Frequently Asked Questions (Leasing)

With Property Management, every Owner is different, and we like to explore what works best for you. However, we will always follow the relevant Legislation to comply with regulatory requirements, 

On this page, there are some Frequently Asked Questions we encounter on a daily basis. They are separated with regards to LEASING and PROPERTY MANAGEMENT.

 

WHAT IS LEASING?

This is the period in Residential Real Estate before the property is Tenanted.

i.e. The marketing, showcasing, negotiating and vetting of potential Tenants to reside in the Investment Property

 

1. LEASING YOUR PROPERTY

What type of marketing do you use?

• The Internet primarily. 70% of our enquiry comes from domain.com.au, 25% from realestate.com.au and the remainder from other portals sites (such as rent.com.au) & social media – Facebook (we have a dedicated FB page, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram pages)

Existing database – over 1,800 contacts (including Tenants, Owners & potential Tenants & potential Owners)

Newsletter – we run a periodic newsletter that is sent to relocation agents, current and past clients, buyers agents and existing tenants

Print – we think this an outdated, unnecessary and expensive exercise! There may be some unique circumstances required for high-end properties, but the internet for Return on Investment (ROI) is the place to be.

Signboard – this is your 24/7 advertisement and is great for busy streets and locals walking by. But can be wasteful in quiet lanes or individual circumstances. (Also dependant on Strata Approval)

 

Q. How much rent will my property get?

This will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:

• Comparable properties in the building or street,

• Supply and demand in an area,

• Climate conditions (beach-side suburbs are stronger in Summer),

• Furnished/unfurnished possibilities

• Length of the lease term offered

• Age of the property and its current condition

Q. How long will it take to lease out my property?

• ‘Normally’ within 1-3 weeks. It will come down to 3 main factors – presentation, price and the accurate & informed advice from your agent

• Presentation can be dictated by you, the owner. If tenants are already in place, a good relationship with them will go a long way.

• Price – knowing the market and using comparable rents in the local area to adjudicate the best price will minimise vacancy period without compromising your bottom dollar.

• Advice – don’t be sold on Agents looking to win your business with the promise of high rent. Make sure you listen to their recommendations, comparable properties that have recently leased in the area and acknowledge market feedback when it comes in

Q. What are your fees and charges?

We have 3 x options for our clients! Ranging from 5.0% + GST to 7.0% + GST (all transparent & inclusive), we are sure you will find a package that suits your needs. You may find cheaper, good luck with that. You get what you pay for is an old adage, but a good one. 

Q. Are there any other fees and charges?

No.

Everything you see in the Elevate packages is inclusive. Unlike other agencies, we don’t charge for postage and administration costs. We are flexible in our approach and are happy to listen to what you are after.

Q. Can we do a unique lease term?

Yes. Sometimes circumstances might be appropriate for a unique time, say 5 months, 9 months or 15 months. This can all be negotiated. We recommend leases to end in the summer months (especially in Beachside suburbs) to put yourself in a stronger to negotiate (supply vs. demand is always strong between Spring & Summer). 

 

WHAT IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT?

This is the period after the tenant has signed the contractual agreement or the lease agreement provided by the Residential Tenancy Act, 2010 as part of NSW Legislation. Within this period the Property Manager collects rental payments, liaises with the Owner on matters such as repairs, maintenance, quotes and an assortment of issues relating to the ongoing tenancy of the property and its occupants.

 

2. MANAGING YOUR PROPERTY

Q. What tradespeople do you use?

We have experienced, licenced and insured tradespeople. We have 2-3 for each category as well. The most commonly used are a handyman, electricians and plumbers. If you have existing relationships with any trades persons, please let us know and we are happy to use them on your behalf, but they MUST be insured and licensed.

Q. How many times will you check to see if the property is being looked after?

Depending on your package chosen, we inspect 1, 2 or 3 per year. Legally 4 times is the maximum amount of times you are allowed to inspect per year for a ‘routine inspection’. If we are unhappy with the tenant’s state of the presentation we will fit in another inspection to report back and ensure follow-up, and improvements are made.

Q. How do we report back to you after we have inspected the Property?

As part of our service we prepare a comprehensive document to our clients, included is a snapshot of the Tenancy and the Property. We can make recommendations and keep you thoroughly informed of the state of the Tenancy and your Investment. All this of course with thorough photographs, sometimes up to 200 if it is a larger Investment Property.

Q. Will you pay all my regular bills on my behalf?

Yes. Please provide your Water meter number and any relevant Strata details for us to communicate with. We will also contact your local Council to inform them we will be managing your Property. Please inform us whether you want this part of the service. We then provide an End of Financial Year Statement at July 1st for your records & Accountant. 

Q. Will you consult me on expenditure?

After we have discussed terms for us to manage your Property we provide an information sheet for you to fill out for any relevant details, questions about how you like to be communicated with. In this document, you can set an upper limit of what we are permitted to spend money on your behalf for repairs and maintenance. Emergency repairs will be attended to ASAP through stipulations from the Office of Fair Trading (see our Emergency Repairs page). We recommend 1st-time Owners to have all items run by them - but if they are slow response's this will have an adverse effect on the efficiency of their Investment. 

Q. Can I set an upper limit for repairs and maintenance?

Typically $300 or some are at $1,000. Depending on the level of work and the complexity required.

Q. Should I take out Landlord insurance?

We would always recommend it, yes. Please ask us for some suppliers.

Q. What happens if the rent is not paid on time?

We have a rental arrears process – in addition to our software which alerts us on a daily basis what tenants are in arrears and by how much. Any time the tenants are behind in rent (starting from 1 day, we send them an email and SMS notification to make payment). 

Q. How much should I expect to pay for repairs and maintenance throughout the year?

A very tough question to answer!

However, depending on the age of your property, you’re last renovations (and the quality of them), you should always keep a 'kitty' on the side for any outstanding issues that come about - as they normally do. Whether it be a hot water system, broken toilet seat, squeaky door hinge, a busted oven or future works including paint and re-flooring, we believe it imperative to have the expectation that repairs, maintenance and future renovations are part and parcel of owning an Investment Property. In our opinion, a minimum contribution of 2.0% of the weekly rent should be allocated to this fund with a base nest egg of $2,500 as a continual level for this reason. Obviously with major renovations more would be required and planned accordingly.

Q. When are rental payments made into our bank account?

Twice a month we pay out both our Tradespeople, Creditors and Owners. We can also dedicate a set day each month (dependant on the Tenant cycle of payments as well) 

Q. What if we aren’t happy with the service?

We doubt it! But typically we require 30 days’ notice to terminate a Managing Agent Agreement. To date (as of March 2017, we have never ever had an Owner Terminate an agreement with us - apart from to sell or to move back in). 

Q. What if we want to move back in or stop renting it out?

We are required to give the tenants due notice. Depending on whether it a fixed lease or month to month lease the time varies.

The minimum period of notice you can give the tenant to vacate is:

• 14 days – if the tenant is 14 days or more behind with the rent or has committed some other breach of the tenancy agreement (After 14 days then we can apply to Tribunal for an eviction notice) 

• 30 days – if the fixed term of the agreement is due to end

• 30 days – if the premises have been sold after the fixed term has ended and vacant possession is required by the buyer under the terms of the sale contract

• 90 days – if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed.

 

Please look at Office of Fair Trading for further details.

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/

 

Q. What else should an Owner look out for?

• Undertaking a tax depreciation report – they can literally save you thousands of dollars over the course of your Investment. Please ask us for any suppliers.

• Is your home water efficient? You can get your tenants to pay for water usage if it is individually metered and a plumber’s certificate to certify this.

Q. How else can your Property Manager help you make more money from your Investment?

- A Property Manager can help in all these ways, plus more, however when it comes to increasing your bottom line, your financial support team should really be called upon. These can be accountants, mortgage brokers, financial planners and property investment experts. We have contacts in this field who we deal with and we are happy to provide suitable contacts upon request.

Lastly, we like to get our clients to fill out a Managing Agent Agreement to make the marketing and management of their property smooth as possible. We hope you found this information helpful and if Elevate can assist any further our contact details are below.