Common Mistakes Investors Make

Common Mistakes Investors Make

When it comes to property management, it is good to have the right understanding and expectation. Here are some common areas that can cause conflict and upset with property owners and investors.

General ‘Wear and Tear’– this is understanding that every person who rents your property will always live differently than you would. ‘Wear and Tear’ is the allowance of some ‘bumps and scratches’ to paintwork, woodwork and other items however we must also be aware of the lifespan given to a number of key items in the property. For example carpets are seen to have a 10 year lifespan before the need to be replaced and paintwork is given roughly a 5 year lifespan. So if these items are damaged, then their age is taken into account at the time of loss.

The Rent Arrears Process– we are a strong believer in the zero tolerance approach! We believe that tough early intervention is the key to ensure that rent arrears do not get out of hand. However every now and then, despite all our best efforts a tenant may for whatever reason not pay and the situation is headed for eviction. However, in just about all cases the rent left owing has exhausted the bond, let alone clean-up and re-letting expenses. Therefore it is crucial not only to understand there will be a substantial financial loss, but also we strongly urge landlords to be covered by a quality landlord insurance policy (speak to your property manager for more details). In fact we feel so strongly about this that we’ll even pay your first year’s landlords insurance policy when you place your property with Total Care Property Management.

Repairs and Maintenance – this is simply having the right expectation that everything that is provided as part of the tenancy, whether inside or outside, on the grounds or in a shed, has been provided in good working order. If an item breaks down, it must be repaired within a reasonable time frame. If it cannot be repaired, it must be replaced quickly. Unfortunately with the threat of further action by a tribunal and compensation awarded to a tenant, it is far easier and cheaper to quickly allow for repairs or replacement of items to occur. In these cases, we contact you immediately to seek you permission to allow us to get the repair sorted as soon as possible. Only in an emergency will we go ahead and authorise repairs on your behalf.

Reasonably Clean, understanding the gap – When it comes to a property being presented to a new tenant, or a tenant vacating a property it is a legislative requirement the property be ‘reasonably clean’. So what is ‘reasonable’? This term can be hard to define but can be seen as what a reasonable person would agree as being generally clean. We do find that magistrates who oversee tribunal hearings have differing opinions when presented with a cleaning dispute and dare we also say differing moods, so there can be varying degrees of what ‘reasonable’ can be when trying to win a cleaning claim against a tenant. However it is important to understand that there is a gap where sometimes money needs to be spent to bring a property back to a right standard. For example, if we are presented a ‘sterile clean’ property at the start of the first tenancy, and each tenancy has tenants leaving a property reasonably clean despite our best efforts to get it back to ‘sterile’, sometimes we need to spend the landlord’s money to get a property back to very high cleaning standard again, closing the gap between very clean and reasonably clean. We believe this is simply part of having to put money back into the property just like with repairs and maintenance and to ensure the property is kept in the highest standard possible to attract and retain the right tenant!

These factors can keep you, the property owner and investor with the right expectations to enjoy your valuable property investment more!