MANAGE YOUR OWN RENTAL PROPERTY
- Written by Melanie Toye, January 19, 2014
You are building your investment portfolio and discover that you could save a couple of thousands of dollars per property, if you managed them on your own.
When considering managing your property investments, ask yourself the below questions:
- Do I get easily stressed over small events?
- Do I have the personality to build and maintain a good relationship with my tenants?
- Do I have the time to commit to the paperwork and any maintenance/tenant issues, including following up on rent?
- Am I less than an hours' drive from the investment property?
Sometimes the unexpected and worst case scenarios can strike. You might have to evict a tenant, you might need to make rent demands, therefore you need to know your landlord rights.
When deciding to manage your own rental property, here are some suggestions that you should look into first:
- Attending a short course in property management
- Understanding the latest ACTs and legislation
- Be professional and communicate clearly from the outset regarding how the tenant should pay rent, what to expect if the rent is not paid (i.e. a letter of remind) etc.
- Look into advertising your property through various real estate sites. Know the advertising costs and requirements from the get go.
- Create a tenant screening test process for all those who are interested in renting your property. The tenant can complete a tenancy application, and then you can screen them by phone and interview them in person to really get a good idea of the people who may be living in your property. As well as be sure to contact their referrals.
- Ensure you have time in the day for receiving calls when the property is advertised as well as time for the entire process of advertising, to showing the property for rent and doing the relevant paperwork. As well as organising any urgent repairs or maintenance. Having a list of tradies contacts and quotes for their works in advance, can save you a lot of time when an urgent situation arises.
- Understand the rulings surrounding inspections, as they are different for each state.
- Keep up to date on the strength of the rental market in the local area of your rental property. This will give you a good indication when the time is right for a rent increase.
- Start from the beginning with a very simple and effective style of record keeping. And keep it up to date on a regular basis.
The above lists the formalities of what can be involved. The key involvement of doing it yourself is, your time. If you have the time and wanting or have multiple rental properties and will continue to expand, then managing your own rental properties might be for you.
For those with little time, the cost of having an agent is ideal, as they do all of the above for you and this can be seen as quite cost effective. Especially when they have properties saturated in the market place, they can advise when and by how much you should increase rent. And can advertise and show interested parties your property as they view all that is on their books. Rather than just looking at the one property you have listed.
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