Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I get the best rent for my property?

Setting your rental price is one of the most critical decisions you will make as the owner of an investment property. Your property manager is the best person to assist you with setting the best rental price for your property.There are a few factors that must be considered when setting your rental price.

You must consider the condition of the property

Is it in a good state of repair with paintwork, carpets, and its general overall appeal?

What features does it have that make it appealing and attractive?

A quality tenant wants good features and if they see what they are after, they’ll be happy to pay a better rent. Speak with your property manager about extra features your property could have that would assist with achieving a better rent.

As the saying goes, ‘location, location, location!’

If the property is close to sought after places likes schools, colleges, hospitals, and shopping centres then this will likely assist with a better rent as tenants want to be closer to what they need to access on a regular basis. If it means less travel time and less travel expenses, then this will create a stronger demand and in turn a better rent. Speak with us today before you consider your next purchase so we can tell you what locations have a strong demand in our marketplace.

Security of lease

Quality tenants will be after security of lease. Offering a 12-month lease works best. However, if a property is on the market for sale with no secure lease offered, then this can detract from getting a quality tenant (unless a short-term lease suits their purposes).

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What is the application process?

Once your property is advertised, we will either hold open homes or book private inspections to show people through your property. After viewing they can apply to rent the property. Once we have finished processing the application, we will put it forward to you for your decision. We will NEVER decide, without your permission first, on who will be able to rent your property.

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How do I know I am getting a good tenant?

Ultimately the decision is up to you. We will present the completed applications and provide you with our professional opinion, but you will choose who resides in your property as a tenant.

We can never guarantee any tenant as we are unable to control their actions. We can only serve notice of a breach for it. That is why we always ask that you have quality landlord’s insurance cover, for unexpected situations like the tenant losing their job and being unable to pay rent or deliberate, malicious damage

Just like building insurance covers you for unexpected events like storm damage, fire, a burst pipe, etc., you also need to have quality landlord insurance cover to protect you against loss incurred by non-payment of rent or malicious damage which are not covered by your building insurance policy.

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How long will take to find a tenant?

There is no set time frame for finding a tenant. However, the sooner we advertise the sooner we can find a tenant. Your property must be advertised correctly, at the correct market value and be a maintained home to secure good tenants in the fastest possible time.

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What will be covered at the new tenant induction?

When the tenant signs their lease and collects their keys, we will go through the following with them:

  • The tenant’s responsibility to maintain the property
  • Notifying us of any repairs required
  • Our strict rental arrears policy
  • Pet lease agreement – if required
  • Our special conditions which outline looking after the property
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What is the bond for? And how much do you take?

Before the tenant starts their lease, they must pay a bond which equals 4 weeks rent.

This will be paid to Bond Admin and will be held there until the tenant vacates the property. The bond is held as security for your property. If required, it is to cover the cost of bringing your property back to its original ingoing condition (less fair wear and tear) after the tenant vacates, plus any outstanding costs like rent.

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How often will I receive the rent funds and when will I receive my statement?

You will receive your rent payments one or two times per month. You will receive your statements
at the end of every month when you receive your end of month payment.

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What expenses can you manage on my behalf?

We can manage all of your expenses, we will pay these from the rent funds that we collect on your behalf. We can pay your landlord insurance, council rates, water rates, maintenance invoices and any other invoices related to your property. Just let us know!

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What extra outgoing expenses should I expect?

As a landlord there are a few outgoing expenses you should be prepared for and always ensure you have spare funds to cover the following:

  • Maintenance/ repairs to maintain the property standard
  • Cleaning between tenants if the property sits vacant for a while, or if a ‘top-up’ clean is required beyond ‘reasonable’
  • Lawn maintenance between tenants if the property sits vacant for a while
  • Property compliance such as smoke alarm checks or water efficiency certificates
  • Council rates
  • Water rates
  • Insurances
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Does my tenant pay for water usage?

Yes, your tenant is responsible for water usage charges as long as your property is water efficient and separately metered. The tenant will have 14 days to pay the water invoice to reimburse you for the usage charges.

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What insurance will I need?

You will need to get building insurance for the property and contents insurance to cover the carpets, blinds, fittings, etc. If you already have building insurance you will need to notify them that the property will now be rented out, otherwise you may find that your cover will be jeopardised!

You can also choose to get landlord protection insurance. This will cover you for rent default, malicious damage to the property, tenants abandoning the property, the property being used for drug production, etc. We recommend that you use a quality landlord insurance cover as a policy accessed through a financial institution or even a supermarket can mean a lesser quality cover than what is available through your property management agency. Speak with us about how to get this type of quality cover.

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Do I need a tax depreciation schedule?

Property depreciation is a legal tax deduction related to the ‘wear and tear’ of an investment property over time. A tax depreciation schedule outlines the deductions you may be entitled to claim each year of ownership on the Building Allowance (the structure itself including bricks, concrete, etc.) and, if eligible, internal items like ovens, carpets, blinds, etc.

As with any tax deduction, claiming property depreciation reduces your taxable income. A depreciation schedule is a fully comprehensive, ATO-compliant report that helps you pay less in tax. The amount the depreciation schedule says you can claim effectively reduces your taxable income because it is considering how much it costs you to own and maintain the property.

While you may be familiar with claiming on items such as council rates or property management fees where you have paid money towards an item or service, depreciation is a non-cash deduction. This is because it is the ONLY deduction that you don’t have to pay for on an ongoing basis and it’s already built into the purchase price of the property.

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Do I have to allow pets at my property?

The choice is entirely up to you unless your property is in a strata/ body corporation complex and there is a pet clause in your by-laws. Keep in mind however more and more quality tenants these days are looking for a ‘pet-friendly’ rental property.

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Whose responsibility is it to maintain the smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms must be installed in accordance with our state legislation and regulations

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Do the tenants maintain the lawns and gardens?

In general, it is the responsibility of the tenant to maintain the lawns and gardens supplied with the property. However, you can choose to include lawn and garden maintenance with your property and have someone attend to the lawns and gardens on a regular basis. You would then include this cost when setting the rent price. Speak with us if this is something you’d like to consider.

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Do I need my property termite checked?

We recommend that you have your property checked for termites annually to ensure the property remains structurally sound and safe for the tenants.

Please note that termite damage is an automatic exclusion under all building insurance policies, so getting your property termite checked annually is highly recommended.

Please let us know in writing that you would like to have your property checked for termites by a
professional pest control company (each time that you would like to have this done) and we will arrange this service.

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What inspections are carried out during the tenancy?

Ingoing condition report

This report is completed prior to your tenant moving into the property. This report outlines the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy and is used when the tenant vacates to ensure that the property is left in the same condition. The tenants are given a copy of the report and have 7 days to return a copy with any additional notes.

Routine inspections

These inspections are carried out to ensure the property is well cared for (in accordance with their tenancy agreement) and to check if there are any maintenance, health and safety or compliance issues. We conduct the first routine inspection within the first 6 weeks of the tenancy and then every 3 months after. At these inspections we check for the following items:

  • The property is kept reasonably clean and tidy by the tenant
  • There is no visible damage to the property or maintenance required
  • Ensuring the tenants are maintaining the exterior of the property
  • Lawns and gardens have been maintained
Vacate inspections

This is the last inspection carried out as soon as possible after the end of a tenancy once the tenants have returned their keys. The ingoing condition report is used at this inspection and each item is checked off to make certain that the property is in the same condition as when the tenant took possession (less fair wear and tear). It is at this inspection that any items needing to be rectified by the tenant are identified.

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When can I go to the property?

Your tenant has the right to reasonable peace, comfort and ‘quiet enjoyment’ when renting your property. For this reason, the tenancy laws restrict when and how often you, your agent or any other authorised representative of the landlord can enter the property. You, your agent or other authorised person can only enter the rented property without the tenant’s consent in certain circumstances, and if proper notice (if applicable) has been given. For example:

  • In an emergency
  • If the tribunal/ court orders that access is allowed
  • To carry out, or assess the need for, necessary repairs or maintenance of the property
  • To carry out urgent repairs
  • To carry out repairs or replacement of a smoke alarm
  • To inspect or assess the need for repair or replacement of a smoke alarm
  • To carry out a general inspection of the property
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What is the repair process?

Once the tenant notifies us in writing or at a routine inspection of any repairs required, we will contact you to seek approval for the repairs unless it is an urgent repair. In this case, if we cannot get in contact with you immediately, we will arrange the repair. We ask that you do not complete your own repairs, for legal, license and insurance reasons.

From time to time, at routine inspections we may note some proactive maintenance that may need to be completed. This could include repairing door handles, towel rails or even painting after a tenant has vacated.

If the repair needed is damage caused by the tenant and if it is a safety issue, we will have the repair completed and can then pass on the cost to the tenant for reimbursement to you.

If there is an urgent repair outside of business hours the tenants are instructed to try to contact us first. If they are unable to get in contact with us the tenants have been provided with an approved list of trades to contact outside of business hours only if it is an urgent repair.

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What happens if my tenant stops paying rent?

We maintain a zero tolerance for late rent. However, should the tenant fall behind we will continuously contact them to ensure they will be making payment. We will also keep you updated throughout the process.

If the tenant falls behind, we will discuss with them ways to catch-up the missed rent. They can make a one-off catch-up payment or go onto a payment plan (if deemed necessary). We will implement the procedure to handle late rent in our office.

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How much notice does my tenant need to give if they are vacating?

There are a few different scenarios when a tenant is vacating a property. The notice period depends on how and when they are vacating.

If they are choosing to vacate at the end of their fixed lease, they will need to give at least
30 days’ notice.

If they are choosing to vacate after their periodical lease has expired, they will need to give at least 21 days’ notice.

Should you have any more queries, please contact us at info@maxirealty.com.au