Landlord FAQs and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions from Landlords....

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions we receive from landlords together with some information and answers to these questions.  We want our clients to have all the information they need to make informed and educated decisions about property investment and their rental property. If you have questions that are not shown below, please don't hesitate to contact us so we may answer any questions you have.

 

1. How long does it take to secure a Tenant?

Securing a quality tenant depends on a number of different factors. Effective marketing plays a major part. Other factors include time of the year, number of comparable properties in competition, asking rent etc.   At Shield Management we will advise you on all of these to ensure any downtime without a tenant is kept to a minimum.   We help reduce this for you by highlight listing our properties on the internet to ensure they always appear at the top of the search criteria to ensure maximum views.   We also show properties when it suits prospective tenants to get as many people looking at your property as possible.   As a general rule we advise owners that in most cases we will have secured a tenant within 2 weeks of advertising.

 

2. How much will my property rent for?

At Shield Management we strive to achieve the highest possible rent for your property.  However we also balance this to ensure you have a very minimal vacancy period.  It does make any financial sense to be asking too much rent and the property being vacant for months.  There is a balance here and knowing how to get it right needs an experienced specialised management team.  We will be able to advise you on what rent you should be asking for your property based on comparable properties and market conditions to achieve the best result.

 

3. Can I charge tenants for water consumption?

Yes absolutely you can.   At Shield Management we believe you should be charging your tenants water consumption as this helps put more money back into your pocket and helps achieve the maximum return possible for your property. To pass on 100% of water consumption to a tenant - you will generally need a water compliance certificate issued by a plumber for this to occur.  At Shield Management we can take care of this entire process from invoicing tenants and more importantly following this through to ensure you receive this reimbursement.   If your property is not water compliant - you can still charge tenants over an "excess" portion that we set at 30kl. every 3 months.   Ask us for more detailed information about this issue.

 

4. Do I need Landlord Insurance?

At Shield Management we recommend all of our landlords have a good quality insurance in place.   Landlord insurance can give you peace of mind and confidence that your property will be covered if something goes wrong due to loss of rent or damage by tenants.  A specific landlord insurance company will generally have much lower premiums, lower excesses, and even provide better cover than insurance policies provided by banks and other insurance companies.   Unfortunately in our experience we have seen circumstances arise that even good tenants can have problems and turn bad.  Below are 3 examples with links to specialized landlord insurance companies.   If you would like further information here, please let us know and we can send you the PDS provided.

Terri Scheer Insurance,   EBM Insurance,   MGA Insurance

 

5. Do I get a say on which tenants rent my property?

Yes of course you do - its your property after all. We will present all applications to you, outlining income, who is wanting to reside at the property, past rental references, employment checks and whole range of other checks.   All of this is presented to you so you can make an informed decision.  Of course we will give you our opinion of who we think would be the best tenants for your property - but ultimately the choice is yours. Selecting a quality tenant is crucial in determining how your investment will perform.   Not only does it ensure rent gets paid and your property is maintained, it will also reduce overall maintenance costs and increase profitability by reducing vacancy periods.

 

6. I'm not sure about having pets at my property.  What are my rights here?

Lets face it - most people have pets nowadays.    Depending on the type of property you have - this can largely determine on what pets a tenant may have. With most properties we state that pets are permitted only at owners discretion - which allows you to decide what pets (if any) you would like to accept depending on the application from the prospective  tenant.   With every property that pets are permitted - we ensure our tenants sign an additional annexure to their lease agreement clearly outlining their responsibilities.  For more information please contact us to discuss in detail.

 

7. Are you able to pay my rates, insurance and body corp fees for me?

Yes we can. If you prefer we can arrange for these invoices to be sent directly to our agency to pay on your behalf.   We make repayments from any rental monies received and you will receive copies of any bills paid along with your regular monthly statements.  This can be a huge advantage come end of financial year as all of your property expenses are in place and are shown on a End of financial year summary.   This will help reduce overall accounting fees for you also. If by chance at any time an invoice is due and there is not enough rental funds available, we will always make contact with your to seek instructions.

 

8. How do I change over to Shield Management?

Its easy.    Firstly we will send you a Form 6 Appointment of Agent agreement for you to sign to appoint our agency to manage the property on your behalf.  If you currently have your property with another agent, you will generally need to give them 30 days notice in writing of your intention to change agents. An email will suffice here.   We can give you examples of what needs to be included here.   From this point on - we take care of the rest!    We will contact your existing agent and arrange to pick up all required documents and keys etc.  We will also communicate with the tenants to ensure a smooth transition so your tenant is not inconvenienced. Its not a hard process and can occur at any time during a tenancy.

 

 

Preparing your home to rent out...

If you are moving out of your property and wanting to rent it out, then preparing your home for this can be a daunting experience.   You could be unsure on what needs to be done and have concerns that your property may get damaged.  Please contact us and we would be happy to make a time with you to meet at your property to discuss what needs to be done to prepare for tenants (obligation free).

We have also compiled a brief list of points to consider prior to tenants occupying the property:

  • Re-direct all mail with Australia Post
  • Ensure you have Building Insurance in place and part of this we require you to have Public Liability Insurance
  • Notify your Council Rates and Utilities of your change of address (we can pay these on your behalf if you prefer)
  • Notify your insurance company that the property will now be tenanted
  • Prepare the property to be cleaned to tenancy standards prior to advertising.   Lawns and gardens will also doing
  • Ensure a working Safety Switch on the power circuit is in place
  • Ensure all Smoke Alarms are working and comply with current Smoke Alarm Legislation
  • Ensure all locks are working, no leaking taps, and general maintenance is complete
  • Leave any manuals for appliances etc at the property or with the Agent
  • We will need at least 2 full sets of keys cut for the property  (1 set to be provided to tenant and we hold 1 set also)

We can help you prepare your property for tenants and can help you organise any of the above.  There are also specific requirements for owners of properties that have pools.  Requirements also exist to ensure the property is up to standard to pass on water consumption charges to tenants.  Please contact us for more detailed information here.

 

 

Landlord Resources....

During the process of conducting business we come across a number of different companies that specialize in different aspects of the property industry.   Sometimes these companies/businesses contact us directly and others are referred directly and indirectly through mutual clients and customers. Like any company or business that exists in the world, some are highly recommended while others are not.   At Shield Management we want to help our landlords and clients in any way we can, so as a result we have put together a list of resources that may be of help.   We have found that in our experience the dealings we have had with the below companies have been of a very high standard.