An Air Conditioner for Rental Property – Good Investment or Not?

Is an Air Conditioner for Rental Property a Good Investment – or Not?

We all know about those hot sticky nights when there is little or no breeze, and the humidity is stuck on 98%.  Sometimes there is no alternative other than to run the air conditioner all night.  The risk of waking up grumpy is just not an attractive option!

But what if you are renting a property, and there is no air conditioner?  Along the same lines, what if you own a rental property, and it’s not airconditioned?  What are your rights as a tenant of a Queensland rental property? Conversely, what are the expectations on a landlord to install an air conditioner in your rental property?

What do you think about putting air conditioner into a rental property?

As you may expect, it all comes down to the numbers.  Whether an air conditioner is a good investment comes down to a couple of things.   Its’ value can be assessed in terms of up front cost, as well as the time to pay back the investment.

Each year we can expect a couple of months of really hot weather, and some of just plain hot weather!  So there’s no doubt that a rental property with an air conditioner is going to be more attractive to prospective tenants.  In addition, we can consider those colder months of the year when heating is desirable.  We therefore can begin to build a case for a reverse cycle air conditioner that can be used all year round.

What is the pay back time for an air conditioner in a rental property?

A typical reverse cycle air conditioner costs around $3000 – $4000 to have installed.  This is quite a reasonable outlay for a split system, reverse cycle air conditioner.  Such a system can heat or cool the living areas of a small home, or an apartment.  Let’s say that for the moment you get an extra $20 to $30 per week rental income for your investment property, because it is more desirable with air conditioning installed.  This rental return means that you should be able to pay off the cost of installation within or around 3 years.  There are also some tax benefits on this investment that can also be considered in the pay back period.  Check with your property-savvy accountant for the facts on this.  They will pertain to your particular situation.

But there are other hidden benefits also!

There is little doubt that an air conditioner for rental property makes the property more desirable for tenants.  Property managers always find that there is extra demand for rental properties with air conditioning installed.  The real benefit here is that the property manager has a larger pool of prospective tenants to choose from.

More attractive rental property – better tenancy rates

Therefore the landlord gets the benefit of choosing from the best tenant applications.  This increases the chances of securing the best tenant for the property.  At the end of the day, finding the best tenant for the property is the key to a good investment property.  This is because a good match ensures the tenant is happier, and the property is leased and better looked after in the long run.

But what does all this mean in terms of rental return?

When discussing the cost of installing air conditioning in a rental property, there is a third factor at play in the pay back time.  The pay back time is dependent on securing long term tenants, and minimising the vacancy rates.  If you have ever experienced a lengthy term of vacancy in your rental property, you will know that it can become very costly in terms of your investment income.  So here is the potential benefit from installing an air conditioner for rental property.  When the landlord can increase rental by a small amount per week, but also ensure good long term tenancy rates, this can be far more beneficial in the long run.  There is no doubt that a landlord gains a better long term investment return by minimised vacancy rates, rather than by increasing the rent.

Does an air conditioner for rental property increase the capital value?

Unfortunately, this is probably not a good reason for justifying the outlay of money.  Obviously the installation of air conditioning in your rental property can be a serious investment in terms of capital.  Note though that the potential increase in capital of the property is, at best, only likely to be the same as the amount of money outlaid.  Over time, as the air conditioner ages and the value of the appliance decreases, there is potentially less likely to be any increase in property prices due to the installation of air conditioning.  They can even become a liability if they don’t work.

What if a tenant requests an air conditioner?

So the numbers discussed above show a favourable argument for an airconditioner for rental property.  However, when a tenant requests an air conditioner be installed in a rental property, this can still be a conundrum for landlords.

It will generally depend on personal factors and circumstances for a property owner.  The owner’s particular investment strategy can also come into play.  It can also depend upon the market at the time.  Despite the ‘upside’, it can still be a big decision whether to install air conditioning into a rental property.  If investing long term, it is attractive to secure a good long term tenancy and maintain low vacancy rates.  An air conditioner for rental property can help with this.

What if the property owner is trying to maximise the capital investment purely in terms of financial return?  The numbers can then be a little trickier to justify.

However, there may be a compelling reason to install air conditioning if other properties in the area already have air conditioners installed.

Depending on personal circumstances, there is always a potential benefit to be gained from depreciating the capital assets when you own an investment property.  Be sure to check with a property savvy tax accountant to ensure that you do not overlook any rental property tax deductions.  This may extend down to the costs of regular servicing and maintenance of the air conditioning units, as these costs can be considered reasonable business expenses.

Can you increase the rent for installing an air conditioner?

Can you increase the rent if the tenant asks you to install an air conditioner?   Yes, the answer is that you can negotiate an agreeable rental increase.  It is also important to look ahead to the longer term benefits.

Don’t try to gouge your tenant with rental increases.  This may not turn out to be such a good investment in the short term.

What if your tenant decides to seek alternative accommodation after the summer heat has passed? You may be left with an unexpected vacancy.  Then there would be no rental income to cover the cost of the air conditioner.  The better alternative is to keep your tenant happy.  This will serve to retain a longer lease agreement to keep the property rented in the longer term.  There is little doubt that maintaining high tenancy rates is preferable in terms of investment.  This will avoid the costs associated with selecting new tenants at the end of every lease.

An air conditioner for rental property can be a very good investment, indeed.

What is the Average Length of a Tenancy Agreement?

When it comes to a renting out your home, one of the most important factors to consider is determining how long the Tenancy Agreement is going to be for. The most common Tenancy Agreement is a fixed term one, due to the security it can provide. Fixed terms can be of any length that is agreed upon by the property owner and the tenant.  It’s usual to have lenths of 6 or 12 months. The current market and the high cost of moving means more people are leaning towards 12 month fixed leases. 12 months provides a level of security for both the tenant and the property owner.

There are also periodic agreements.  These have no set end date, and usually work on a week to week/fortnight to fortnight basis. Periodic agreements are for those who need a flexible agreement and can be useful in certain situations. Periodic agreements provide little to no security and are generally not as common as fixed agreements.

What tenancy agreement should you commit to?

Rental AgreementWe suggest the length of the new tenant’s first Tenancy Agreement should be for 12 months. This allows both parties to decide whether the arrangement is working out.  It allows the property owner to see how the tenant meets their property care and financial obligations. If at the end of this agreement, both or one of the parties is unsatisfied, the proper steps can be taken to end it at the finish date.

When can I renegotiate the rent?

If the market permits, you can increase the rent and can write it into the Tenancy Agreement at the 6-month mark. The agreement can also be renegotiated before the end of each fixed term period. If you’re unsure about the process, there’s no need to be concerned. We will contact you about 3.5 months prior to a lease expiry with options that are available to you and provide you with rent advice.

Does the Tenancy Agreement end when the fixed period is over?

Once the fixed term period has finished, this does not necessarily mean the Tenancy Agreement itself finishes. The agreement itself will only be terminated if either the tenant or property owner gives the required notice. If the tenant wants to move out after the agreement ends, they must fill out the required paperwork. Tenants are generally required to give at least 14 days notice, to ensure everything goes smoothly and to allow the property owner to find new tenants. If neither party wants to discontinue the agreement, it will become a continuing and periodic agreement. A new tenancy agreement can also be signed with the same terms and conditions that were previously set.

What happens if the tenant wants to leave before the fixed agreement ends?

A fixed term agreement means that tenant will stay until at least the end date and are required to pay rent until that date. If the tenant wants to break the agreement early, compensation will need to be paid to the property owner. Likewise, if the property owner wishes to end the agreement early, they are required to compensate the tenant.

Renting your home can be confusing and stressful at the best of times. Sometimes important aspects such as the length of a Tenancy Agreement can get overlooked and the paperwork rushed through. If you’re unsure or having doubts about your Tenancy Agreement, don’t stress.  Contact us and we will be happy to provide you with advice and answer any questions you might have involving your tenancy agreement.

 

Rental Property Depreciation – Q&A

DISCLAIMER: We are not financial advisors and none of the following information is offered as financial advice.  It is up to you to seek your own independent financial advice.  We do recommend seeking the services of a qualified and experienced Tax Accountant.  They should be an expert in dealing with property portfolios, and ideally is a property investor themselves.  This is a general overview of rental property depreciation and the details vary with each person’s situation.

Rental Property DepreciationIf you’re getting lost in the world of tax depreciation and how it relates to your rental property, you’re not alone. It’s a daunting and confusing area, but we want to take some of that confusion away by answering some of the more commonly asked questions.

In short, rental property depreciation is no different to the other items that are depreciated on your tax return. Many property owners do not realise that there are different types of allowances that you are entitled to claim on your tax returns. Many rental property owners who have purchased a property to return an income do not realise that you can depreciate what is contained inside the building and the physical dwelling against its income. You don’t need to be an expert accountant to take advantage of opportunities you didn’t know existed. You just need a basic understanding of rental property depreciation and who to contact to help you make all of the claim opportunities available to you.  Some see rental property depreciation as one of the advantages of owning an investment property.

What is rental property depreciation?

Rental property depreciation actually has two different allowances for property owners to take advantage of:

  • Plant and Equipment depreciation (the items inside the property such as washing machines, ovens, curtains)
  • Building Allowance depreciation (the property itself and the materials that make it a building, such as bricks, timber, driveway concrete)

If you’re not offsetting these costs in your annual tax return, you’re probably not making all the claims you could be!

How does it help me?

Making claims for both Plant and Equipment depreciation and Building Allowance depreciation will reduce the amount of tax you need to pay each year. Having a schedule for these depreciations will ensure you are making the correct claims each year, and also serve as a reminder for what you should claim for that year. I’m sure we don’t have to mention that reducing your taxable income is a good thing!

Another way depreciation schedules help you is by it being what the tax office calls a ‘non-cash deduction’. What that means is that you’re not repeatedly paying for the deduction every year because you paid for it upfront when you purchased the property. Whether you knew that it was included in the price of the property or not, it’s just another reason why it’s worth claiming deductions against the two types of allowances.

Who can claim deprecation on their rental property?

Any property owner can make a claim on depreciation of their rental property. A common myth is that some rental properties cannot claim depreciation because they were built before a certain date. This is untrue for the most part. It doesn’t matter how old your property is.  Its age, however, may mean only certain allowance types are able to be claimed.

  • Residential properties that were constructed earlier than July 1985 can make a claim for depreciation on the Plant and Equipment allowance only
  • Residential properties that have a construction date of July 1985 or earlier can make depreciation claims on both the Plant and Equipment Allowance and the Building Allowance.

It’s a good day for good news with opportunities to claim regardless of how old your property is!

Who should I contact for estimates?

Tax law states that accountants are not permitted to make estimations on the construction costs of properties built after 1985. Quantity Surveyors are the only people who can make estimates on unknown costs.  They should be first on your list of people to contact.

You should ensure that the Quantity Surveyor that you employ to undertake estimations on your rental property are a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (https://www.aiqs.com.au). The Quantity Surveyor must inspect the property to comply with their Code of Practice. They will document all aspects that can be depreciated and be much more thorough than you or your accountant could be.  It’s worth getting their help regardless of it being a requirement. It’s also important to note that the fee charged by Quantity Surveyors are completely tax deductible.

How much do depreciation schedules cost and how long do they take?

It takes between two to three weeks to complete a depreciation schedule from the date of the Quantity Surveyor’s inspection. There’s many aspects of a depreciation schedule that can affect its cost.  Good Quantity Surveyors make guarantees to ensure that the money the claims return outweigh the costs associated with developing a depreciation schedule. Ask your Quantity Surveyor if they offer any guarantees of return for the depreciation schedule they develop for you.

Is there any easy way to figure out what my claimable deductions might be?

There’s a number of depreciation calculators online, but BMT Quantity Surveyors offer a simple one of their website (https://www.bmtqs.com.au/tax-depreciation-calculator) By using the depreciation calculator you can get a good indication of what kind of claimable depreciation deductions you could expect.

What are some other myths about rental property depreciation?

Myth: You can’t make a claim on a property purchased three years ago.

Fact: You can likely make a claim on a property purchased three years ago.  Tax returns can generally be amended within two years, with a number of exceptions, of course.

 

Myth: You can’t claim deductions on renovations made to the property.

Fact: You can make a claim providing you know the total cost of the renovations.

 

Myth: If you didn’t make the renovations, you can’t claim the deductions.

Fact: Even if you purchased the rental property with recently renovated components, you can claim depreciation on the renovations. However, as stated above, you must know the total renovation cost.

 

Australian Taxation Office

For further reading, you may like to view the ATOs page : ATO Rental Properties 2016

It’s important to obtain the advice of a suitably qualified financial advisor.  You need to be sure that property investment is appropriate for you to undertake.  If you do embark on that path, you will be wise to appoint a qualified and experienced Tax Accountant.  Do be sure to check they are an expert in property, and invest in property themselves.  If you do this, then rental property depreciation is something they will adeptly take care of for you.

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How Property Management Services Help You Avoid the Tribunal

Property Management ServicesIf the word ‘tribunal’ makes you break into a sweat, chances are you haven’t used property management services before. Unfortunately, matters between landlords and tenants can occasionally arise.  No matter how big or small, they can get out of hand when not dealt with correctly. There are many ins and outs pertaining to rights, responsibilities and duty of care in the property rentals area.  Therefore it’s critical to have an in-depth knowledge of the rules and stay well on top of issues, before they escalate.

To start at the beginning:

 

What is “The Tribunal”?

“The Tribunal” in the property rentals context is the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Basically, the Tribunal acts to assist with tenancy disputes.  This would occur after a Notice of unresolved dispute from the RTA (The Residential Tenancies Authority) has been issued. All tenants and lessors can apply to the Tribunal.  They would apply to the Tribunal to hear disputes ranging from urgent to non-urgent issues. An example of an urgent situation might be where a lessor is applying for a Warrant of Possession, because a tenant has not left the property by the notice date.

If you’re the person applying to the Tribunal to hear a dispute, you’re called the applicant.  The person responding to the claim is called the respondent. There are time limits in place in order to make a claim  These range from seven days to six months and you can apply on a QCAT Form 2 – Application for minor civil dispute – residential tenancy dispute. This should then be lodged at the QCAT registry in Brisbane, by person or post.

 

But Wait, There’s More…

Ready to find a good property management services Brisbane agent yet? We’re not surprised, especially when we dive deeper still. Even before the Tribunal is involved, tenancy disagreements are referred to the RTA. The Residential Tenancies Authority offer a dispute resolution service, by providing information on the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. They also assist in resolving disputes and arrange face to face or telephone meetings between both parties.

Only urgent situations are exempt from first contacting the RTA, and these include:

  • Termination orders
  • The expiry of a leave notice without tenant compliance
  • An order to restrain a person from causing damage or injury
  • Situations which may be classified as excessive hardship
  • Tenancy data base listings which don’t comply with the listing criteria

This RTA is a fantastic service that often achieves successful results. However, wouldn’t it be great to avoid the complicated process, all together?

 

Property Management Services as the First Line of Defense

As a first line of defense, Position One Property is there for you, with professional property management services in Brisbane. A wealth of experience enables us to put the appropriate steps in place, before such situations occur. This not only gives you peace of mind, but ensures the ongoing success of your tenancy agreements, so you can concentrate on profiting from your investment.

 

What are the Causes of Tenancy Disagreements?

Before we look at the solutions needed to avoid heading to the Tribunal, it’s important to understand the most common reasons for disputes between tenants and landlords. Often, the number one issue is a breakdown of communication.  This is usually where small issues are left to grow into monumental disagreements.

When either party makes assumptions, has differing expectations or avoids certain issues, communication becomes difficult.  When processes have not been put in place, or are not adhered to for various reasons, this can occur. Therefore, no matter the problem, conflict resolution becomes hard to foster.

Some other top reasons for disputes include damage or changes to property – whether accidental or not, non-payment of rent, failure to uphold building standards or rules, payment for utilities and notice periods for entrance to the property or ending a tenancy agreement.

Take heart though, as all of these issues are easily avoided, with careful planning and attention before, during and after a lease agreement.

 

Position One Property Management Service Solutions

The key step in ensuring a successful tenancy agreement is in the effective selection of tenants. To avoid issues such as damage to property and rent in arrears, it’s vital to conduct stringent security and reference investigations for all applicants. This way, owners can rest easy in the knowledge the tenants are proven to be reliable, responsible and capable of maintaining the property.

Secondly, building a good rapport with tenants opens the channels of communication. Therefore, if any issues do arise, the good relationship between the tenant and property manager ensures problems are dealt with swiftly, in order to fulfil the needs of everyone involved. The ‘third party’ aspect dissolves any personal engagement with issues, so processes in place are conducted in a professional, efficient manner.

Tried and tested resolution techniques are used to arrive at solutions if disputes arise.  We have a sound knowledge of the rights, responsibilities and agreement clauses of contracts. Utilizing property management services takes you firmly out of the firing line, where we’ll be waiting with all the necessary skills to protect your investment.

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Advertise My Property For Rent – How to Choose the Best Time

When is the Best Time of Year to Advertise My Property for Rent?

Advertise My Property for RentIf you’re a landlord, one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is, “when should I advertise my property for rent?” You’re sure to agree there’s nothing worse than advertising when the market is slow and having to watch the weeks (and your profits) slowly dwindle, as your property sits empty.

Of course it’s entirely possible to have your investment occupied throughout the year.  However, it doesn’t happen automatically.  Timing your lease dates to occur at certain times can significantly raise your chance of success. This can be tricky.

For example, though it’s common practice to presume the winter months are best avoided, as people like to hibernate in the middle of the year, it’s actually one of the peak times to advertise property for rent.

Here’s where detailed research into the market makes sense, to understand the movements of possible tenants in the rental market. Your skilled and experienced property management team at Position One Property can help you identify the best times.  They know how to operate in accordance with your local area and tenant demographic.

For now, let’s take a look at the basics.

Advertise Property for Rent in the New Year

Along with ‘New Year Resolutions’, the months of January and February see many people turning a new leaf, making changes and moving forward in life. Plus, with school holidays and extended leave from work, tenants often deliberately time a change of location with the busy season. What does this mean for you, as a landlord?

A large pool of prospective tenants!

Delving further into available tenants, you may also find University students relocating at this time.  Not all properties are going to suit Uni students.  But if your property is appropriate for that market, this knowledge will benefit you. Many 12-month leases come up for renewal at the beginning of the year, so more people are looking to upgrade or change locations.

In summary, advertising in advance of a new year is nearly ideal as the peak period for rentals.

Winter is Prime Time to Advertise Property for Rent

It may be a tad colder and many people wish to stay put in the comfort of familiar surroundings.  However, from June to August is your next best bet. With regard to University students, mid-year marks a time of change. Because school holidays fall in this time, families with children often take the opportunity to move and upgrade to a more suitable property.

As tenants regularly look to sign leases at the beginning or in the middle of the year, many contracts expire at this time.  This means even more prospective tenants for you. It’s all about looking outside of the box to determine which demographic your property appeals to. This way, you can begin to understand their movements, in order to harness interest at various times of the year.

Get the Timing Right for Advance Rental Property Advertising

Depending on when your property is available to move into, it’s crucial to get the timing right, as to when you actually put the advertisement out. The timing may come down to what’s appropriate within your schedule, however no matter which month you choose, it pays to realise that advertising too early, or too late, could have adverse effects.

As the internet is so effective in serving options up on a visually attractive platter, tenants can search at their leisure, with the ability to pick and choose based on pictures and descriptions alone. This means there’s a lot of competition out there, especially at peak times.

So, the aim of the game is to get the perfect balance.

Striking That Perfect Balance

Generally speaking, tenants begin their search four to six weeks in advance. Therefore, you must consistently stay ahead of the ball, so you don’t miss out on eligible applicants. For example, most tenants, upon finding a home, need to give notice, pack and organise their schedules. They obviously want to have a new place lined up before any of that occurs.  So chances are they’ll fit into the four to six-week timeframe.

With the right information, the right planning and the Position One Property Team on your side, you’ll never again have to ask, “when should I advertise my property for rent?”

Though advertising much earlier than this may seem like the smart thing to do, it could result in drawbacks. If other properties offer an earlier date for occupancy, you might miss out on applicants who aren’t prepared to wait, due to similar competition. You also run the risk of your property being online for too long.  Prospective tenants could question why, and what’s wrong with it.

When you add it all up, with notice, inspections, screenings, applications and moving, it makes sense to advertise five to six weeks before the commencement of the lease. When you time your ad strategically, you have a fantastic chance of lining all the important dates up, for a successful outcome.

So, What’s the Bottom Line?

It’s all about getting the timing right from the beginning. Plan so it’s possible to arrange six to 12 month leases (as the general timeframe), around the two peak seasons. Then, there is every chance you’ll never again have to ask, “when should I advertise my property for rent?”

Happy Investors Know the Right Brisbane Property Manager

The Right Brisbane Property Manager Benefits Owners: Check Out 5 Reasons Why

Brisbane Property ManagerIf you’re a landlord or aspiring to be one, owning a rental property is an exciting venture.  So you’ll be concerned about how to choose the right Brisbane property manager.  You’ll  particularly be interested in how they can be a benefit to you. After all, you’re ready to sit back, collect the rent and retire to a tropical beach, right?

While that’s certainly a worthy dream, investment property management is also many other things.  It is a time-consuming, hands on job that requires knowledge, skill and the ability to stay on top of the variety of tasks necessary.  Keeping ahead of the game is essential to safeguard your valuable investment.

As a landlord you’ll still have your own busy life.  Add to that the possibility that you may also need to deal with:

  • tenants who refuse to pay,
  • late night phone calls about broken plumbing
  • and the stress of keeping your property occupied
  • not to mention the complexities of staying on top of negotiations and contracts.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. A Position One Property team member can make your role as a landlord so much easier.

Let’s check out 5 reasons why.

1. Your Position One Brisbane Property Manager does the legwork for you

Rental Price & Occupancy

Initially, you want to make sure your property is rented at the highest possible price.  You also want to aim to have the property continuously and consistently occupied. With thorough knowledge of local rental markets, an experienced, intelligent and attentive property manager is able to give accurate rental appraisals, so you start off on the right foot.

The key term here is accuracy, because if the price is too high, you may be stuck waiting for a tenant.  If the price is too low, you may attract the wrong type of tenant and you’ll potentially lose money on your investment. You might also need to make adjustments to your property, to ensure higher occupancy rates. With access to data on comparable properties, advice on how to best present your investment and local expertise on your side, you can be confident with the price you set.

Marketing Your Property

Following an appraisal, access to internet marketing and lists of tenants ensures a pool of suitable people wanting to rent are on hand.  Occupancy rates can suffer if you’re scratching your head, wondering how to find those people who want to rent your place. Your property manager understands how to advertise and works to ensure you’re never short of rental candidates. This means you can move on to the next phase, quickly and without the headaches of deciphering the ins and outs of an ever-changing marketing landscape.

Property Viewings

One of the most time-consuming aspects of being a landlord is having to conduct viewings of the property. Many people wish to do so in the evenings or on the weekends, which can be inconvenient, to say the least. A property manager helps to free your time off, by showing prospective tenants the property, for you.

Applicant Selection

With a professional eye, and a rigourous application and selection process, they’re also able to determine the qualities required in a suitable tenant. This is an invaluable tool, as often stress, time-constraints or the need to ensure occupancy leads to rushed decisions by DIY landlords, which may negatively impact your investment in the long run. The number one priority to protecting your investment is undoubtedly tenant selection.

2. You Benefit From Superior Tenant Selection

It’s surprisingly easy to make the mistake of selecting the wrong tenants and one that’s hard to rectify. Property managers offer a wealth of experience in dealing with prospective tenants, having seen and analysed numerous applications.

For example, it’s imperative that stringent security and reference checks take place, via Australia’s database of defaulting tenants TICA. You also want to be completely confident your tenants have a proven record of paying on time and treating properties with the utmost care. A property manager ensures the suitability of all candidates, before submitting applications for your final approval.

Once you’ve selected your tenant, there’s no need to worry about the complexities of contracts either.  Your savvy and up-to-date Brisbane property managers at Position One Property make it their business to be up-to-date with legislative changes.  They know how to ensure contracts are properly initiated, terminated, and everything in between.

3. Your Property is Safeguarded

Whether you live locally, interstate or overseas, it can be hard to regularly check on your property.  You will undoubtedly wonder whether everything’s running smoothly. You can leave this in the hands of your local Brisbane property manager, as they conduct inspections on a regular and consistent basis.

Not only does this offer you peace of mind, it enables you to stay on top of any repairs and general maintenance that require attention. If your tenants are not meeting the terms of their lease, you’ll have all the help you need to find solutions to issues, for continued rental success.

4. You Stop Being the Bad Guy

Obviously, receiving funds in your bank account each month is paramount to maintaining your investment. It can be tricky and time-consuming to deal with tenants, who may have a variety of reasons as to why they can’t pay their rent on time. Worse still, you don’t want to have to embark on a drawn-out journey of tracking down rent.

With strict, professional policies in place, a property manager takes immediate steps to reduce the risk of rental arrears or necessary eviction. As they understand legislation, they can navigate the complexities of this, so you avoid messy legal problems.

5. You Get Your Life Back

It’s easy to become personally involved in your property or your tenants when you’re a landlord. As a business though, it’s much better to keep the relationship strictly professional. Not only does this free up your time, it helps to maintain the necessary processes that reduce any risks.

With a professionally managed property, chances are you’ll see less turnover of tenants, which means less outlay during the process. This is because our property management company strives to ensure tenants are happy also, so you benefit from the security of longer leases. Along the way, rental prices are reviewed, so you can stay competitive in the rental market.

A cleverly chosen Brisbane property manager acts as a ‘middle-man’ between you, your property and your tenants.  This means you can concentrate on making the most of the financial benefits your investment yields.

Can’t wait to get your life back?

Contact us today to experience what it’s like to work with a best-practice property manager, and then watch your investments grow.

 

 

Telephone Connections: Property Management Specialists Answer Your Questions

property management specialistsWouldn’t it be handy to have property management specialists on hand to help answer difficult questions? Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, having access to the experts is invaluable. When you’re new to renting, or to investing, there’s a minefield of information to wade through in order to determine vital issues.  Even the basics, such as: who pays for a telephone connection?

The great news is, rental property management Brisbane specialists, Position One Property, have already done the work for you. We know how to break down complicated situations in order to find the best solutions for everyone involved. To start you off, we’ll look at the responsibilities involved for both tenants and landlords with regard to phone connections.

RTA Guidelines

In terms of the basic rules, a landlord isn’t required to provide telephone, television and internet connections within the premises. However, when there are existing phone sockets, a landlord is required to ensure they’re in a reasonable condition.

Generally, the tenant then agrees to arrange for the connection and pay for the service. If the property is individually metered, a tenant can’t be charged more than the amount charged by the supplier and laws are in place to safeguard rights.

So, that’s a brief rundown of the guidelines, however it’s not a black and white situation and opinions can differ. A property management specialist can help to diffuse opposing opinions between landlords and tenants, by dealing with the individual scenarios that may occur. This, in turn, ensures clear communication is maintained and the responsibilities of both parties are understood and documented.

Responsibilities of Tenants

First of all, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that everything they require in a property is provided, prior to signing a lease. Upon inspection, tenants should check for phone sockets and enquire about connections, so there’s no confusion as to what is included.

For example, if there are no phone sockets installed and it’s not stated that they’re included, the landlord is not obliged to pay for them. Therefore, a tenant may have to pay for the installation, if the service is required.

If this is the case, tenants need to contact their rental property management Brisbane specialist, in order to gain approval to make alterations to the property. It’s very important that tenants wait for the ‘go-ahead’, or approval, before commencing installations or repairs.  This will avoid the possibility of losing part of their bond, or breaking lease agreements in doing so.

This also applies if tenants wish to improve previously installed services, in the way of extra phone points for convenience or increased internet reception. In this case, the landlord may or may not approve, however the expense would generally be the tenant’s responsibility.

To avoid any misunderstandings, it’s always best for tenants to note, on the condition report, that phone sockets don’t work.  This is also the time to note if extra facilities are required. This way, before commencing the tenancy, negotiations can take place as to the terms of having them fixed or included.

Responsibility of Landlords

For landlords, it makes sense to ensure a line connection is supplied for tenants. This increases the property’s appeal as it’s a primary necessity for most potential rental candidates. However, upon connecting the line, the tenant should then pay for the connection and the services used for the duration of the lease. Above all, these agreements need to be stated clearly prior to the rental agreement.

If, for example, a tenant has signed a lease on a property with a phone socket, but upon moving in discovers there isn’t a working landline, generally the landlord will need to provide one. The exception to this is if an exclusion was specified in the tenancy agreement.  If this were the case it would have been made known to the tenant prior to signing.

How Property Management Specialists Can Help

One of the ways a property management specialist – such as Position One Property – helps is to provide a buffer between the landlord and the tenant. Not only a buffer, but one that lends expertise to both parties in order to deal with any complications.

With current knowledge of rental laws and the rights of both landlords and tenants, we’re able to arrange agreements to suit everyone involved.  This applies before, during and at the conclusion of tenancy agreements.

There is an incredible amount of paperwork involved with property management.  Rules, regulations, contracts and specific agreements, are just a few of the basics. Leaving your investment property in the hands of a seasoned professional ensures every detail is covered. This is especially important in the initial stages of a property management.  Starting from the beginning, we’re able to pinpoint specific requirements from the outset, which saves time and money.  If there’s any chance of having disagreements in the long run, they’re most likely to be identified at this stage.

In terms of coordinating and managing repairs and installations, a property manager liaises between both parties.  This helps to ensure the process is easy and professional. This cuts out any unnecessary misunderstandings, which can occur from lack of understanding or knowledge of the applicable laws.

One thing you can be sure of is that property management specialists cater to both landlords and tenants.  This is to ensure all parties enjoy a smooth and successful rental journey.

Rental Property Management: Open Inspection or Private Viewing?

Rental Property ManagementEffective rental property management starts with fantastic tenants and fantastic tenants are those who are an ideal match with the property they have selected as their new home.

You don’t find those ideal tenants just by accident!  There is a definite science to it, and when you engage the experts you’re most likely to end up with a rental property – tenant match that works well.

So, just how do you find tenants who’ll pay their rent on time, look after your valuable investment and set your mind at ease?

Simply, with one of the most important marketing tools you have at your disposal as a landlord: property inspections.

Expert Rental Property Management Starts at the Beginnning

It can seem quite intimidating to invite people into your property and it’s often a scheduling nightmare if the current tenants are still living there. Here’s where your Position One Property manager Brisbane Team comes to the rescue.  Our Team has a wealth of solutions to ensure your inspections are easy and successful.

The first question many landlords have is whether to hold open inspections or private viewings. Both options offer benefits, however they each should be professionally managed, in order to avoid any issues.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each, to help you decide.

The Pros for Holding Open Inspections

Up until recently, open inspections were the most commonly used way to efficiently manage time and show as many prospective tenants through a property, as possible. If you’ve ever attended an open inspection yourself, you probably noticed a lot of people cramming into apartments and houses, in the allocated timeframe. This is why they work, because your property is open to a wide range of buyers and, often, crowds attract crowds.  Not surprisingly, crowds imply demand and demand can lead to competition.  This means you may just get the ideal application for your property.

The main advantage, however, is that open inspections are publicly advertised, via newspapers, the internet and even word of mouth. This creates excitement around viewings, especially when the property is in a popular area. Even those little signs you see at the entrance to properties, advertising the inspection times, encourage ‘walk in’ traffic and could lead to more candidates. The more candidates you regularly have, the more competitive you can be, in the market.

Therefore, the pros list for open inspections includes:

  • Attracts a wide variety of prospective tenants.
  • Publicly advertised inspections generate significant interest.
  • Time efficient.

The Cons for Holding Open Inspections

Have you ever turned up to an open inspection and simply driven by, due to the amount of people waiting outside? It can be quite daunting to some future tenants, to feel like they have to compete with other people. Unfortunately, these could be just the quiet, responsible and reliable tenants you’ve been looking for.

Though attracting a wide variety of people is why open inspections work, it’s the very reason they often don’t. With a large crowd of people in the property, it’s hard to engage with anyone, in order to gauge their suitability. Plus, many of them could just be the neighbour next door who’s wanted to see inside your unit for years. Lastly, but most importantly, anyone who wants to attend an open inspection, can, which may leave you vulnerable to security issues.

Your cons list includes:

  • Large crowds can actually deter suitable tenants.
  • Engagement with prospective tenants is difficult during the inspection.
  • Security issues are a possibility.

The Pros for Holding Private Inspections

One of the keys to rental property management is superior tenant selection, to ensure your property is looked after. When you hold private inspections, it’s possible to screen applicants ahead of the date. During the inspection, there’s ample time to engage with these potential future tenants, in order to determine their suitability.

There’s much less possibility of security issues with private inspections.  This is because the applicants have already proven their serious intent to rent your property, via committing to a viewing. In terms of practicality, a rental property Brisbane specialist can arrange for a few people to attend the same private viewing, providing the time works for all parties.

To sum up, the pros list includes:

  • Ability to screen applicants ahead of time.
  • Increased ability to personally engage with tenants.
  • Reduced security risk.
  • Only attracts serious candidates.

The Cons for Holding Private Inspections

Though it’s possible to find someone to rent your property in the first private showing, it’s not always likely. This means more inspections are needed, which can be time-consuming and difficult to arrange if current tenants are in place. Private viewings also lack the impact of an open inspection, as it’s up to the candidates to initiate a viewing.  So you can’t rely on advertisements to attract a large pool of people.

In summary, the private viewing cons list includes:

  • May have to offer multiple viewings.
  • Time consuming.
  • Difficult to arrange with current tenants in place.

Make the Choice Easy with Rental Property Management

Position One Property has been a property management company in Brisbane since 2001 and has all the skills, experience and knowledge necessary to determine which type of inspection is right for your property.  Our  dedicated Team are expert at conducting viewings in a professional, efficient manner. We can advise you on safety and security issues, local market trends with regard to inspections and the best advertising methods.

Best of all, our rental property management includes the professional service of strictly screening all applicants, so all you have to do is look forward to a long and happy rental agreement!  Call Position One Property today on 07 3843 4511 and we will be happy to assist you with leasing and managing your property investment.

How To Get A Good Result At An Open House

Open HouseArranging regular times for prospective buyers to inspect sale properties in groups has proven to be a very effective marketing technique. While most people now search online for suitable properties, they still like to inspect in person, and an open house allows them to have a close look without feeling under pressure.

Large Visitor Numbers at an Open House Creates Urgency

The best result for an agent is to have large visitor numbers. This generates a sense of urgency among genuine buyers. Even if many of the crowd are just looking, people assume that everyone there is a potential rival for the property. Often, the buyer who gets the property will be the one who has decided to out-manoeuvre the others by offering more than originally intended.
To get such an excellent result there are a few things that need to happen and we have drawn on our experience as agents to offer some suggestions. Position One Property is a property agency serving the greater Brisbane area and we have found that some techniques work better than others to get a successful open inspection.

For Best Results, the Owners Should not be Present

We said earlier that potential buyers like this method because they can look around without feeling any pressure from an agent. This also goes for the owners as well, so it is important, if the property is yours, to make yourself scarce. Your agent will look after the place, so go to the movies, visit a friend or go for a long walk.

Temporarily remove all Signs of Pet Ownership

If you have pets, make sure all their toys, beds, blankets, water and food bowls are out of sight. The pets also need to be out of sight. A bird aviary in the back yard will not be a problem but a couple of large, protective dogs in the house will be. Leave them with a friend for the couple of hours of the open house.

Clean, Tidy and De-Clutter

It is surprising that some sellers leave beds unmade and dirty dishes in the kitchen sink during inspections. Please make sure that everything is neat, tidy and clean. First impressions are vital, so get rid of clutter. This allows buyers to assess the amount of space you have, which cannot be seen if it is hidden by unnecessary items.

Allow Light to Flood the Interior

The final touch is to turn on the lights, even during the day; open the curtains and pull up the blinds. Allow light to flood into the interior. This also adds to the feeling of spaciousness and eliminates any dark spots that detract from the overall ambiance.
We find that a well-organised and run open house can generate a lot of interest. Do your part in getting the property in tip-top condition and trust your agent to find genuine buyers from among the visitors.

Kitchen Storage A Top Priority In Brisbane Rental Properties

Brisbane Rental PropertiesEvery rental property owner wants tenants who pay their rent on time and take good care of the dwelling, so Brisbane rental properties need to be presented to the market with this goal in mind. In our local marketplace in current times, good tenants are discerning.  They are unwilling to accept a rental that does not have the features and comforts people have come to expect in our society today. Owners who want the best returns now seriously have to look to provide more facilities for their tenants.  One such essential facility in today’s market is storage space – and kitchen storage space at that.

Lots of Possessions Need Lots of Space

As a consumer society, some would say we have become obsessed with collecting possessions.  Often it’s for no reason other than to have them! To keep our belongings in good condition, they need to be stored carefully.  Tenants looking for suitable Brisbane rental properties are no different from home owners in this regard.
We know this because we are a specialist property management agency. Position One Property manages a full portfolio of rental properties across all Brisbane suburbs. When potential tenants make enquiries about any available rental properties, one of the first questions they ask is about the amount of storage.  This applies not only in the bedrooms but also in the kitchen areas.

Brisbane Rental Properties Ideally Need Plenty of Kitchen Storage

Having plenty of easily accessible storage in a kitchen is a real plus.  It gives a rental property a distinct advantage over a similar property with limited storage. Gone are the days when a few cupboards under the kitchen sink and a small pantry would suffice to keep kitchenware and food until needed. In these times, there is far too much in the way of pantry goods, appliances, plastic ware, cooking utensils and other kitchenware, all of which needs appropriate storage.
Tenants who like to entertain friends and family look for kitchens that make this easy. Lots of bench space to prepare meals, dark places to store root vegetables, shelves to display glassware and favourite crockery items, are all factors in the decision making process for discerning tenants.

In some trendy downtown areas of cities of the world we hear of apartments and chic pads that have done away with kitchens altogether.  Everyone goes out to eat.  Not so in Brisbane!  Brisbane rental properties need kitchens and ideally great kitchens at that!

Clean and Functional Kitchens Attract Good Tenants

This does not mean that the kitchen must be absolutely brand new.  It must be clean and functional.  The interiors of the cupboards should be wiped clean and be ready to fill by the new occupants.  They’ll  need to receive the many cooking pots, baking trays and dishes, measuring jugs, cake tins and all the other paraphernalia common to the average household.

Appliances Need Storage Away from the Benchtops

A modern kitchen now contains a range of appliances, where once an electric jug and toaster would have been enough. Blenders, slow cookers, sandwich makers, 4- and 6-slice toasters, coffee machines, food processors and other appliances that appear with every new food fad, all need storage lest they clutter the bench tops.
A property becomes much more desirable as a rental with adequate and functional kitchen storage. It is worth providing to get the perfect tenant.

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