Quick Action And Solutions Prevent Rent Defaults by Tenants

We have all heard the old saying that there are two sides to every argument. In property management, this means that every situation must be viewed from two perspectives.  One perspective is from the owner and the other from the tenant. When the subject under examination is rental arrears, we approach it from both sides.  However, the bottom line is always that the rent must be paid on time.

So how does a property management agency ensure that tenants do not fall into arrears? Here at Position One Property we have strong management systems designed to protect the legal interests of both parties. We are members of two of the leading professional organisations in our industry, and we operate our business to the highest ethical standards.

Protection for Property Owners

To protect our property owners, we scrutinise every tenant application to ensure that we are putting forward only the most reliable people. Our belief is that if we accept tenants who have already proven themselves, we are unlikely to be dealing with a default situation further down the track. Not only do we conduct thorough security and reference checks but we also check the Tenancy Information of Australia database for previous defaults.

Missed Payments are under Immediate Scrutiny

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, rent must always be paid in advance.  Our systems monitor the timing of payments. If a payment is missed, we act immediately rather than let tenants fall further behind. We offer them a range of payment options including BPay, bank cheque, money order and internet or telephone transfers.

Our property owners receive monthly and bi-monthly payments deposited directly into their accounts.  Electronic statements are emailed simultaneously.  Consequently, they can check that the rent is being received as per the tenancy agreement. We also conduct regular inspections of the rental property to check that the tenants are looking after it.

Options for Tenants at Risk of Arrears

Our tenants are also our clients, and we treat them with the respect they deserve as the occupiers of our rental properties. Sometimes though, despite good references and income, unexpected circumstance arise that affect their ability to pay their rent on time.

We always advise our tenants to contact us immediately their circumstances change. The Position One Property approach is to work with them so they can continue their tenancy where possible. This is always preferable to allowing the situation to get to the point where we have no choice but to take legal action.

Solutions for Both Parties

To further protect our owners, we recommend they take out Landlord Insurance .  This is purely for those rare occasions where tenants have fallen into arrears. An insurance claim in these circumstances allows them to recover lost income. This is another way to minimise the impact of rental arrears where they cannot be avoided. At Position One Property we like to provide both parties with solutions.

Don’t Think Your Credit Score Is Important? Think Again

Searching for that perfect property can be frustrating and time consuming so imagine the disappointment you would feel after making the final decision to buy, then being rejected by a lender when you applied for a loan. With all sorts of emotions and thoughts going on, it would be easy to immediately apply to another lender, but this would be a mistake.

We advise our clients to find out how much they can borrow before they start looking so they know what they can afford. This is where the question of a credit score becomes important as the lender assesses their capacity to repay a mortgage. It also makes it easier for our sales staff at Position One Properties to show them properties in their price range.

Rejected for a Home Loan? Find out Why

If you have been rejected for a home loan, the first thing to do is to find out why. If one lender has already rejected an application, the chances are that others will too, for the same reasons. Being rejected by multiple lenders will have an adverse effect on the credit score which is not what you want. Instead, you need to know how to improve that credit score so the next application is approved.

We suggest to clients in this position that they source a credit repair expert to check their history for any defaults that have been incorrectly assigned to their record. This person can also help with the process needed to get these removed. While this is happening, check personal credit habits like overdrawing on credit cards. This is a clear sign that you are not living within your means. Make sure you pay off any purchases every month.

Keep Your Credit Record Clean

It seems obvious but we need to say it. Pay all your bills on or before the due date and pay off any defaults found on your credit file. Moving house and changing jobs are also behaviours that raise red flags against your name as far as lenders are concerned. Stay in the same job and at the same address until your mortgage is approved. If you have not developed a regular savings habit, start now and have, at the very least, a three months history of regular savings of reasonable amounts.

A Little Pre-Planning Goes a Long Way

Depending on the state of your credit history, this may be a long-term project rather than something you can fix quickly. This is why we suggest to our clients that, if they suspect their credit score is not as it should be to get a home loan, they should first focus all their efforts on establishing good spending and saving habits.

At Position One Property we like to help our clients find the home of their dreams. A little thinking and planning before looking for a mortgage lender will make the search so much easier.

Trying To Save A Home Deposit? Read On!

Despite the recent small rise in interest rates by some of the major banks, there has never been a better time to buy property in Brisbane. Low interest loans and median property prices much lower than Sydney and Melbourne are still attracting buyers into the real estate market.

Buyers with a reasonable deposit are in a much better position to secure their ideal property than those who have to borrow most of the funds. Having a smaller mortgage to service is less stressful and gives the borrowers some room to spend money on other, more pleasurable pursuits. Despite what others may say, it is possible to save a deposit but it does involve commitment.

We asked a few of our clients for their top money-saving suggestions and without exception, they nominated sticking to a budget as the place to start. As boring as it sounds, this advice has been around for many years, but they also offered a few other tips that set them on the property ownership path. To help other prospective buyers, Position One Property suggests using these other additional strategies.

Keep Deposit Savings Separate from Other Funds

Open an interest-bearing account specifically for a property deposit and use whatever means available to lock the funds in so they cannot be plundered for other uses. Commit to making regular deposits. The old adage of saving 10% of your gross income is an excellent place to start. This is likely to have a major impact on the budget for those who spend everything they earn, but having the discipline to change old habits is essential if you are serious about saving a deposit.

Pay Off Existing Loans Quickly

Other debts such as credit cards or a personal loan should be paid off quickly. This will immediately free up hundreds of dollars a month that can be put into the deposit savings account. Again, having a strict budget should leave money available for this that would otherwise have been spent. If not, sell unwanted items at a garage sale or online and use the proceeds to pay off debt.

Be Ruthless with Unnecessary Luxuries

It is surprising how much money we waste on things we could do without. Cancelling TV or other similar subscriptions can save around $100 a month or $1,200 a year. Taking lunch to work instead of buying it every day should save around $200 a month or $2,400 a year.

Get a Part Time Job

For those who can, this is a quick way to boost the deposit savings account. A couple of shifts each week at a restaurant or take-away, mowing lawns or any other casual jobs that suit could add $1,000 a month to the deposit account.
Having given all this advice, the other attribute we notice in people who manage to save a substantial deposit is determination. With the willingness to change old habits and stick to a savings plan, anyone can save a home deposit. When you are ready to look for real estate, contact us here at Position One Property** **and we will help you find your perfect place.

Learn About Landlord Insurance

If you’re new to the world of property investment then you might still be learning the ropes about what you should and shouldn’t do in terms of renting. The first thing you should do when you are ready to rent is to enlist the services of a reputable agent. At Position One we can guarantee we are that agent.

We will expertly guide you through what you need to do to ensure your investment is lucrative and well taken care of. One of the first pieces advice we would like to share is about landlord insurance. While we understand that many people don’t like to spend money on insurance in general, landlord insurance is one type of insurance that you shouldn’t ignore.

Why should you have landlord insurance?

We all know what insurance is for; it is to cover you for any unforseen losses and damage. When it comes to renting your investment you don’t want to skimp on being covered. We do our best to screen all tenants to avoid anything going wrong. However, the sad truth is that sometimes it does.

There are many different covers available from all insurance providers. Generally, what is covered is fire, fixtures, fittings, rent unpaid and more. As each provider may be slightly different you will need to check thoroughly what you are covered for.

Landlord insurance ensures that if something goes wrong and you are covered that you won’t be out of pocket except where excess is concerned. What might have cost you thousands could end up costing hundreds thanks to landlord insurance.

Choosing an insurer

It is important that you shop around when it comes to choosing your insurer. Some will provide cover for more items than others and you always need to check fine print. For example, if you wish to be covered for floods you will need to choose a provider that covers this if your property is in a flood zone.

Being clear on exactly what items are covered and under what terms and conditions is vitally important. Reading terms and conditions can get quite confusing at times and you should always ask the insurer if you have any questions before signing up for anything.

Our team at Position One are ready to assist you in any way they can when it comes to your investment. Contact us for advice on landlord insurers and our screening process for tenants to give you peace of mind that everything will be okay.

Real Estate and Technology

We live in a world surrounded by technology and its faithful users. There is virtually nothing you can’t do, thanks to technology and the trusty smart phone; if it hasn’t been thought of yet, it soon will be.

Already we see apps, et cetera, sprouting up in order to help real estate agents, buyers and renters, amongst others, view more information about homes for sale/rent in certain areas, and these are quite useful.

At Position One we embrace all that technology has to offer and encourage you to use whatever you can on your smart phone to make your search easier.

But let’s not forget the trusty internet in general. When you go old school and head back to your PC or laptop you can easily find out more information about the home, street and suburb where you are thinking of buying. You just need to know where to look.

Social media

Facebook gets frowned upon by many for the day to day hassles it can cause family and friends when personal posts get too much. But it’s not all doom and gloom and Facebook can in fact be used for good purposes.

If you are thinking of living in a particular suburb just search the name on Facebook and you will often find there is a page dedicated to that suburb. On these pages you can see what kind of community events might happen in this area as well as some feedback from other residents.

Google maps

Google maps are great for finding your way around, but that’s not all it can do. If you are looking at a home to rent or buy in a particular street, you can search it on street view via Google maps. This will then allow you, without leaving the comfort of your home or office, to see what the street looks like.

Tidy yards, a clean street, et cetera, are all signs that this is very likely a good street. You can also search shops such as Coles, fuel stations and schools to see how far these are from the street you are considering living in. This will help you decide if the choice will be a good one.

Internet sites

Realestate.com.au and Wikipedia both offer information about various suburbs in Brisbane. A simple search of these allows you to see the median age range, income level, the average rent or purchase price as well as the amount of residents residing here.

You can also ask us at Position One, for our advice on the suburb/s you are looking in. We have many years of extensive experience in the industry and make it our business to have all the information you require so contact us today.

Don’t Make The Common Home Buyer Mistakes

You would have heard the term ‘fools rush in’ many times in your life and hopefully would have avoided experiencing the term yourself first hand. There are many times when it comes to decision making that you need to tread carefully and with plenty of forethought first.

Home buying is one of these decisions where you need to have thoroughly considered your choice before going ahead, as buying a home is a huge commitment. Our Position One property team is a team of professionals with longevity and experience in the industry. They will help you to make the right decision when it comes to buying property.

We will listen to your needs, requests and preferences and not try to force a square peg into a round hole so you end up with a home that is not suitable at all. If you want to avoid making some of the more common mistakes of home buying then come and talk to us and also take heed of the following advice.

Prepare and research

If you have chosen a suburb in which you think you want to buy then research it first. You might find the perfect home but you also need it in the right location to suit your needs and the needs of your family.

Things to consider, depending on your situation, are schools, public transport, shopping and any upcoming construction. The same is also true about researching for the right mortgage with the right lender.

Budget

You need to have your budget sorted before you buy. Get pre-approval if possible from your bank and have a clear plan on how you are going to afford a mortgage for your new home. Never go outside your means and always have a plan in place if the worst occurs, such as a loss of job loss, amongst others.

Market influence

It can be easy to think about waiting for the right time according to the market but this is not always the best way to buy. Buying at the time that suits you financially is best. The market will ebb and flow and you may be tempted to be led by what the media suggests but always go with what is right for you—not the current market.

Emotional decisions

It is very easy to fall in love with a home, possibly the first one or two you see, and want to buy, but don’t do that. Always take the time to think about the decision, view other homes and don’t overstep your budget due to the love for a home.

Contact our office at Position One Property today to set yourself on the right path to making the best decision.

The Ideal Housemate Questionnaire

 

Sharing a rental can make life a lot easier on the hip pocket as well as when it comes to the chores. If you are planning on sharing a rental from our office at Position One Property then it’s important to remember that you are entering a legal agreement.

It is likely that all names will appear on the tenancy agreement and so the choice of whom you live with needs to be made wisely. With this in mind, we have a few suggestions that you might like to ask your potential house mate/s to help you make a more informed decision.

Rental history

History has a way of revealing a lot about a person. The first thing to ask a potential house mate is what their rental history has been over the past five or so years. This will give a good indication of how reliable they are.

For example, someone who has lived in the same place for three or more years is a very good candidate to share with given their answers to the rest of the questions are suitable too. If you are looking at someone who has not had a permanent address in some time and can’t show a history of reliable rent paying, be wary.

There can be perfectly valid reasons for a lack of permanent address, such as travelling, but the reason needs to be valid. You don’t want to add someone to the lease who is unreliable and flaky at staying in one place too long.

Employment

The importance of employment history is right at the top of the list with rental history for generally the same reasons. You want to share with someone who can remain gainfully employed with a steady income.

This means they can and will pay their share of the rent and other expenses and not asking for a loan on a regular occasion. It again also shows reliability.

When you ask about the history of renting and employment this is a good time to ask if they have any references.

A day in the life of…

When choosing a housemate you want someone whose schedule is fairly similar to yours. For instance if you are a night shift worker then another night shift worker is likely to be the most ideal. 9 to 5 workers are better off with the same.

People who like to go out and drink until all hours on the weekend and come home noisily in the AM, are not going to share a space well with a gym instructor who doesn’t drink at all and likes a good night’s rest. Match your habits, working and social preferences well.

Single or attached?

This might not seem like a big issue. But, it can be if your flat mate has a partner who will be there most nights a week; you might not be happy about that scenario. It will also be wise to ask if they have a partner whether they plan to live together any time soon.

For single people the question may seem invasive but you should ask if they date a lot or bring ‘randoms’ home after a night out. You need to ask yourself if either of these situations will make you feel uncomfortable.

If you would like any advice on how to go about setting up a shared rental lease, contact our professional Position One Property team today.

The Ideal Housemate Questionnaire

Renting a Shared House – What You Need to Know

If you have read John Birmingham’s ‘He Died with a Felafel in His Hand’ you are probably well versed in what not to look for in a shared house, and all the worst case scenarios. These are the scenarios that make property rental companies such as Position One Property cringe, so it’s best to avoid them if you want a good rental history behind you. For those who want to enter into a healthy shared house opportunity but have never done it before, here is some helpful information to get you started.

What Do You Want?

The first thing you need to do is work out what you are looking for in a shared house. You could either rent one yourself and populate it with awesome people, or join an existing one. Do you want to live in an apartment, or in shared student accommodation? How much rent are you willing to pay? Once you have worked out what you are looking for you will have an idea about where to go from there.

Moving In

When moving into a shared house (whether starting one up or going into an already established one), you will need a bit of money behind you to cover the initial start-up costs. These may include bond (4 weeks’ rent), 2 weeks’ rent in advance and a share in electricity, gas and internet. Depending on how much furniture you can muster up, you may need to buy some, or arrange for it to be moved to your new place.

Day-to-day

As with any other relationship, the opportunity to live in a shared house with other humans brings you a variety of experiences to learn and grow from. When choosing the right share house for you, you might want to visit the place to get an idea about how the current tenants like to live. For example, if you are a non-muso moving into a musician’s shared house, be prepared for lots of music to be played day and night. If you are living with students, be prepared that there will be certain times of year when everyone is a bit stressed, such as exam time. It is important to communicate about what you need and maintain an open, honest relationship with your housemates through the changing times of life.

Legalities

When moving into the house you may want to become a co-tenant, which means that your name will be on the lease, or a sub-tenant which will require you to get a written statement of your status from the lease-holding tenant. Initially, when you move into a shared house everything is usually fun and rainbows, and you may not anticipate what could go wrong, so it is important to be sure that you know your legal standing and that you are happy with it. One of the downsides of going on a lease in a shared house is that you may be responsible if the property is damaged by a non-lease-holding tenant.

Moving Out

When choosing to move out of a rental property there are legal boundaries to protect all parties, so making sure that you know where you stand is an important preparation during the ‘moving in phase’. Position One Property has seen both sides of the fence in terms of tenants who have prepared for a smooth exit, and those who have not, and they urge you to know your rights and prepare for anything that may come along.

Improving Rentals For Greater Appeal Is Not Difficult Or Expensive

With over 30% of Australia’s adult population living in rental accommodation, and almost half of those in the 18 to 34 year old demographic, owners of rental properties can do much to attract the most desirable of these house hunters. A recent survey of renters has given some indication of the influencing factors that determine what they want in suitable rental accommodation.

What Do Good Tenants Want in a Rental?

On top of the list was location, with proximity to services such as shopping, medical facilities, schools and transport also a high priority. For a prospective investor yet to purchase their first property, this is excellent information that, should they act on it, will add considerable value to their investment.

Those who already own rental properties should not despair, however, because other influencing factors revealed in the survey can be easily incorporated into their existing properties. Here at Position One Property we were not surprised to see that car accommodation was up there with the other desirable attributes.

Tenants Want Their Cars Secured and Under Cover

Those of our tenants who commute to work via public transport still have a vehicle they use after hours or at weekends. This is a considerable investment for them, and they want to park it off the street, preferably under cover. If your rental property does not have car accommodation, a free standing car port will satisfy most tenants, especially when hail storms appear on the horizon.

The number of bedrooms in a rental was also high on the list of factors influencing renters’ choices. We find that extra bedrooms attract a wider range of renters, and such properties command higher rents. If your current property has a verandah or home office that can be converted into a bedroom, it will be easier to rent and give you a better return on investment.

Use Storage Space and Built-ins to Attract Good Tenants

Storage space was another factor influencing renters. Most people these days have a lot of possessions and they would rather find a property where they can have them at hand than pay to put them in storage. We recommend to our rental owners that they install cupboards wherever they are practical, and even place a small shed in the back yard for tools, mowers and other possession that don’t need to be in the house.

Renters also love properties with built-in wardrobes, as most of them don’t want the inconvenience of transporting their own when they move. Floor to ceiling wardrobes are the most efficient as they not only provide more storage space, but there are no spaces at the top to collect dust. Mirrored doors also reflect light, which makes the rooms look bigger and lighter. If the bedrooms in your rental property are dark and pokey, this is a perfect way to solve two problems with one outlay.

We work hard to attract good tenants for our owners so for them to meet us halfway by spending a little to upgrade their property is a good outcome for them and for Position One Property.

 

Rental Inspection Checklist to Help Avoid Rental Inspection Stress

Our Simple and Helpful Rental Inspection Checklist

If you are new to the being a tenant game, you may get a little stressed leading up to your property inspections. Even if you are an old hand at being a tenant you may feel you are being judged.

This is simply not the case.

Yes, as the appointed agent of the property owner, Position One Property  take our job very seriously and intend to ensure that the property you are living in is taken care of well.

But relax, we are not going to judge you for not doing the dishes or laundry.

We have compiled a list of things we look out for when conducting these regular inspections but also highlight how you can turn these into a positive experience for you and guarantee your ability to stay in the home long term.

Cleanliness is Key

We realise we have just told you we don’t judge your habits but it is essential to keep the home you are living in clean.

This means not letting any mildew build up in the bathroom or cooking fats to settle on the splash back or the tops of cupboards.

If the carpet or walls are soiled in any way, such as dirt, grease, red wine, et cetera, it is your responsibility to clean it promptly to avoid staining.

Keep Gardens and Grounds Trimmed and Clipped

It is essential to keep the grounds of the property neat and tidy.

Regular mowing, mulching, weeding and pruning are all essential.

Likewise, if the property possesses a pool it must be maintained in an appropriate manner.

Conduct Minor Repairs

As a rule of thumb, if there are any structural issues with the building or its grounds the property owner is responsible for its care and maintenance.

If any breakages or damage is caused by yourself it will be your responsibility to repair or replace it. As an example:

• If you put a hole in the wall when moving your furniture around or you accidentally back your car over the clothes line, this will be your responsibility.

• If you discover the retaining wall or fence is becoming dilapidated or riddled with white ants. This is the landlord’s responsibility.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

If you believe there are issues the landlord needs to address, now is the time to speak up whilst you have someone on site to inspect.

Also, if you are dreaming of something extra such as asking for new carpets, repainting a bedroom or perhaps even installing an air conditioner, this is a good time to broach the subject.

We trust you’ve found this rental inspection checklist helpful – if you’d like further guidance or have comments, questions or suggestions, please call on 07 3843 4511.