Are you wondering what’s happening with your investment property?
Are you frustrated because you are not getting answers, or worse, don’t know who to ask, as the company you are with has a very high staff turnover rate and you speak to a different person each time you call?
Is the rent is up to date?
When was the last routine inspection done?
Has that leaking tap been fixed?
Has the recent storm caused any damage to your property?
When speaking to a family member about her investment property recently, I realised that many landlords are not updated regularly on what is happening with their investment property. Some may think however, that no news, is good news. Although that can be true, if it was me, I would still like an update or a way I can get this information online in my own time, whenever I start “wondering”.
Now, I understand too well how busy property managers are and how things can be overlooked or missed, after all, we are only human. But in today’s technology advanced world, there are many programs available to streamline the processes and manage, time effectively, ensuring everything is up to date and nothing is missed.
With all this technology however, we cannot afford to lose the human aspect. That’s when it becomes essential to have a mindful manager to look after your investment. It removes all the “wondering” and replaces it with peace of mind that your property is cared for by someone who manages it like their own.
You need a manager who does routine inspections regularly and proactively reporting any maintenance required and notices every little detail. One who does every routine inspection the same way, inspecting from the street curb to the back fence, each room, each surface. Making recommendations and providing you with a detailed report with lots of photos, which will be essential in case of an insurance claim.
Someone who provides detailed quotes with photos of maintenance needed and updated photos when the job has been completed and they have carried out an onsite inspection or verified with the tenants that the work has been done satisfactorily.
A mindful manager that holds tenants and tradies accountable by providing immediate feedback, and also appreciating and rewarding the people when the work is done well.
An experienced manager should find and keep the best tenants, while remaining loyal to the landlords. They should ensure that rent is paid, on time, every time and breach notices are sent in accordance with regulations. When choosing the best tenants, they need to ensure all the necessary checks are completed and criteria met and follow up reference checks with a phone call to previous property managers to ensure they get a complete history and verification of information.
You should never have to ask or wonder how everything is going with your property.
Information should be accessible on an owner portal for 24/7 access and your manager should let you know every time a maintenance request is actioned and confirmation when it has been completed.
Being kept informed before, during and after every event related to your property is essential, and in the way you prefer to be informed whether it be low tech or high tech. And for those busy landlords who can’t deal with their investment property issues during the day, availability after hours is essential.
If your property manager, looks after your property this way, you will intuitively know your property is in the best of hands, you’ll have peace of mind and never be wondering “What’s happening?”
I know, you must be so annoyed at seeing anything about Covid-19 by now, you just want it all to be over and life to get back to normal, albeit a “new normal”
I, and many of my landlords feel exactly the same.
We would just like to give you an insight into how we helped our current Landlords through this difficult time ensuring their investments and their income streams were protected.
Due to our very strict criteria and vetting process we have always been fortunate to secure financially stable tenants. As a result, we had 7 tenants claim hardship, and only 2 of them experienced such extreme difficulty that it resulted in job loss. Good staff are hard to find, so one of them was back in employment within 3 weeks.
Before negotiating with our Landlords to assist these tenants during this difficult time, we first ensured that they completed a Rental Assistance Request Form, providing evidence of financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. We also assisted them to apply for all government assistance programs available at the time. We then presented all information at hand to the owners for their consideration.
If the tenant’s situation had not changed and they were not affected by COVID-19, they were expected to keep making their normal rent payments and we were still obligated in these cases to issue breach notices and follow the eviction process for non-payment of rent.
Two of our generous owners were in a position to offer tenants a small reduction in rent for a period of 4 weeks only, and we allowed no permanent rent reductions, while waiting for government assistance. Most of our owners allowed the tenants to pay less for a period of 4-8 weeks, until they started receiving Jobkeeper payments, therefore not reducing the rent at all, just allowing them extra time to pay and when they started receiving Jobkeeper payments, they started paying back the shortfall.
Fast forward to now, and all of our tenants whether they experienced ‘official hardship’ or not, have fully caught up and are back on track with normal rent payments and no arrears.
During the first 3 months when lock downs were in place and we were not allowed to conduct routine inspections, we offered the tenants the opportunity to do a Self-Inspection, through a link we provided to them where they could upload photos and make notes as required. We then went through these and asked questions if needed and provided feedback. As soon as restrictions were lifted and by agreement with tenants we have reverted back to conducting normal on-site routine inspections.
Maintenance and repairs continued with no change. The COVID-19 Tenancy Laws clearly state that all tenants are required to allow access for urgent repairs and compliance visits including smoke alarm checks. The exceptions are those households that have occupants who are sick with the virus, at high risk, or undergoing state-imposed quarantine directions.
Our trades will contact the tenants first and confirm that it is safe for both parties to allow maintenance to be carried out.
Throughout the entire process we have been keeping our Landlords and tenants up to date with developments and our procedures, keeping their investments protected and their income stream consistent.