Tag Archives: property manager

How can a property management company help you?

 

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If you own a rental property, someone has to manage it. Yes, you can do it yourself, but let’s be realistic here, do you really have time to do it? This is where hiring a professional management company can save you time and energy.

What is property management?

It’s the managing, or handling, of real estate property by someone other than the owner. Most often, it is handled by a management firm that might handle more than one client’s real estate properties.

It goes without saying that quality is a big issue with this service. A sound management firm will act as a go-between for the property owner and the tenants, handling any questions and complaints that the tenants might have so that the owner does not need to deal with them. This kind of service can include collecting rent to hiring gardeners and maintenance contractors. They can keep an eye on repairs that need to be done, and suggest improvements on the property to the real estate owner.

Property managers can also be essential in keeping an eye on your property – making sure that no one is vandalising your investment, and taking care of problem tenants as well. The actions that manager may have to take can include eviction, as well as involving the authorities, tasks that a real estate investor may not want to do. They can also be used as arbitrators between tenants, when disputes arise that are not severe enough to involve the police or other authorities.

When done well, property management is the answer to a lot of issues that real estate investors might face. The management team can do the hands on work while the investors reap the profits.

Visit us for more information on how a Property Management company can assist you with your rental property.

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Do you have different leases for different tenants?

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Tenants moving out is always stressful. Landlords worry about how the rental will be left, and tenants just want to get their bond back.

Your lease agreement states that the tenant should leave the property how it was when they moved in, except for ‘normal wear and tear.’

But what does that mean?

Tenants think that landlords charge for every little scratch and owners believe that tenants aren’t careful enough and should pay for the damage they have caused.

The problem is there is no precise definition of ‘normal wear and tear.’

The easiest way is to hire a Property Manager who has experience with all aspects of working with tenants, and they will be able to give you clear guidelines on what to expect.

But if you do not have a property manager, there are some things you can do to protect yourself as a landlord and as a tenant.

Put it in your lease

The best way to avoid issues is to document it in writing. Make sure you have this clause in your rental agreement and write in detail what is considered normal.

For example, worn carpets, paint chips and nail holes from hanging pictures are considered normal.

But provide some examples of what you would expect tenants to pay for, such as; stains on the carpets, gouges out of the wall (where hanging pictures went wrong), chunks out of the wooden floors, broken windows – or broken anything.

If you have a range of options, then the tenants can see what to expect. If there will be pets, make sure you clarify how you want the rental left when they move out. Are scratches on the floor or walls acceptable?

Take lots of photos

When new tenants are moving into the property, take lots of photos or video of the property to minimise any disputes when they move out. Walk through the house together and point out any areas that you are aware of. Encourage the tenant to add to the list.

At True Property Management, we do regular inspections of all of our rentals, and we take lots of photos of every room in the house. We then send it to the landlord in a report.

Repair as soon as possible

Tell your tenant to call you if anything breaks. Small things can quickly add up. If repairs aren’t urgent, the tenant should document it and take photos, so you have a record of it.

Have various agreements for different situations

Something that most landlords don’t take into consideration when writing their contracts is who will be living in the property.

This can drastically affect what condition the property will be in when they move out. What is ‘normal wear and tear’ for a single professional will be radically different to what is ‘normal wear and tear’ for a family of 5 with a cat and a dog.

You mightn’t expect the walls to be painted, but you will probably get a few more dents on the wall and maybe some stains on the carpet. It’s worth the extra effort have an agreement that covers different situations.

Normal wear and tear

So in the end, normal wear and tear it comes down to someone’s word against another. Repainting, cleaning the carpet and a few nail holes and marks are normal, but if it’s more than that, it could be a problem. So take precautions, write it clearly in the contract, or ask for it to be written out, taking pictures, even ask questions about what to expect, then write it down and sign it.

Contact True Property Management to take care of all of your inspections, find great tenants and determine what is ‘normal wear and tear’ when they move out.

What does a property manager actually do?

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Many new landlords buy their first rental and think they can manage it themselves. And they often do, but then life gets in the way, and you start to fall behind. Or maybe, you buy a second rental and the workload piles up. Property management is a full-time job. We know! We live and breathe it every day.

If you are a business person, you’ll know that success comes when you start outsourcing/delegating. Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest to professionals who are experts in the field. But, many you’re wondering: how will a property management company actually help me?

Property Inspections

Regular inspections of your rental is an essential part of property security and peace of mind. If your property is vacant, then we endeavour to visit the property each week to ensure all is secure and in tip-top condition. Once there are tenants in the property for 3 months, then we start regular house inspections every 6 months.

During the inspection, we look at everything and let you know if there are any issues like:

  • Any short-term maintenance that needs to be done
  • Any large renovation jobs that may be required in the future (giving you options of how to handle it)
  • We will let you know if the tenants are looking after the property, and that nothing neglectful is happening, or likely to occur.
  • We organise your annual servicing of heating, cleaning gutters and check the gardens – pruning back large trees is an easier job when you keep on top of it.

Vacancies and Tenants

We advertise your vacancy, screen potential tenants to make sure they are suitable and contact their references. We know all of our tenants well, and we can match them with the best possible rental for their needs. If they are happy that the property is close to work, shopping and desired schools, they will stay there for longer.

Other things we love to do

We make sure you are getting the maximum market rent for your area, and we spend time looking for quality tenants, which often means long-term tenants. Your vacancy periods are reduced, which then increases your income. We also collect your rent for you each week, deal with tenants who don’t pay and provide you with rental statements.

If you need help managing your rental property, contact us at True Property Management.

Landlords, what do you look like to your tenants?

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You have bought an awesome rental property, and now you need to fill it with an equally awesome tenant. Someone who will take care of your property and stay there for some time – great tenants are attracted to properties with specific qualities.


How do you come across to your tenants?

If you had a shop and customer was looking at a $15,000 item, how would you treat them?

If your tenant is paying you $300 a week rent, over 12 months that’s $15,000. Not only are they paying you money and paying the mortgage, but they are giving you all the appreciation value for free. It pays to treat your customer (and your investment) as a top priority.

Did you stop and think about how you dress when you meet your potential tenants? Do you show up in an old t-shirt and worn shoes?

Tenants will judge how well maintained your property is by the way you present yourself – both in appearance and in attitude. Present yourself well, and it will help you get what you are looking for.

Be on time and be organised

You’re hosting an open home for your rental. You are half and hour late, your car is a mess, and your fumbling to find the paperwork you’re looking for.
It doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Or, your first prospect arrives at the open home, it’s all opened up with your checklists and application forms a neatly laid out. You then efficiently talk them through the features of the property and show them around. You let them know what’s expected of them as tenants. If they are your ideal tenant, they’ll stick around.

Turning Pro

Be professional at all times, and it will make tenants feel reassured, and they’ll know what is expected of them. Present a dishevelled chaotic persona and the bad tenants know they can treat your property with the same manner.
There is a lot to be said for personal attitude. If you don’t think you can present yourself as a professional, organised and efficient landlord, consider a property manager – an organised and professional one!

If you need a property manager, contact us at True Property Management to find out how we can help you.

What should I look for in a property management company?

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Having excellent property management is essential for your investment. The owner should not need to worry about their rental at all when they hire a property manager. Here are some things to look for to make sure your property is in good hands.

Tailored fee structures

Most property management companies have a fee schedule in place. The ability to tailor this feed to meet your individual requirements is critical.

Avoid add-on fees

Many property managers are looking to make money at every opportunity and add-on fees wherever they can. These include occupancy charges, marketing fees, advertisement fees, and so on. A good property manager will give a landlord a flat rate for their costs and then stick with it. Doing this provides stability, predictability and impacts your ability to manage your investment portfolio.

Communication is essential

A good property manager regularly updates their client and lets them know immediately about any issues with the rental property. They recommend steps to stop the problem quickly. Additionally, a good manager also provides regular contact information for 24/7 access. From your initial conversation regarding the fee structure, through to regular contact concerning your investment property; you should feel comfortable asking questions, relaying instructions and receiving advice.

Not all investment properties are created equal

There are those who are general property managers and others who understand rentals with specific needs. A good property manager is one who has the experience to identify and meet the unique requirements of a property that won’t be completed by general services.

Frequent and timely financial reporting

A property investor wants to know where his income is and if there are any problems. Good property management involves coordinating and tracking the financial information for your investment property and providing this to you in an accurate, regular and easy to understanding format; keeping the value of the business safe and transparent. Many property managers now provide secure online information, allowing you to log on and look at your reports as little or as often as you required.

Provide a comprehensive service

A good property management company will understand the concept of complete management and take care of multiple services for your investment property. Beyond just collecting the rent, your chosen property manager should provide legal assistance, screening, background checks, collection services, and organising maintenance requirements through their network of tradespeople.

In summary, choosing a good property management will provide you will peace of mind knowing your investment property is protected and providing you with the best return on your investment possible.

If you are looking for a property management company to take care of your rentals, contact us today.

Do I really need to hire a property manager?

Congratulations! You are now the owner of a brand new, shiny rental, and now you’re excited to get things going. It’s likely you’ve overspent your budget, or perhaps you need to take care of a few renovations before your tenant can move in, so you figure you don’t need a property manager, you can save money and do it yourself. How hard can it be?

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Most landlords assume the toughest part will be dealing with the day-to-day side of things: Tenants not paying rent, phone calls in the middle of the night, having conflicts with neighbours. For sure, those things can be frustrating, but the hardest part that most DIY Property Managers don’t even think about is the legal side of things. If you’re not familiar with tenancy legislation and getting the right paperwork sorted out, you may find yourself in trouble.

There are lots of areas to look out for, but here are a few common problems that may arise with new DIY Property Managers.

Waiving the Lease

A handshake is not a legal agreement. You need to have a legally binding contract that outlines who is responsible for what. Outline what you as the landlord is responsible for and what the tenant is responsible for. What it should at least cover is the length of the lease, how much rent is due and when the tenant will pay it, as well as the condition the property is currently in and how it should be when vacating.

Not asking for a Bond

Not handling the bond correctly, or worse, not even asking for one at all, can set you up for heartache down the line. Asking for a bond and putting it in your bank account is not the correct way to deal with it. What will you do if your tenant damages your property and you have no bond to cover the cost?

Be aware of Local Tenancy Laws

How much do you understand about tenancy law in your area? Not knowing tenancy legislation is not a valid defense, so you may receive a fine if you don’t comply with all the rules and regulations. So make sure you understand the law in detail, or you get help in this area.

Entering the Property

Most new landlords don’t realise that even though you own the property, your tenants live there, and they have rights. You have to give them 24 hours notice before going there.

Are you ready to manage your own rental? It is a lot more involved than most people think. Contact us at True Property Management to find out how we can manage your property for you and take all the legal stress off your hands.

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.