How do you bring the management of your property to Stacey Lee Realty?
That is easy – just contact us – and we will provide you with a new management agreement (Form 6) and arrange an inspection of your property to provide an accurate market appraisal.
If it is currently with another agent, then we will also provide a change of managing agent letter. We will forward the notice to your current agent and notify you when we have collected the files and been in touch with the tenants. We make this transition as seamless as possible for both you and your tenants.
AT THE START OF THE TENANCY
Why should I use a property manager instead of managing the property myself?
Investing in property can be an emotional experience – it takes on new meaning when you own someone’s home as compared to investing in shares. Managing it yourself means developing a close relationship with your tenants. This can be problematic if you are constantly being contacted for minor maintenance issues, and it also makes it difficult for you to pursue rent arrears and introduce rent increases if you feel friendly with your tenants. Many properties managed by private owners are under market rent. When things go wrong and tenants go in arrears, owners do not have the training and experience to adequately handle evictions, court appearances, and insurance claims. Your property manager’s fees are tax deductible – why risk emotional and financial stress when your interests can be protected by a professional?
I’ve decided to use a property manager to professionally manage my property. How do I choose the right agent for me?
The media is quick to jump on the horror stories that happen in owner’s investment properties, and while it is great to be informed it is a shame that the good stories and the great property managers don’t get the same media attention. It may take time to decide on who you feel is the right person to manage your property. This is different to appointing a selling agent for your home, because you will have an on-going relationship with your property manager. It is worthwhile asking yourself a few questions: is price the most important factor for me? Do I want to deal with a large company where I may have several property managers working on my property or do I prefer a small business with individual attention where I can build a relationship with my property manager? See the links below for a handy questionnaire you can use when interviewing potential property managers.
I’ve decided I would like to change agents – is this hard to do?
No, the process is not difficult. You have the right to choose who you want to manage your property, and if you are not satisfied with your current property manager you have the right to end your current agreement. Under your current management agreement (Form 6) there is a 30 day termination period. We handle this process for you to ensure a smooth transfer of your investment property. Simply contact us and we will arrange this for you.
How do I prepare my property to let?
What can I do to prevent long periods with my property being vacant?
There are several things you can do to ensure your property is income producing with limited down-time.
– The first logical step is to refer to the Current Market Analysis (CMA) provided by your property manager to see if your property is priced correctly. It is worth doing the sums to see how much you save over the year for a minimal adjustment in weekly rent – for example, if your property was rented for $420/week and you are looking at a vacant period in a slow market, it may be worth reducing the rent to $400 for a six month lease (or twelve month with increase at six month mark). This will make your property stand out as excellent value and it will appeal to more tenants, providing you with a pool of applicants to choose your ideal tenants. This would mean $520 less rent over the six month period – which is equal to just over one week of vacant time. Isn’t that more appealing than having your property sit vacant for three or four weeks at a cost of $1260-$1680?
– Is the property in a good state of repair so it is appealing to tenants?
– Does it present well from the street? It is a good idea to have the gardens maintained by your property manager’s recommended gardener during the vacant period.
– Is it advertised well? What sites is it listed on?
– How is your property manager handling enquiries? Are they responded to promptly?
– How is your property manager treating prospective tenants at inspections?
It is important to be using a professional property manager who always shows up for appointments, responds to enquiries in a timely manner, markets your property effectively, and maintains your property so it attracts quality tenants.
DURING THE TENANCY
The tenants have requested some maintenance. What are my obligations?
See below Section 185 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and the relevant RTA fact sheet. It is a wise to maintain your property as it ensures your investment is in good condition thereby holding its value and appealing to quality tenants.
185 Lessor’s obligations generally
(1) This section does not apply to an agreement if—
(a) the premises are moveable dwelling premises consisting
only of the site for the dwelling; and
(b) the tenancy is a long tenancy (moveable dwelling).
(2) At the start of the tenancy, the lessor must ensure—
(a) the premises and inclusions are clean; and
(b) the premises are fit for the tenant to live in; and
(c) the premises and inclusions are in good repair; and
(d) the lessor is not in breach of a law dealing with issues
about the health or safety of persons using or entering
(3) While the tenancy continues, the lessor—
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
Chapter 3 Rights and obligations of parties for residential tenancies
Part 2 General standard of the premises
Page 126 Reprint 1D effective 9 September 2011
(a) must maintain the premises in a way that the premises
remain fit for the tenant to live in; and
(b) must maintain the premises and inclusions in good
(c) must ensure any law dealing with issues about the health
or safety of persons using or entering the premises is
complied with; and
(d) if the premises include a common area—must keep the
What is required for my property to comply with the legislation?
Most owners are aware of their obligations for smoke alarms and safety switches, and the new pool laws are now in effect also. Recent legislative changes to the Trade Practices Act also make landlords suppliers of blinds so their window furnishings need to comply with new safety requirements. We can organise the specialised companies that inspect and ensure compliance for your property.
What can I expect from routine inspections?
At Stacey Lee Realty we contact your prior to booking our routine inspection in case you will be in Brisbane and would like to attend. If you are unable to attend, you will still be kept informed on the condition of your property as we do a comprehensive inspection every 3-4 months and photograph any maintenance issues, and promptly send this through with a report to you.
It’s tax time. What do I need from my property manager?
Each month we will provide you with a statement as we disburse funds to you. We also offer an Income and Expenditure Statement at the end of the financial year – this itemises all income and costs and is the best option for you to provide your accountant to allow reduced time for them processing your return (saving you in fees). It is important to hold onto the invoices for repairs and maintenance in case you are audited. You may also benefit from a depreciation schedule as even old properties have items that can be depreciated – if you don’t have a schedule you could be missing out on significant savings.
AT THE END OF THE TENANCY
Lease renewals – what can I expect?
Around three months prior to the end of your tenants fixed term agreement, you will be contacted by your property manager to discuss your plans for the property, and a current market analysis will be provided. Once we have your instructions, we will offer a new agreement to the tenants. Upon acceptance of the agreement, we organise this to be signed and send through a copy to you.
What happens if the tenants break their lease?
If tenants need to break their lease they will be responsible for the re-let fee, not you. They are also required to keep paying rent until new tenants are approved and moving into the property. We handle the screening of applicants and discuss all applications with you, thus ensuring a suitable replacement for your property.
What happens with the tenant’s bond at the end of their lease?
Your tenants are required to return the property in the condition in which they received it according to the Entry Condition Report, minus fair wear and tear. The bond can be claimed against for any damages as a result of their tenancy, and this amount can be negotiated with the tenants to ensure your costs are reasonably considered. If the tenants do not agree to the claim, it can go to dispute resolution with the RTA, and if still unresolved it may end up in QCAT. Should this occur, we will communicate with you throughout the whole process to determine the best course of action for you.