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5 dangers for private landlords

11 May 2016 Rachael Ioannou

One of the most important decisions landlords make is whether to manage their rental property themselves or enlist the services of a professional property manager.

While DIY property management may sound easy enough, it can actually be quite complex and there are numerous potential traps.

Since January, Eastside has taken over a record number of privately managed properties. The main reasons for switching to a managing agent? Uncompensated damage to property, out-of-control rent arrears and lack of time to keep up with maintenance and emergency repairs.

Another major issue facing landlords is legal implications, as risk management is now an important part of property management. If a landlord is going to do it themselves, they need to have a thorough understanding of the tenancy legislation and paperwork required.

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There are also many day-to-day problems that can arise. Common issues that may need to be dealt with are tenants failing to mow the lawn and maintain the gardens, having pets without approval and getting behind in the rent.

As many landlords often develop personal connections with their tenants, they may feel uncomfortable chasing arrears. Property managers, on the other hand, are emotionally removed.

If you know a landlord considering managing their own rental property, it’s important to make them aware of the pitfalls. Here are five traps private landlords should avoid:

Failing to ask for a bond

This security deposit is held in case tenants don’t meet their obligations under the tenancy agreement, such as causing damage to the property or failing to pay the rent by the vacate date.

Not having a lease

A lease is a legally enforceable contract that usually spells out the length of the rental agreement, the amount of rent that will be paid and the condition the property must be returned in.

Not filling out a condition report

This document describes the standard of repair for the premises and any items included, such as furniture. It is designed to protect the interests of both parties.

Not understanding tenancy laws

Property management can be very complex and if landlords don’t comply with the legislation, they can face fines. Remind landlords that there are different tenancy acts in each state and territory.

Inspecting without correct notice

The tenancy laws in each state stipulate how often inspections can be done and how much notice must be given to tenants. Failing to issue correct notice can mean costly penalties.

Tell private landlords that one of the biggest advantages of enlisting a property manager to look after their rental home is peace of mind. Property managers take the hassle out of every step of the process, from finding a tenant to collecting the rent; attending maintenance issues to conducting routine inspections.

Although there is a cost involved in using an expert, landlords are paying for a professional service and the fee is tax deductible. A property manager can also advise a landlord on how to present the property to attract quality tenants and get the best rental return.

5 dangers for private landlords
Rachael Ioannou cropped
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Rachael Ioannou is the new business and leasing agent for Eastside Property Centre, specialising in building strong relationships with new and existing clients, as well as leasing their most valuable assets, fast! 

The level of service Rachael provides her clients has resulted in a 40 per cent growth in her rent roll in just under 12 months – her first 12 months in the position and industry too!

Rachael comes from a long line of estate agents and property developers, so she very much ‘gets’ the industry and the market in which she thrives in; she also has a palpable passion and unsurpassed enthusiasm for all things people and property.

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