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Find your confidence as a first-time landlord

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If you’ve just bought an investment property and have started delving into your responsibilities as a landlord, you may be ready to start looking for potential tenants. 

We’ve delved into the rights and responsibilities of landlords by touching upon the Residential Tenancy Act, and understanding the value of good marketing when looking for new tenants, but now we need to dig deeper. 

Here are four top tips to ensure you get the most out of your investment property! 


Treat your rental like a business

Rental properties are a long-term investment designed to make landlords money, and should be treated like a business. For that reason, I encourage landlords to act with a professional mindset from day one, because who wants to buy from a business or rent a property from an owner that doesn’t care about their customers or tenant? 

Being a good landlord is a balance. On the one hand, you should create a living situation for your tenants that you yourself would be comfortable with, which means addressing maintenance requests promptly, and adhering to the Residential Tenancy Act. 

And on the other hand, landlords should also be careful in how flexible they are with a tenant who may be struggling to pay rent. While many landlords have a heart of gold and will give tenants leeway in paying their rent when times are hard, you are warned to separate business from emotion to protect yourself financially. Be flexible by all means, but set boundaries such as late fees so that late payments do not become a habit. 

As with business owners, create and uphold a solid reputation as a landlord – one that lets agencies and future tenants know you are trustworthy and can be relied upon to take care of the tenants in your rental property. 

Like any good business, organise a team of tradespeople you trust to help you handle maintenance requests on call; this may include handyman, plumber and locksmith.


Build your team of professionals

As a first-time landlord, it’s important to know that you don’t have to manage the whole process on your own. 

Many landlords utilise the help of an agency (such as Kitty & Miles!) to manage their rental property – from tenant screening and security bond, to maintenance requests and more. I also suggest you find a fab mortgage broker and an accessible accountant.

And as mentioned, a team of reliable tradies will be worth their weight in gold if and when a plumbing issue occurs or a new curtain needs to be installed at short notice. If your little black book doesn’t contain the above please reach out to us – we have just the right team of vetted professionals to assist you!


Your tenant screening process matters

A tenant can make or break an investment, which is why it’s über important to conduct a thorough screening process. 

Your screening process should include a rental history check, background and credit checks, employment history, evidence of bills being paid on time, and can include a questionnaire that allows the tenant to tell you a little about themselves from a personal perspective, too. 

While social media is not formally acknowledged during the screening process, it doesn’t hurt to research prospective new tenants on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram for additional clues that may give insight into the tenant’s lifestyle. If for example, your property is located in a quiet neighbourhood and an applicant’s social profile suggests they’ll be hosting late-night parties on the regular, you may wish to take this into consideration for the neighbours’ sake. 


Conduct regular inspections

It is likely you will use an agency such as ours to rent your investment property out, and that’s great! Most agencies will schedule inspections every three to six months to ensure the rental property remains intact; this will include looking for damage to the building, noting any cracks in the walls or foundations, identifying squeaky floorboards, chipped paint and so forth. 

If you choose to rent without the help of a professional, keep in mind it is your property and you are entitled to conduct regular inspections at agreed times. Don’t feel embarrassed to approach the tenant with regards to a routine inspection, and remain confident in noting any flaws spotted during your walkthrough. Remember that the inspection doesn’t only benefit you, but the tenant as well. If there are minor repairs to be made such as loose tiles or loose floorboards, you can rectify those issues quickly to avoid trouble down the track. 


If you’re looking to rent out your property to a new tenant, Kitty & Miles are prepared to make the journey stress-free! Give us a call on (02) 8916 6172 or email to discuss your property, and we will be delighted to walk you through the steps to becoming a first-time landlord. 

Want to ensure you win your new home at auction? Click here for more info on how we may assist you.

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