Tag Archives: maintenance

Vacant rental? It’s time to get to work!

Vacant rental? It's time to get to work!

Finding your dream tenant is very much like finding your dream client in business. The more you can do up front, will save you a lot of time and headaches down the track. When tenants move out, there is always some wear and tear so spending time getting your rental up to scratch before renting it out again is always worth it.

A well looked after property gives the impression that they will have a landlord or property manager who will look after them. New tenants will feel like they will be able to reach out if they have problems or maintenance issues which need to be dealt with quickly.

Here are some tips to make sure your rental property is rented again as soon as possible.

Update your rental

Take advantage of the vacancy to refresh the property. Whether you just need to do something simple like building a deck, re-painting or replacing the kitchen or bathroom, it much easier to get it done before you rent the property out again. Use the downtime between tenants to your advantage and get any planned upgrades completed during this time when the work will not disturb your tenants.

With your property well maintained, clean, and fresh, you’ll be ready and make a good impression on your next client. A little extra care applied to these simple things will help you start off your next landlord-tenant relationship on the right foot.

Sort out any maintenance issues

Some tenants will report every minor problem during their tenancy while others will let things slide. See what needs some attention and before your next tenant moves in, make sure any required repairs are taken care of.

Walk through the entire property with a checklist and fix anything that needs it.

  • Check that the smoke detector is working and has new batteries
  • Check for dripping taps and fix any that are.
  • Make sure every door has the proper knob or handle.
  • Check for cracked window panes and replace.
  • Check all screens (doors and windows) to ensure they open and close and have strong locks on them.
  • Look at the paint on the walls and ceilings. It depends on when it was painted last; you may get away with just wiping them clean.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have great tenants who leave the place in better shape than when they got it, but even with great tenants, there are always a few things to clean up upon move-out.

  • Air conditioner filters – these need to be done on a monthly basis so make sure your new tenant knows how to do this, moving forward.
  • Exhaust vents and fans. These get very dirty, so they also may need a thorough clean if the previous tenants haven’t kept up with it – especially the kitchen range hood.

What other things do you do to get your rental ready for the next tenant?

Attract amazing tenants to your rental by doing these 5 things

true-property-attract-amazing-tenants-to-your-rental-by-doing-these-5-things

The purpose of investing in property is to make money, and you can increase your income by adding value to the property over time. This will allow charging more rent, and if you want to sell in the future, you will get a much higher sale price.

There are a few things you can do to increase the value of your property that will attract better tenants and allow you to charge more rent.

Kitchen and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses (whether you are looking for a tenant or a buyer, you are ‘selling’). That’s a fact. Everyone wants a gorgeous, practical bathroom and kitchen. If you can only afford to update these rooms, you’ll still attract the right tenants. Add a lick of paint and replace the taps if your budget is tight.

More storage options

The most common issue most renters have is that there is never enough storage. Resolve this issue for them by building a garden shed, turning the carport into a garage or including thoughtful wardrobe storage. Get creative and convert the unused area under the stairs into fantastic storage. Look for inspiration Pinterest to find endless ways to deal with storage.

Neutral colours appeal to more people

When updating your rental, replace carpets and curtains with neutral colours. If you’re tempted to include a bright feature wall, you’ll reduce the number of people who want to rent it if it doesn’ got with their belongings.

Gardens and Backyard

A beautiful garden, with excellent fencing, will go a long way in attracting tenants. It broadens the appeal of who will be interested. A fully fenced property is ideal for professional couples or a family with small children or a dog. If you can add a fence to your property, it will be worth your while.

Outdoor patio or deck

Everyone loves to relax outside, so having a patio or deck that naturally flows from the inside will make tenants happy. The house will look a lot bigger when you have open homes, and your prospective tenants can visualise themselves entertaining their friends and family.

Those are some fundamental changes that you can make that should add value to your property. What other ideas do you have that will appeal to potential tenants?

4 things you’re doing wrong as a new landlord

When you are a new landlord, it can be hard to know what to expect and what you need to do to maximise your income.

Here are some common pitfalls that many new landlords find out about the hard way.

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Not charging the right rent

When you buy a property, do some research on similar properties in your area. If you set the rent too high, no one will want to rent it and it will sit vacant while you lose money. On the other hand, if the rent is set too low you won’t make any profits and not only that, you may attract undesirable tenants.

A property manager will be able to inform you on similar rentals and advise you on an acceptable price.

Not keeping track of payments

Money should always be on your mind. If your tenant doesn’t pay their rent, it can be a very lengthy process to resolve and could leave you considerably out-of-pocket.

Keep tabs every week or month when rent is due and if your tenant doesn’t pay on time, you can send them a notice. This process varies from state to state so be aware of your local laws.

Monitoring rent payments and contacting tenants sooner rather than later may help resolve issues and mitigate any financial loss.

Not doing regular maintenance

The #1 complaint from tenants is that their landlords take too long to do repairs. Not following through can put unnecessary strain on your relationship.

If a maintenance issue arises and you don’t fix it, you may be liable if your tenant injures themselves.

Sometimes, the tenant may decide to fix it himself or hire a shoddy contractor, which can cause more damage to the property. Make repairs a priority and ensure they are completed to a satisfactory standard.

Trying to self-manage a property

It can be stressful for landlords to manage their investment properties. Most of them simply don’t have time to do it. Yes, you can save money by doing it yourself, but the benefits of having someone take care of everything for you can outweigh the costs.

Property managers will check the property on a regular basis to see what maintenance needs to be done. They also find and screen tenants, and they have a list of tenants who are known for not paying rent, damaging their rentals and being evicted.

If a dispute arises with a tenant, property managers know the correct procedures to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

 

Hiring a property manager eliminate these mistakes for you. Contact True Property Management for more information.

What is the process of becoming a landlord?

There is more to it than just buying properties then collecting rent.

Here are the usual stages a landlord goes through:

 true-property-what-is-the-process-of-becoming-a-landlord

Inspiration

You have the idea to invest in property.

Perhaps a family member has encouraged you, or friends are doing it well.

Whatever the reason, the seed has been planted and you have the inspiration to follow-up on this idea.

Research

Researching takes time but it’s important.

Research all the areas that you think you’d like to invest in.

What type of property do you want to invest in?

What team members do you need to hire? (Property Manager, Accountant, Legal representative)

Financing

How are you going to pay for it?

Who in your team can help you make decisions?

Some finance issues may come under the research section, but for others, it can be a separate category.

Paperwork

Decide how you are going to purchase your property. What type of insurance will you need?

What type of insurance will you need?

What contracts will you need?

Don’t skip this step!

We know paperwork isn’t exciting, but you need to know all of the legal issues and have everything in place BEFORE you start looking for a property.

Search and Purchase

You’ve got the money.

You’ve done the research.

All of the legal issues are ironed out.

Now it’s now time to find your dream rental property.

You’ve got an excellent team who know how to get a good deal.

 

Renovate it

Put your stamp on the property – add value if you can.

Get advice from your contractors.

If you don’t have contractors, find them!

Your ideal tenant needs to fall in love with it.

A great contractor will save you money in the long-run on these points.

Are you using a Property Manager for your property?

If so, I would advise that you get them involved in this step – BEFORE you start to renovate.

A Property Manager will be able to give you great advice on what you should and shouldn’t do to maximise your rental yield.

Promote

If you haven’t hired a Property Manager, you’ll need to handle the marketing yourself, including taking outstanding photos.

Photos can make or break a property.

Your potential tenant’s first impression is likely to be the pictures they see online – so make them appealing.

Then you need to advertise your property in all the places your ideal tenant will be looking.

When you arrange an open home, get there early and have all the paperwork you need.

Always be friendly and welcoming.

You have to make a good impression.

Screen potential tenants

This is non-negotiable.

The screening process is the key to long-term, responsible tenants.

Do everything you should do – and then some.

You will not regret it if you do the work.

But if you decide NOT to spend the time and effort at this point, and the tenant turns into a nightmare, you will kick yourself for years.

You can hand this over to a Property Manager to take care of if you don’t want to deal with this.

Sign and collect

Sign the lease, collect the bond.

Make sure you use a rock-solid contract, that spells everything out and that you go through it ALL with your tenants.

This way your new tenants cannot claim they ‘didn’t know’ they weren’t allowed to sub-lease the property.

Make sure that all adults that are living at the property are named, and they all sign the lease.

Moving Day

Deliver the keys to the tenant, and lend them a hand.

Go the extra mile, give them a ‘welcome’ gift of essentials (toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, tea towel, milk, etc.)

You’ll make a good impression, and your tenant will be grateful.

At the very least provide a contact sheet with your details, the day rubbish is collected, local takeaway places, and other local knowledge.

Collect the Rent

Once you set up an automatic payment there shouldn’t be many hassles with collecting rent, but sometimes there are teething issues, so monitor carefully.

Repair, Maintain, and Inspect

When your tenant calls with an issue, sort it out ASAP.

The sooner you get on top of a leaking tap the better it is in the long-run.

The tenant will understand that you’re responsive, and the property is valuable to you, and you expect the same in return.

Make sure you inspect the property as outlined in your lease, this way you can address issues straight away.

Renew or Re-list

Hopefully, you’ve made a great impression on your tenants, and they want to stay, so renew that lease.

If not, then start the process again at step 6 if you need to.

Do you need to do any touch ups before you re-list the property?

If you want to hand the management of property over to a Property Manager, contact True Property Management.

Tips on presenting your rental property

True Property -Tips on presenting your rental property

When a tenant visits your property, first impressions matter. It goes without saying that well-presented properties will get higher rent and will usually attract high-quality tenants.

The first step in deciding how to present your rental is to determine who your ideal tenant is. Certain tenants would rather save money and live in a cheaper property that may not be up to the same standard as what a professional person would want. You don’t want to rent to anyone and everyone. When you narrow it down and know who you are targeting, presenting your property becomes a whole lot easier.

Here are some tips to make sure your property appeals to your ideal tenant:

  • Get your curb appeal up to scratch. People do judge books by their covers so make your rental beautiful and appealing when they first drive by. How your rental looks from the street will determine if prospective tenants will even stop their car.
  • If you are going to paint, go the whole hog. The thing about paint is that when you paint some areas and not others, it’s really obvious. Use neutral colours as they will appeal to most people.
  • Repair leaky taps, broken light fittings, and loose door handles. Replace all of the lightbulbs that blown. Clean out the gutters and fix torn fly screens. All of these little maintenance issues are better to sort out now while no one is living there, and before they become big issues.
  • Get rid of odours that you may not notice but prospective tenants will, such as cigarette or pet smells. As we mentioned in our last post, it may be worth having the carpets and curtains cleaned, neither of which is very expensive.

What other presentation tips do you think are crucial to attracting your ideal tenant?

Visit our website for more property presentation tips and other resources for the property investor.

Can you give your rental a makeover in a hour?

True Property -Can you give your rental a makeover in a hour?

Your tenants have moved out and now you have to dig in and give your rental property a spruce up before showing it to new tenants.

Sounds overwhelming right?

It really doesn’t have to be, though. It’s amazing how little you need to do to make it look beautiful for new tenants. There is a caveat, of course, if your property has been well maintained and there is nothing major that needs to be repaired. If your property is due for some regular maintenance and repairs,  now is the best time since you don’t need to work around people and all of their stuff.

Get some friends or family together and here’s what you can do in an hour:

Tidy up outside

The Garden: An overgrown yard is unappealing, so weed, mow, straighten out the yard, put in some flowers (or leave the beds ready to plant veggies) and re-grass any bald patches, add mulch and it will look great.
The Letterbox: Is it looking rather tired and beaten up? Give it a lick of paint, or replace it.
The Fence: Any repairs that need to be done? Would a coat of paint (if applicable) be a good idea?

Hiring a high-powered pressure washer is a great idea. Clean the house, the drive, the steps, the fence, the garage. Get rid of mould, mildew, dirt and neglect. This is probably the one area that will give you the biggest bang with little effort (apart from getting wet).

Get cracking inside

Clean the carpets/floors, the windows, walls and ceilings. Make it smell and look fresh and clean.
Repair any wobbly bits or broken bits. Think about hinges, door stops picture holes etc.
If you don’t want to paint everything, refresh the framing around the windows.
Replace hardware and window treatments (if the budget allows).

If you had a team of people working on the property and they all took on one of the above tasks, I’m sure it would only take an hour to get the property spruced up.

What else would you do to get your rental tenant-ready in a short amount of time?

Get your rental ready for the next tenant

True Property -get your rental ready for the next tenants
Tenants are more likely to care for a property if it is presented in a clean, neat, and tidy manner. The preparation you put into getting your property ready for rental will also result in making it more appealing to your ideal tenants.

A well-looked after rental also gives the impression that they will have a landlord or property manager who cares about the property. They know they will be able to reach out to you if they have problems or maintenance issues which need to be dealt with quickly.

Here are some tips to ensure you get the best tenants possible, as quickly as possible:

Take care of repairs

Some tenants will report every minor problem during their tenancy while others will let things slide. See what needs some attention and before your next tenant moves in, make sure any required repairs are taken care of.

Walk through the entire property with a checklist and fix anything that needs it.

  • Check all lights have working lightbulbs and replace any that have blown.
  • Put brand new batteries in every smoke detector and test them to make sure they are working properly. Replace them immediately if they aren’t.
  • Check for dripping taps and fix any that are.
  • Make sure every door has the proper knob or handle.
  • Check for cracked window panes and replace.
  • Check all screens (doors and windows) to ensure they open and close and have sturdy locks on them.
  • Look at the paint on the walls and ceilings. It depends on when it was painted last, you may get away with just wiping them clean.

Make sure it is spotless

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have great tenants who leave the place in better shape than it was when they got the keys, but even with great tenants there are always a few things to clean up upon move-out. The cleaner your property is when your new tenants move in, the cleaner it is likely to be when they leave.

  • All floor surfaces, thoroughly. You may want to get professional carpet cleaners in to do a shampoo. It depends on the state the previous tenants left it.
  • Air conditioner filters – these need to be done on a monthly basis so make sure your new tenant knows how to do this, moving forward.
  • Inside cupboards and drawers. Also depending how old the property is, you may want to consider painting cupboards.
  • Windows. This goes without saying. All tenants want to see the windows shining and streak and smudge-free.
  • Exhaust vents and fans. These get very dirty so they also may need a thorough clean if the previous tenants hasn’t kept up with it.
  • Walls and ceilings. As mentioned before, you may need to repaint or just wipe clean.
  • Gardens and any outside buildings. Mow lawn, tidy gardens and remove any rubbish left behind.

Update your rental

Take advantage of any vacancy between tenants to update your property. Whether you just need to do something simple like cleaning up the yard and adding a fresh coat of paint, or something more complex like replacing a kitchen or bathroom, it is easiest to get any work done when the property is vacant. Use the downtime between tenants to your advantage and get any planned upgrades completed during this time when the work will not disturb your tenants.

With your property well maintained, clean, and fresh, you’ll be ‘rent ready’ and make a good impression upon your next client. A little extra care applied to these simple things will help you start off your next landlord-tenant relationship on the right foot.

What other things do you do to get your rental ready for the next tenant?