There’s far more to managing a rental property than counting the money when the rent comes in. For one thing, there’s a whole process involved in ensuring that it does come in. It ranges from finding the tenant through administration and maintenance to sometimes being forced to evict that same tenant, and start all over again. Baxton Property Management in Hobart paints the big picture of some of the issues that property owner-managers have to face, starting with finding a tenant.
When it all seems so easy
With the documents involved in buying your first (or fifth) rental property still wet with your signature, and the keys to the property in your hand, you may well be busy planning the path to your investment’s success. However, you may be too busy doing that to realise the potholes and tree roots that might delay you on that path, or the lack of signposts that might leave you lost before you reach your destination.
Basic groundwork involves determining from the outset what your goals are for your investment property. And what it will require to get there. First off, you will need to see that your rental property meets the minimum standards called for by the Tasmanian Government office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading. And then learn everything there is to know about tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities in terms of state regulations.
Getting and keeping the right tenant
While there are instances where the first person to apply for a rental is just perfect, it certainly doesn’t always happen. You will have chosen your rental property for its location and the type of tenants it will attract. But you will still need to find out the market value for rent in that area and start advertising and marketing the property as soon as possible to get the right one of these tenants moving in.
And if you want that to happen quickly and effectively, that marketing campaign is going to take more than a little note on the local notice board, or a quick Facebook post with a cell phone photo attached. Days, weeks and months of your property standing empty, will cut into your cash flow and negatively influence the return on your investment.
The next step is to organise viewings for those prospective tenants who respond to your marketing. In a boom town like Hobart with its low vacancy rate at present, there may be a long queue forming. That is good news, but involves extra organization, and possibly more time spent on the inspection or viewing process. And with many applicants, you will need to devote a lot of time to sorting through the list.
Don’t settle for just anyone
Which tenant do you choose? You don’t just want any tenant – you want to get the right tenant. You want someone who will pay the rent and pay it on time every time, and one who will look after your property as if it were their own. This is unlikely to happen through pure luck. A whole process is involved in sifting through the possible applicants and finding the gold nugget.
Have a comprehensive tenant application form ready which will provide you with personal information about each applicant, and a list of references so you can check on both character and income. Next, you will have to contact those references and ask the right questions. And this will have to be done regarding each and every applicant. Make sure you do it.
The Tenancy Agreement
A good tenancy agreement contains clauses that satisfy all aspects of the Australian Residential Tenancy Act of 1977. The Tasmanian Government Rental Guide can be a good starting point for owners in Hobart, as well as handy for tenants wanting to check the agreement for themselves.
There are standard tenancy agreement forms available, but make sure the tenancy agreement you and your tenant sign includes every question made and answer given by either you or the tenant regarding the tenancy, even if they seem simple, obvious, or inane at the time. It could prevent time-consuming (and possibly costly) disputes later, when the but-you-said accusations arise on either side.
Going through this process whenever a tenant enters or vacates the property, can be time consuming and costly. There may come a time when you consider the workload, time, stress and areas of expertise that are involved in making your investment property work for you. You may decide it makes no financial or any other kind of sense, not to hand it over to the professionals. Baxton Property Management in Hobart is one of Tasmania’s top property management specialists. Why not visit their website?
Written and syndicated by
– Baxton Media.
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