Landlord Tips

Gateway to... Success as a Landlord
You are moving on and want to rent your home out, or you have a property you bought specifically as an investment. Whatever your situation you are about to become a landlord. Now this can be extremely lucrative and a fantastic source of passive income, however it can also be the biggest headache you have to deal with. This is why choosing Gateway Real Estate to manage your property is the sensible decision. Reduce your risk, reduce your stress, stop wasting your valuable time and simply allow Gateway Real Estate to take care of everything for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) Why should I choose an agency to manage my property?

(a) Marketing - Property managers have access to wider marketing than a private landlord does - in particular websites such as Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au.

(b) Time - Property managers have the time to look after the property in a way that a private landlord does not. This ensures that you maintain good tenants, that issues are resolved early and that risk to your property is reduced.

(c) Reliable tradespeople - Property managers have the flexibility to arrange repairs and maintenance at times convenient to tenants and due to long standing relationships can often ensure work is carried out quicker than private landlords.

(d) Money management - Property managers not only manage the property but also the flow of money. They ensure that tenants pay rent promptly and that any arrears are dealt with swiftly. They use detailed accounting software that a private landlord may not have access to.

(e) Legislation - Property Managers keep up to date with all relevant legislation, some of which has severe consequences for a breach, and are experts in its use. A private landlord may not be aware of all legislation - particularly new legislation and may open themselves up to potential liability.

(2) How do I choose an agency to manage my property?

This can be a difficult choice as most agencies tend to be offering similar marketing packages. However upon closer inspection every agency is different.

(a) Unique marketing - ask an agent what their points of difference are from their competitors and why they do things differently. For more information on marketing carried out by Gateway Real Estate click here.

(b) Current clients - ask other landlords that are with the agency what their experience is.  

(c) Reputation in community - ask local property or business owners of their opinion on each agency.

(d) Repour - meet the agent in person and see whether you have a good feeling about working with this person to manage your property.

(e) Leased properties - ask to see what properties the agent has rented in the past 12 months and whether they are currently successfully marketing their current listings.

(3) What can I do to help my property rent?

This is an important question to ask and there are a number of things that you can do to help rent out your property:

(a) Choose the right manager - choice of property manager is one of the most crucial choices you will make in the renting process.

(b) Allow the manager freedom in marketing - your property manager is an expert in property management and if they think something is worth doing listen to their advice. Be open to new forms of marketing such as social media that you may not know anything about.

(c) Present your property to the best it can be. For more suggestions on this see below.

(d) Keep abreast of the real estate market - find out what other properties are renting for and how long it is taking to rent in the current market.

(4) How do I ensure I get the best tenants?

(a) Choose the right property manager - Most problems landlords face stem from the fact that property managers do not put the right tenants in their property on day one. Indeed well managed properties attract good tenants as they know that if they have any problems they will be sorted out promptly.

(b) Keep your property well maintained - This acts to protect your investment long term but also ensures that your property is of interest to good tenants and maintains them long term once in the property.

(c) Thorough application process - Gateway Real Estate has a stringent policy of thoroughly checking the references and identification of all applications received to ensure that their landlords are receiving the best possible tenants available. If any tenant does not meet their high standards they will not recommend them as a tenant.

(d) Final decision rests with landlord - Gateway Real Estate will make recommendations, however the final decision always rests with the landlord. This means that you retain control of your property and the tenants that are going in there.

(5) How do Gateway Real Estate keep my property protected?

(a) Source good tenants - this will significantly reduce the risk of any damage to your property.

(b) Stringent application process - this is the best way of ensuring you have good tenants in your property.

(c) Ingoing and outgoing inspection reports - Gateway Real Estate carry out a detailed inspection of your property prior to any new tenant entering the property. This report is counter signed by the tenant. When they vacate a further inspection is carried out. Any change in the condition of the property that is not fair wear and tear can be billed to the tenant and paid for out of their bond.

(d) Bond - 4 weeks rent is taken on every tenancy prior to occupation. This money is held by the Rental Bond Board and can be used to cover damage to the property.

(e) Regular inspections - Gateway Real Estate carry out formal inspections on all rental managements at least every three months, however they also make a point of driving past regularly. This means any potential issues can be resolved as early as possible.

(f) 24 hour emergency number - All tenants are provided with a mobile number that they can call should there be any emergencies at the property that need to be resolved immediately.

(g) Tribunal - When required Gateway Real Estate will represent you at tribunal hearings in relation to any issue with a current tenant. There is a cost to this but it is another way that they are able to represent your interests and protect your property.

(h) Landlords Insurance - This is not something covered by Gateway Real Estate as there are a number of potential insurers. However we would definitely recommend every landlord taking this out as it will provide additional cover and protection.

(6) How can I best present my property for rent?

As you have seen above this is a crucial part of renting and certainly makes the job of your manager easier! There are two main areas to consider:

(a) Exterior - This is the first and last thing a tenant will see. Indeed good street appeal can ensure you get an inspection in the first place.
(i) House - Touch up the painting on any exterior walls, clean all windows, and pay particular attention to your front door as it is a key part of the front of your house.
(ii) Gardens - Ensure both front and rear gardens are in a presentable condition, mow all lawns, trim bushes and tidy up flower beds and any pot plants. A quick solution to help present gardens better is laying mulch.
(iii) Rubbish - Clear away all rubbish and it is a major detractor when looking at a property.

(b) Interior -The exterior will ensure you have an inspection, however it is the condition of the interior that will give you the best chance of getting a good long term tenant.
(i) Declutter - If you live in the property reduce down the amount of things you have in your home. You are planning on moving and this will help you once you do need to pack. Throw out things you do not need to keep, tidy away the things you need, and store the things you don't need at the moment. Decluttering empties the space and makes your home look larger and manageable for anyone looking to move there.
(ii) Finish - Finish all those jobs that you put off to do another day - including replacing blown light bulbs. No one wants to rent something that looks like work, so don't let little thing detract from the overall impression someone is getting of your home.
(iii) Clean - This is a one off major clean and then continual cleaning until the property is rented. If you stay on top of this you will be ready for an inspection at short notice. This includes ensuring the property smells attractive and feels light and airy. You want the property to be somewhere people feel they can more right into.