The tenants are all ready to move into your first investment rental property. Your next decision is whether to work with a property management team to manage your house or do it yourself.
What is Property Management?
Property management is a service to help maximise the profit from your investment property. Property managers can take care of any repairs or maintenance issues that might arise, as well as collect rent and process tenant complaints if necessary. Your team may also manage other aspects of the rental process like screening potential tenants and showing units to people who want to move in.
They will be experienced and will know the risks that may occur and will have processes in place to handle them. Your property manager’s task list will include:
Your property manager will collect rent from your tenants on the date it is due. They will then deposit the money in the bank for you. They may also collect other fees like late charges, which can vary depending on your property type and the state in which it’s located.
Rent collection is one of the most important services carried out by a property manager. This is your investment income, make certain you understand how their service works before you sign up with them. Ask how often the rent is collected and when it is passed to you. A professional manager will use Direct debits for rent collection, to help with tenant reliability.
Maintenance and repairs
Property managers handle any repairs or maintenance issues arising in the home such as repairing a leaky tap or repairing air conditioning. They will often have agreements with general contractors and subcontractors for these services so they can complete them quickly and efficiently. An emergency can occur at any time and your property managers will have a 24-hour hotline or may provide the tenant with a list of contractors to contact when urgency is key.
It’s important to consider what types of complaints you expect your rental to generate. Your tenant may complain about the property or fixtures and fitting. Neighbours may have complaints about your tenant. It may be that your tenant is not paying rent promptly. Property managers should be prepared for complaints. Experienced property managers will have dispute resolution policies in place which can help resolve issues and prevent problems from escalating.
Your property managers may do a walk-through with the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy, during which they provide any guidance needed for the tenant about use of appliances or waste disposal times and processes, and then document everything discussed so it is clear what has been agreed to. Property managers will also make sure the place is cleaned before a new tenant moves in. They may take photographs to confirm the location and condition of any furniture or fittings, such as carpets or curtains.
Regular Property inspections are a critical part of Property management. Property managers should inspect the property to identify any repairs or maintenance required (e.g., leaky taps, air conditioning not working).
Your team should also inspect the property when the tenant vacates to check for any damage.
Let’s Rent – innovative property management
Let’s Rent care about the business and our clients. There’s no better confirmation of this than the fact that nearly 88% of our business is from referrals from delighted clients.
Many of our property management team at Let’s Rent are investors themselves. This provides us with a great knowledge base and combined with our years of experience makes us a safe pair of hands for your valuable property.
Our friendly and professional team tick all the boxes:
- Most of our tenants pay their rent by direct debit. This means the tenant never forgets to pay the rent on time. We pair this with our zero tolerance for arrears, as contracted with the tenant so we can pass on your investment income promptly.
- Property maintenance is handled by our dedicated specialist team. The relationships we’ve built with trades contractors enable us to keep prices competitive and ensure prompt service.
- Property inspections are routine for us. We ask the tenants to pre-warn us of any issues and we conduct repeat visits to ensure actions are complete.
Our company goals are care, diligence, expertise and professionalism. We build great relationships with our clients. We believe open communications are vital. With us, your phone messages will be replied to and your emails read and acted upon.
Contact Let’s Rent today to place your investment with the property management experts.
For more information
The keys to your new investment property are in your hand. How to get the best returns for your investment? Finding a tenant to generate rental income is key.
What should you consider when selecting a rental agent for your investment property?
You will pay a letting fee to a rental agent for sourcing a tenant for your property. The letting fee is likely to start at one week’s rent and varies tremendously from one agent to another. It is a poor decision to choose based solely on their cost. A cheap agent may provide a poor service resulting in less income for you.
- Value for money
Ultimately, you want to maximise the income from your investment property. The only source of income will be the rent paid by a tenant. A professional rental agent can boost income potential by identifying the perfect, reliable, tenant for your property and suggesting improvements to increase the appeal or rental value of the property.
This article looks at some of the services you should expect from a professional rental agent.
How much should the rent be?
As a private landlord, there are no limits to the amount of money you can ask tenants to pay as rent. The goal is like any other business: maximising profit and minimising risk. It may be tempting to make the price too high, pricing yourself out of the market. Alternatively, you may ask for too little rent, not getting the full potential from the property.
A real estate agent should have knowledge about which markets could support more affordable rates due to their proximity to transport hubs, for example, as well as how desirable different types of housing might be depending on location. They can advise on the current market rate and the best likely rent for your property.
Advertising the property
Advertising for a tenant for your property may be difficult because it is unknown territory for you. However, there are ways to make the search less strenuous and more fruitful as well! You can ask friends or family if they know of anyone looking for available properties. Facebook Marketplace often has posts with potential tenants and rentals available. Browsing these listings, or advertising there could also help find potential renters. Try placing an advertisement in the small ads section of your local newspaper.
There is a whole industry designing content for advertisements. If you are going it alone, look at successful adverts for similar properties to yours. See the wording, how much of a description to include. Are there photographs?
Instead of spending hours and hours scouring classified ads and searching the Internet, a rental agent will do this for you, saving you a lot of time. A professional agent will have template advertising flyers or a website displaying properties available to rent. They may already have a list of potential tenants seeking properties on their books.
A professional established rental agent will have a database of potential tenants and could potentially lease without advertising!
Screening of applicants
Screening potential tenants can be difficult for private landlords. It seems simple to trust your instincts if you get on well with a potential tenant, but a screening process is important.
A good real estate agent will ask for documentation to indicate the tenant earns enough money and is trustworthy before they sign off on them as your newest renter. This could be something like payslips from recent jobs or bank statements showing steady income over time suggesting that the tenant could afford to pay the rent for the duration of the lease. References from past landlords or employers will help to provide assurance the tenant is of good character and will care for your property.
This process aims to guarantee an investment income for you while also protecting the long-term value of your property.
The lease agreement
The lease agreement makes up your contract with the tenant. It should specify how much you will charge them and when it must be paid. You should call out when rent reviews will take place. The contract also describes the term of the lease and what happens if they wish to leave before their term expires.
The lease agreement will confirm the details of the security bond. You must specify exactly how much the bond is and under which conditions you may refuse to repay part of (or all) the deposit.
The lease agreement must be watertight! It is a legally binding document that helps guarantee your investment income. Once signed by the tenant and the landlord, the lease, and any related documentation are subject to the NSW Government’s Residential Tenancies Act. The Act details the legal obligations of the landlord and tenant and lists mandatory inclusions for the lease agreement.
An experienced rental agent will have drawn up many lease agreements before. They will have standard templates with the normal inclusions, as discussed, above. It is highly recommended that an expert produces this vital contract for you.
Let’s Rent – A better way to rent
Let’s Rent will handle the whole process for you. Our friendly value for money approach is designed to get you the best possible tenant paying market-rate rent.
We will conduct a rent appraisal, free of charge, whether you decide to partner with us or not. We advertise your property on our own listings, which are often the first point of contact for tenants seeking rental properties.
Many of our team are property investors and we understand how important tenant screening can be. We obtain documented proof of ability to pay the rent and obtain references to help ascertain good character.
Our lease agreements always confirm that rent must be paid by direct debit and we have zero tolerance for arrears. This means the tenant won’t forget to pay and helps generate reliable income for you.
Why not find out, today, what your property income should be. Contact the friendly team at Let’s Rent to arrange a free rent appraisal.
For more information
The NSW government announced new legislation in relation to Covid affected tenants and landlords yesterday. The following includes a summary of the changes.
Moratorium on evictions for Covid affected households
A new short-term moratorium on evictions is now in place. Tenants who cannot pay their rent in full because they are impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak cannot be evicted between 14 July and 11 September 2021.
To be eligible for the moratorium the tenant must:
- Provide evidence to confirm their employment (work hours or income) is disrupted due to COVID-19 or they have had to stop working because a member of the household was ill with COVID-19.
- Provide evidence to show the Household weekly income including any government assistance has been reduced by at least 25%. This is calculated by reference to the four-week average income to 26 June 2021
- Pay at least 25% of the rent payable.
The NSW Government encourages landlords and tenants to negotiate an agreement in the event the tenant is impacted by COVID-19, as above. To ensure that the landlord can claim financial compensation NSW Fair trading recommend the agreement be documented using their template.
What are the options for Landlords?
Fair Trading suggests you consider the following agreements with COVID-impacted tenant.
- Waive rent for a period of time
- Agree tenant can pay a reduced rent for a period of time
- Agree tenant can pay a reduced rent for a period of time and agree on a repayment plan for all unpaid rent.
Please note, that there is no requirement for landlords to enter into rent relief negotiations.
Financial support for landlords
The ‘Residential Tenancy Support Payment’ has been set up to provide financial compensation for landlords who have documented an agreement for rent relief for their COVID-affected tenants from 14 July 2021.
Landlords will be able to claim up to $1500 per tenancy or the reduction that was agreed with the tenant, whichever is lower.
More detail is available on the NSW Fairtrading website.
As always, I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. I am in close contact with the REI who are assisting with explanations and clarifications with Fair Trading.
Take care, stay safe and mask up!
For more information
The global pandemic is still with us. The ‘Delta variant’ is running rampant in parts of NSW and the premier has announced the current lockdown is expected to continue until the end of August.
I Just wanted to say a big “thank you” to all those clients who have reached out with kind words and support. It means so much to the team and me! We hope you and your families are doing ok in the current circumstances and can find some positives to focus on. The sunshine and blue skies have been amazing this week!
Eviction Moratorium and Rent Relief
No changes from my email last weekend but to recap on the basics see below.
To be eligible for the 60-day freeze on evictions:
- tenants must demonstrate a loss of 25% of their household’s take-home weekly income, including any government support, to qualify
- they must continue to pay at least 25% of their rent to avoid eviction (regardless of moratorium)
- they must notify us in writing that they or other members of the household have, or have had, COVID, and provide supporting documentation
The Residential Tenancy Support Payment provides some financial support for landlords
- the grant is available to landlords who agree on a rent reduction with their COVID-19 affected tenants
- government is providing landlords with up to $1,500, or the reduction agreed with your tenants, whichever is the lower
- government have made the process to claim the $1500 simple but a landlord must provide the relief prior to applying
- Landlords may not ask their tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent that has been paid to them under this scheme
- any agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties
More information is available on the NSW Fairtrading website
Lockdown and Viewings
We continue to show prospective tenants through our properties one at a time ….. As you can imagine, it is very time consuming but viewers are more qualified. We’re seeing good numbers coming through well presented, well-priced properties at the beginning of each campaign. There are definitely significant numbers of people on the move who need to find a new home. We are calling all enquirers to arrange an inspection time to suit them. Some tenants continue to refuse access during the lockdown and this is understandable. This number has increased from last month as cases have increased.
The restrictions on construction have caused delays with the commencement of some new tenancies but they all seem to be back on track now. It seems surprising so many renovations are going ahead. Certainly, some industries have benefited from Covid and I imagine people in those industries are cash-rich. Others may benefit from the fact money is so cheap at the moment. Of course, no overseas travel helps with savings too!
We were super busy in July and took 20 deposits on new tenancies. We are leasing some properties off-market and have a good database in most categories. Of course, it’s still necessary to market most properties and numbers are high at the beginning of a campaign if priced right. Presentation as always is important.
Our vacancy rate increased in July to 2.9% but this was due to vacant new business properties. Out of 15 vacant properties, six of those are new to our portfolio. The REI vacancy rate for June increased to 4% from 3.3% in May. No doubt the REI vacancy rate in July will increase due to existing tenants not allowing access to show prospective tenants through.
- February 4%
- March 3.1%
- April 1.9
- May 1.8%
- June 1.8%
- July 2.9%
- Six-month average: 2.6%
REI Vacancy Rate Inner Sydney
- January 4.8%
- February 3.7%
- March 4.5%
- April 4%
- May 3.3%
- June 4%
- Six-month average: 4.1%
Your Property Management team continues to work for you whether we are in lockdown or not. We are all very much looking forward to getting outside and back to normal life. It seems likely that the ending of the current lockdown will coincide with the start of Spring. Hopefully, we’ll all be out and about and back to business in some warmer weather very soon.
Finally, thank you to those of you who have sent questions through! I really do love to hear your burning property management questions. Don’t forget, we are always happy to check out any investments you may be interested in purchasing and provide a rental appraisal together with feedback on rentability.
For more information
As we wave goodbye to one of the strangest years in modern history, we start to look forward to what 2021 might bring. And while we don’t know exactly how the property market will react in the next year, we’ll be focusing on keeping your property occupied.
An empty investment property is one without return
You’ll know that the vacant time between tenants could have you thousands out of pocket every month. And in an environment where career, business and working arrangements are in flux, minimising your vacancy rates could provide a welcome level of stability and certainty in 2021.
Attracting and retaining tenants
The best way to keep your property tenanted in the long term is to find high quality tenants and to make it easy for them to enjoy living in your property. While people will still move out to relocate or find new work opportunities, they’re much more unlikely to leave when they enjoy where they live and they feel heard and respected by the property manager they interact with. The other key to keeping your property tenanted is to stay competitive with rent that reflects the market rate. Sydney saw vacancy rates and dropping rents in the second half of 2020, particularly in the city and eastern suburbs. So for some owners – in some areas – there may be a balance to find between revenue and occupancy over the course of this year.
Finding the balance
We know you’ll want to find the right balance between getting a decent rental return and keeping your property tenanted. Keep rents too high, and tenants may choose to go elsewhere. Drop them too low, and you could keep a tenant but lose the full value of your return. Here’s where we can come in. Our dedicated property management services in Sydney are focused in the inner west and eastern suburbs. We’re speaking with tenants and potential tenants in these areas every day, so we have a good hold on what’s in demand, what has less competition and what might be around the corner. We proactively hold regular rent reviews to help you find the ideal balance.
Good residential property management will help you keep your investment property tenanted through a number of areas: polished and professional listings, a rental process that’s frictionless for everyone involved, robust processes around payment and property repairs, and solid advice. If you are looking to find the right provider to support you in 2021, then consider speaking with the team at Let’s Rent.
If you’ve been looking for rental properties in Balmain in Sydney, or suburbs such as Rozelle or Leichhardt, it’s definitely worth expanding your search to include Lilyfield. This understated suburb is getting attention for all the right reasons: it offers beautifully relaxed and family-oriented living, easy proximity to the city and water, and a wonderfully diverse community.
What’s Lilyfield like to live in?
Situated just 6 kilometres from the CBD, Lilyfield is home to plenty of families including multi-generational households. There are quality schools to choose from in the suburb, including Inner Sydney Montessori School and Orange Grove Primary School as well as those in surrounding areas. There are both local grocery stores and the big name supermarkets close by, as well as a local café strip at Orange Grove Plaza. The light rail stop in Lilyfield also makes for effortless commuting to the city. So what about your spare time?
Well, here’s how you might like to spend your weekends in Lilyfield:
- Strolling around the farmers markets at Orange Grove Primary School every Saturday.
- Taking it easy with a picnic overlooking the water in Hippo Park.
- Swim a few laps at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre.
- Joining one of the local soccer or sport teams, or playing your own game in local parklands.
- Walk, run or cycle the Bay Run circuit around Iron Bay.
- Join a course with NSW Writers at the historic Garry Owen House in Callan Park.
- Use the light rail system from Lilyfield for a quick commute to the city (typically under 15 minutes).
- Or, hop on your bike for a scenic ride to the city centre that takes around 25 minutes.
What types of rental properties are available in Lilyfield?
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to property types in Lilyfield. You could even find yourself a renovated Federation home or one of the original workers’ cottages to rent. Whether you’re after a lock-up-and-leave apartment or a home with a well-sized backyard for the kids and dog, you’re likely to find it in Lilyfield. This area offers some fantastic rental prices considering how close you are to the city and Iron Bay – put simply, it’s your chance to live in one of Sydney’s most desirable areas with a great community feel.
Let’s Rent provides property management in Sydney, and we regularly have properties listed in Lilyfield and surrounds. Why not check out our listings now?
Explore private rental properties in Sydney and Lilyfield
Most property management companies offer both real estate and property management services in Sydney. While their property management team can help you attract and retain tenants for your investment property, the sales team can help you sell your property if you choose to offload it.
On first thoughts, this might seem like a solid idea. The team already knows your investment property, which makes both leasing and selling simpler. Right?
But here’s one big question to consider:
What if the incentive to sell your property for you outweighs the incentive to manage your property well?
Providing multiple services means that there could be multiple motivations when it comes to giving you advice and support.
For example, if house prices are high could you be encouraged to make a quick sale – even though it may not be in your best interest?
Using a dedicated property manager takes all of the ambiguity out of the equation.
We’re in business for one reason and one reason only: getting you the very best rental return. That means we’re motivated to find you high quality tenants, to ensure your property stays in its optimal condition, and to show your tenants with respect with clear communication. It also means we can focus all of our attention on continually improving our team, processes and platforms.
At Lent’s Rent, for example:
- We dedicate time to fully training our property managers – something which is surprisingly rare in the industry.
- We’re highly focused on answering phone calls and emails.
- We’ve put time into finding the right software package so we can deliver the best service.
- We have the time to conduct detailed property inspections and to communicate clearly with tenants.
- We provide advice around rental rates and property improvements that are focused solely on getting you the best rental yield.
- We’ve also developed our policy that all rent is to be received via direct debit, which identifies any issues early on and allows us to maintain a very low rate of arrears – typically less than 1% of all properties.
These reasons all contribute to why almost 88% of all our new business still comes from referrals: a rate which has been quite consistent since 2005.
By choosing property management in Sydney without a sales team attached, you get 100% focused service. And if you ever do decide you want to sell your investment property, you can be confident it’s not because a sales team has been in your ear.
So when it comes to choosing from property management companies, consider choosing one that only offers property management services like Let’s Rent.
You don’t want to be messing around when it comes to finding the best property management agent to manage your rental property in Sydney. While the right property manager will bring you reliable rental return and tenants who are happy to renew the lease, the wrong one could bring you nothing but trouble.
Based on our experience within the industry, here’s how to find the right professionals.
This is universal advice, whether your investment property is located in Sydney or anywhere else in the world. It pays to use a property manager who works in that particular area and understands the local market and demographics. This is because we can provide realistic guidance when it comes to reviewing your rental rates each year, and setting your property apart in the market when finding a new tenant. This is exactly why our property managers focus specifically on the inner west and eastern suburbs of Sydney.
Ask questions (lots of them!)
We’ve covered all of the must-ask questions for your new property manager in a previous blog post, but here are three of the key ones:
- How do you make sure my tenant pays on time?
- How do you find and screen tenants?
- What percentage of tenants with you are currently in arrears?
If a property manager can answer your questions clearly and without excuses, there’s a good chance they know what they’re doing.
Assess their communication
Responsive communication is one of the single most important qualities you can look for in residential property management companies. Not only is it important that you and your tenants get your questions answered, but it’s also a legal requirement that any urgent repairs or maintenance will be attended to quickly. So if a potential property manager is hard to get hold of, give them the flick and look elsewhere.
Consider word of mouth recommendations and referrals
While Google shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to finding the right rental tenancy agency, it can really help to read through reviews and recommendations for a property management agency. The odd bad review might not be much to worry about, but a consistently low rating should tell you to steer clear. We see a personal recommendation as the ultimate proof of performance, and we’re happy to report that almost 88% of all our new business comes from someone referring their friends or family to us.
Evaluate how proactive they are
Property management is one area where complacency is unfortunately very common, and it can absolutely lead to problems for you and your tenant. The Let’s Rent team is very aware of the problems that complacency can bring in this industry, which is why we’re continually assessing and improving our processes. We’re proactive about improving the way things are done.
We focus on developing positive tenant relationships. We choose to use direct debit rental payments, which means our arrears are consistently less than 1% of all properties we manage. And, we conduct regular rental reviews to ensure you’re getting the best possible return on your investment.
If you are in the midst of finding a new property manager in Sydney’s inner west and eastern suburbs, get in touch and we’d be happy to answer any and all of your questions.
Owners – we get it. You don’t want excuses and you don’t want delays – you just want the damn rent paid on time! It’s not too much to ask, but how do you ensure it happens?
As residential property managers in Sydney, we started really thinking about this issue almost a decade ago. Today, 99% of our tenants actually pay in advance on average. Here’s how we manage it.
Setting up direct debit payments for rent
The one single change that makes a huge difference at Let’s Rent is requiring tenants to pay their rent on a fortnightly or monthly basis via direct debit. This minimises the chance that someone will forget to pay their rent, and allows us to pinpoint any issues quickly. Many tenants actually prefer the convenience of direct debit, so it works for everyone.
Setting the expectation for zero arrears
At Let’s Rent we’re proud that our arrears are consistently less than 1% of all properties we manage. How do we manage such an impressive rate? We make it clear from the start that we have an expectation of zero arrears, which ensures everyone is on the same page. If for any reason a payment doesn’t go through, we let you know and actively work with the tenant to get balances back to normal.
Finding the right tenants
Of course, some tenants are more reliable th
an others. One of the most important elements is to find the right tenant in the first place, who has a history of reliable payments and a solid employment history. We know how crucial this is to rental reliability, which is why we dedicate extra time and effort into our pre-tenancy reference checks including picking up the phone. You should expect nothing less from professional real estate investment property management in Sydney.
Maintaining respectful relationships with tenants
There can be horror stories about the fraught relationships between landlord and tenants – but we believe this tension can be completely avoided with mutual respect. We build strong and respectful relationships with tenants, and respond to maintenance and repair requests without delay. Tenants are much more likely to respect tenancy conditions and pay regularly when they’re satisfied with the arrangements and feel valued.
Reviewing rent regularly
Rental reviews are a must to ensure you’re receiving reliable and appropriate return on your investment property. We review rents every year for every property, providing a market review on whether a rental increase is recommended or not. Experience can make all the difference between getting maximum rental yield for your property and risking a property vacancy – we’ll help you get that balance right.
Let’s Rent is the go-to solution when you’re looking for investment property managers in Sydney or agents to help find rentals. You can learn more about why owners love to rent with us, or contact us today to get started.
Perhaps your current property manager hasn’t conducted thorough reference checks when your tenant was chosen, or perhaps private property management hasn’t gone as planned. Either way, if the current tenant in your rental property is causing problems there are a number of reasons you might consider evicting them or choosing not to renew their lease.
These reasons include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Regularly late payment of rent
- Malicious damage to your property
- Breaching the tenancy agreement
- Conducting illegal activities at the property, such as dealing illicit drugs or other criminal activity.
In most cases in New South Wales, you’ll need to provide at least 14 days’ written notice if you wish to end a tenancy due to wrongdoing on the tenants’ part.
However, the best way to deal with these tenancy issues is to avoid them in the first place.
If you’re experiencing problems such as the above with your tenants, it’s a sign that your current rental property management may not be up to scratch. These problems can be all but eliminated by using the right agent to manage your rental property. Why is this the case?
An experienced and thorough property manager will:
- Have the processes in place to meticulously check a potential tenant’s references to ensure they are reliable and responsible, and
- Have proven systems in place to ensure rent is paid on time.
Here at Let’s Rent, we choose to address these two aspects with extra detail.
- Finding the right tenantWhen it comes to reference checks, we like to speak with potential tenants at property visits to get a feel for whether they’ll be a right fit for your property. Upon application we check employment, tenancy and personal references, as well as the tenancy database for any outstanding matters. For this step we like to pick up the phone and conduct reference checks with a conversation, because we believe that this gives us a much clearer context. It sounds simple, but we find this really helps to match the ideal tenant to each property.
- Having the right systems in placeSome years ago we decided we could improve our payment system, and implemented a direct debit system for all rental properties that we manage. Again – it sounds simple, but having this system in place sets a clear understanding for tenants. On average, 99% of our tenants are paying in advance. We also maintain good relationships and mutual respect with tenants, conducting detailed property inspections to ensure everything is looking as it should be on an ongoing basis.
With these factors, you can significantly minimise the risk of having tenants that need to be evicted, and save yourself a lot of hassle in the process. If you’re looking for honest, proactive and practical property management services in Sydney, then get in touch.