If you’ve never rented out your property before, then you’ll have many questions on what you need to know, not only about how Oceanside will manage your property, but also what you need to do as a Landlord to make your property renting-ready, some items of which are legal-requirements, and others that are standard practice.
How Oceanside will work with you to manage your rental property
Valuation of your rental property
A majority of landlords specifically buy a property to rent out as an investment, and so putting a ‘weekly rental value’ on your property is probably one of the first things you will want to know. In reality, you could put any price on your property, but getting what you ‘need’ and what other similar properties are achieving in rent, can be two different things, so being realistic is a must. Under-pricing could mean that your investment isn’t working for you as you’d hoped, and over-pricing will most likely mean that your property will sit vacant for a long time. At Oceanside, we will help determine your rent by carrying out a Comparative Market Analysis i.e, what are other similar properties being rented out for in your area? Factors of comparison will not only include house size and land size, but also presentation. Good presentation is not to be underestimated, as it could yield both a higher rent, be rented out quicker due to its desirability, as well as attract a better quality of tenant.
Choosing the right tenant is one of the most important factors, and the final decision always rests with the Landlord, but it is Oceanside’s investigative process that will help you make the best decision. We will check each application on your behalf to help determine their employment situation and details of their personal and previous rental references, as well as carrying out a check through the tenancy database for any possible matches of tenancy-default. Other considerations might also include whether the prospective tenant has pets, and it is your choice as to whether you will allow that or not. Many prospective tenants will have pets, and to not allow them might mean that interest in your property is not very high, but as we know, pets can cause odors and/or damage to properties, so it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons.
Property Condition Report
This report is vitally important to ensuring both Landlord and tenant are protected on vacating a property. It is carried out before the incoming tenant moves in to determine the condition of the property, backed up by written and photographic evidence. This is then used to compare the condition of the property when that tenant leaves, and if there is any discrepancy that isn’t attributable to normal wear and tear, the tenant is obliged to rectify this, and failing that, any expense is to be taken from the tenant’s bond.
These are carried out every 3 months and mean that we can (on your behalf) see how a tenant is looking after your property. This is carried out in a way that respects the tenant’s right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ by issuing the relevant written notice in advance. The tenant may use this opportunity to express any concerns they might have and identify any maintenance that is needed. We will report back to you in a similar fashion to the Property Condition Report, with written and photographic evidence.
Lessor Protection Insurance
Your investment property represents a significant investment, and like all investments, it comes with various risks. These may include: Fire and weather damage, damage by your tenants which could range from accidental to malicious damage as well as theft of fixtures and fittings. There is also possible loss of rent, including denial of access, broken lease, evicted-tenants, leaving without giving notice. At Oceanside we insist on Lessor Insurance and always highly recommend an insurer who specializes in Landlord’s insurance, as these companies are easier to deal with, the claims are quicker and the cover is more comprehensive for your own peace of mind.
All of the above essentially can only work well through good communication. As the vital link between you the Landlord, and your tenants - our property managers understand the importance of constant communication. This includes quick response-times to any incoming calls and emails (as property managers can be out of the office carrying out inspections during the day, we guarantee to return any call/email within 24hours of any given business day). To avoid misinterpretation, we like to clarify all phone conversations in writing by follow-up email. These seemingly small details can become invaluable to you the Landlord, when going through things such as insurance claims and court appearances.
Landlord Access to Property Tree, 24/7
We believe that as a landlord, having complete access to the details of your investment property is a must! We provide complete transparency as your Property Management Agent, by giving you Landlord’s Login to Property Tree, which is where we store all of the information regarding your rental. You can instantly:
• Find out where your rent is paid up to
• Check when your tenants’ lease expires
• Access fortnightly/monthly rent statements
• Monitor the status of maintenance schedules
Landlord’s Obligations for making a property rent-ready
There are legislative requirements in place to ensure the safety of your tenants that must be complied with. At Oceanside we have a checklist to ensure that all of these laws are met, so that as the Landlord, you are legally protected. (Outlined below are the basics of what you need to know, but there is more concise Government information available that we recommend you read. To assist you, we have made it available for download:
All smoke alarms in a property must be less than 10 years old, hard-wired into the mains, the number of which will be determined by the size of the property. Properties with concrete ceilings that don’t have access to wiring capabilities, can have a smoke alarm fitted with a 10 year Lithium battery installed. All the electrical work must be carried out by a qualified professional and an electrical certificate issued.
Compliance of corded internal window treatments
Cords may hang down below 1600mm above floor level unless cleated securely to the wall. They also may not form a loop of 220mm or longer.
Minimum levels of security
Main entry doors, as well as all other entry doors (i.e. laundry) require a deadlock or a lockable security screen. Sliding entry doors may need a patio bolt. All lower floor windows to be fitted with a lock (keyed or un-keyed).
All pools to have a Pool Safety Certificate issued by the local shire.
A minimum of 3 sets of keys for all locks (including security doors and windows), and two remotes for the garage (if applicable).
Carpets are to be professionally cleaned.
All appliances to be in good working order, preferably with manuals provided.
Your tenants are required to hand back your property in the state that they entered it, and so when renting out your property, especially for the first time, cleaning thoroughly is a must to ensure that the benchmark for cleanliness is set.
Any Investment property is by its very nature, there to benefit the Landlord financially, and so it is natural to want to limit expenses as much as possible. However, cutting corners on the presentation of your rental property, can be a false economy if it’s sitting there vacant for months, because the presentation is putting potential tenants off and they’re choosing the next comparable property down the road, instead of yours. Fixing or upgrading those broken blinds, patching and painting walls, fresh new carpets and even updating old and worn appliances, can really pay off in the long run. Not only will your property be more desirable, but you are likely to attract a better quality tenant who will feel obliged to look after it.