair trading and administrative matters concerning the lease.
Choosing A Professional Property Management Company
Considering the onerous and time-consuming nature of a landlord’s responsibilities, it is hardly surprising that the majority of property investors with apartments or houses choose to outsource the day-to-day management and maintenance of their properties to professionals. In addition to ongoing maintenance and the provision and coordination of tradesmen in the event of emergencies, a good management company will:
- Provide one point of contact for tenants for ongoing communication around the lease and any property issues
- Find suitable tenants in the event of a vacancy, including open inspections and advertising
- Collect rent and other payments such as water bills
- Ensure your property is in good condition and is in line with relevant state laws, regulations and best practice
- Provide annual rent reviews to ensure it is in line with market rates in the local area
Don’t forget also that the fees charged by property management companies are fully tax deductible.
No one wants to purchase a residential property investment only to find that it brings years of repetitive administrative tasks or, even worse, stresses and strains of having a vacant property, trying to attract tenants or dealing with emergency maintenance issues. Choosing an experienced and professional property management company such as Ironfish not only gives you peace of mind when it comes to the day to day management issues, but lets you focus on your long term investment strategy.