Property management is a specialised area, governed by many sets of laws that are designed to protect both the landlord and the tenant. Therefore, whether you've owned investment properties for years or you've just bought your first one, or it's the first time you've appointed a property manager, there are bound to be some questions about how it all works. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked. If you've got any further questions, or just want a chat about it, give us a call on 0407 403 640 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Q: I'm not happy with my current property manager but I'm not sure how to go about changing. I'm not sure if there's a contract in place?
Simple! If you own a property that's currently managed by another agent and would like to change to Asset Property Management, just complete the Transfer My Management letter (this letter will be emailed to you by request), sign it and return to Asset Property Management via email, fax or mail. We'll take it from there so the changeover is stress free for you and your tenants. We will organise for the tenant to be notified and for keys to be collected from your current managing agent, and will manage a seamless transfer.
Q: How Long Should it Take to Find a Tenant for My Property?
Depending on what the current rental market is like. We generally say that it should take around 3 to 4 weeks to find a new tenant for your property. The reason for this is that tenants usually give 3 weeks' notice to vacate their current property and therefore generally aren't ready to move into a new property until closer to the end of this 3 week notice period. If your property is not being leased within this reasonable amount of time your Property Manager should be making suggestions in order to make the property more appealing in the current rental climate.
Q: I don't hear anything from my property manager from year to year - should I be receiving regular reports?
Your Property Manager should be completing routine inspections on your property at least twice a year. The Property Managers at Asset Property Management will also contact you throughout the year just touch base.
Q: Why can't I just go and visit my property - after all, I own it!
There is legislation that Property Managers and landlords need to follow when it comes to the Residential Tenancy Act. There are rules in regards to access to the property and certain time periods for entry notices that need to be adhered to in relation to access depending on the reason. Landlords and Property Manager alike are required to abide by the Tenancy Act.
Q: My Property Manager's given me a list of possible new tenants. I don't want to accept anyone with children - am I going to get in trouble with the law if I do that?
It is classified discrimination to not accept a tenant based on the fact they have children, unless the property is not suitable for children. For example, the property is too small, the backyard is steep & not suitable for children. As the landlord you make the final decision on who you accept as your tenant, your Property Manager will complete all reference checks and advise you on their recommendation.
Q: What happens if my tenant stops paying the rent?
You Property Manager will advise you as soon as your tenant falls behind in their rent and take the required action in order to protect you as the landlord. If your tenant falls 14 days in arrears your Property Manager will serve them with a termination notice for non-payment of rent. This notice gives the tenant 14 days to vacate if the rent remains unpaid. If after the 14 days' notice has expired your tenant has still not paid their rent or vacated the premises, your Property Manager will take the necessary steps to evict the tenant and recover the outstanding unpaid rent through the Consumer Trader & Tenancy Tribunal. At Asset Property Management we have zero tolerance to arrears.
Q: My tenant wants to repaint the property - are they allowed to do this? Do I have a say in the colour scheme?
Your tenant can repaint the property but only with your permission. Before you give the tenant permission to paint your property we would recommend that you get them to show you which colour/s and or brand of paint they intend to use as well as the amount of coats they intend to apply. These details must be included in your written consent to the tenants. The work would then need to be inspected after they have completed it in order to make sure the painting is satisfactory.
Q: My property is located outside my preferred property manager's usual area of operation. Will that affect how well they manage it?
Your Property Manager may have other properties in your area which they are currently servicing and in this case would be happy to assist you with your property. Please do not hesitate to ask the question.
Q: I'd like to know the value of my investment property and might sell it, but don't want to be pressurised by a sales agent contacting me.
That's fine, your Property Manager can organise for a sales appraisal to be done on your property by one of our sales team. Our sales agent will then make contact with you to advise of their sales appraisal figure and discuss your options, with no pressure of course.
Q: Do I need landlord insurance?
As professional Property Managers, Asset Property Management recommends that all our landlords have landlord insurance as well as building insurance on their property. Typical contents insurance that you would have had on your property whilst living in the home will no longer suit you as a landlord. Landlord insurance is not only a protection against the tenants failing to pay their rent, but it also covers things like tenant damage to your property, both accidental and malicious (depending on the insurance company), fire or flood damage to your contents. If you own a strata unit, you may think that the insurance you are paying through your levies will cover you for your internal contents like blinds & carpets etc. This is not the case. Your strata building insurance also doesn't cover you for public liability inside your property, if a tenant or prospective tenant injures themselves within the property you are not covered. We do require that you check the PDS of any insurance prior to making a decision.