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The Homeowner’s Handbook – How to Be a Successful Landlord

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Real Estate Radar, Special Reports, Variety

For the average Melbournian the dream of a comfortable retirement will mean early planning and investing. Home buyers in the past thirty years in particular, appear to have enjoyed their own personal game of monopoly, buying and selling property – creating and building impressive portfolios and making substantial profits.

Whilst that may have been the impression from afar, for some investors the story hasn’t gone so smoothly. Enjoying an uneventful and successful experience as a landlord is far from a game of chance. For every landlord laughing all the way to the bank, there will be those who have battled with non-paying tenants, destroyed property and numerous trips to VCAT.

House keys

Two ingredients

The two most vital components of a successful tenancy in Victoria are, selecting the ideal tenant and identifying and securing exceptional property management in Melbourne. Fortunately, a hard working property management agent can be key to finding and  retaining the optimum tenant for your residence and once established, managing the tenancy. This is achieved through:

● Stringent reference checking of prospective tenants

● Attending  OFI’s (Open for Inspections)

● Arranging bi-annual or quarterly property inspections

● Managing maintenance and repair issues

● Controlling contracts and lease renewals

● Tracking rental payments and monthly statements

● Chasing rent arrears when required

● Attending VCAT as needed

● Scheduling regulatory fire equipment safety checks

● Holding regular inspections and providing landlords with a comprehensive report

Few landlords have the time, inclination or knowledge to control the complexities of managing their property. They are even less well equipped to understand their legal responsibilities…

Letter of the Law

The Residential Tenancies Act of Victoria can be a complicated minefield for landlords. Navigating one’s way around rules such as rental arrears or evictions requires an expert with the time, energy and expertise to truly look out for your best interests. The legal minutiae of forms, contracts and leases need to follow a protocol which laymen may find time consuming and arduous.

Additionally, property agents are accredited and thus have a wealth of information surrounding the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant. They also do the legwork, contacting references to assess tenants rental history and ability to uphold lease conditions and payments.

There are also rules surrounding the lodgement of the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. Your property management will keep you abreast of both yours and your tenants rights and responsibilities including claims and refunds.

Keep tenants happy

Once you have good tenants – those who pay the rent regularly and keep the home in a reasonable state of repair, don’t take them for granted. Good tenants are hard to find and should be treated with respect.

This can be done in and number of ways including, authorising your property managers to carry out repairs or maintenance in a timely manner and ensuring that any concerns which affect the tenants comfort or quiet enjoyment of the property, are attended to quickly.

Keeping rent rises to a minimum is another way to keep tenants happy. An extra $10 or $20 per week may seem a small sum to you but may be stretching a tenants resources to the limit.

Pinpointing a property

Finally, before committing to an investment property, do your sums. A solid rental yield is achieved by purchasing a lower cost property in comparison to the percentage of rent achieved. Depending on the suburb where you buy, look to achieve at least four or five percent.

This percentage figure can be reached by calculating the gross annual rental amount and dividing this by the cost of the property and then multiplying this figure by 100.

A successful tenancy is a quiet one. The rent gets paid on time, the property is well cared for and issues get dealt with quickly. With a reliable tenant and a hard working agent, a landlord has the ingredients which go a long way to ensuring a secure long term investment.

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