As the owner of an investment property it can be more than a little worrying knowing that the potential value of your property can come down to the way it’s treated by your tenants.
If you want to protect your investment, getting the right tenants is an obvious place to start. But the following proactive actions could safeguard your property’s long-term rental returns without costing big dollars.
You should always choose a representative, having a professional property manager between you and your tenants is an effective approach with an investment property. Choose an agent who’s enthusiastic about keeping a good relationship with your tenants, and proactive in your property’s care and maintenance.
Know your rights and responsibilities, although your agent can guide and instruct you, it’s essentially your duty to know what your rights and obligations are to your tenants – so read up on state guidelines to make sure you aren’t caught unawares.
Insurance is a must but unfortunately many property owners in Australia are significantly under insured when it comes to their home and contents. You need to make sure that your investment has the right cover to protect you and your tenants and to safeguard against any scenario, such as fire, flood or burglary.
Be transparent, putting everything in writing is the best way to avoid complications in a contract situation. Keep a copy of all contracts signed by your tenants as well as documenting any requests, reports or requirements noted by your agent – a paper trail can be a great incentive for your tenants to keep the property in good repair.
It’s also a good idea to increase rent costs annually by a sensible margin, and this should be outlined in your initial contract. If your tenants expect a rise in costs each year there’s less chance of complications when the time comes to ask for it.
Looking after your investment property
Always present a neat, safe and clean property to prospective tenants, if you don’t look after your property, your tenants won’t see a need to either. Providing a clean and secure residence will encourage your renters to maintain the property’s aesthetic looks and therefore its value.
Spending a little to make sure that you have the right locks, smoke detectors and security screens can save you a lot in the long run. You could also consider hiring a gardener to keep the outside tidy, and you should always make sure that repairs are made straight away to avoid excess damage and unhappy tenants.
Respect your tenants privacy, it might be your investment property, but while your tenants are living there it is their home. Your agent should conduct regular inspections, but give plenty of notice before they arrive.
By following this simple but effective approach to being a landlord will help to ensure that your investment property maintains its value.