Self-managing your own investment property is possible, but it's not for the faint of heart. You'll have to spend considerable time choosing the right tenants, dealing with problems, familiarising yourself with legislation, organising tradesmen for repairs and maintenance and much more.
In this blog, we help prepare you for the job by running through a few of the responsibilities that landlords need to handle.
1. Property investment experience
One of the most important things to know if you're considering managing your own investment property is that it takes time to find the right place initially. It takes quite a bit of market research to make sure you're purchasing the right property at the right time. For example, you want to make sure you're investing in a neighbourhood that will see growth so you can receive capital gains. Then you have to make sure the property is suitable for tenants, which may require maintenance to the space.
2. Understanding legislation and knowing your responsibilities
As a landlord, you need to know what your responsibilities are as well as being familiar with all legislation that governs residential tenancies.
These responsibilities include:
- Ensuring the property is in a reasonable condition.
- Letting the tenant have quiet enjoyment of the property.
- Meeting all relevant building, health and safety standards.
- Informing the tenants if the property is for sale.
- Having an agent if you are out of the country for more than 21 days.
3. Being available
If something breaks in your home, your tenants have a question or you're otherwise needed, it's important that you're available if you're self-managing your investment property. This could mean taking calls, organising maintenance or visiting the home during work hours or weekends.
4. Attracting, screening and choosing tenants
Your property investment will only be as good as your tenants. That means you need to effectively photograph, present and market your property to attract as many quality tenants as possible to viewings. From there you'll need to screen tenants, which should include:
- A conversation with the prospective tenant to get an idea of their character.
- Checking proof of income.
- Reviewing rental history.
- Checking references, including a past or current employer.
- Verifying I.D.
- Searching the National Tenancy Database.
If you neglect to carry out these checks, you're leaving your property vulnerable to tenants who may damage it, miss rent or worse.
Getting help from the professionals
If you don't have the time, expertise or inclination to manage your property effectively you could be putting your investment at risk.
Make sure you're getting it right from day one and get in touch with a property manager who knows their stuff at your local Professionals office.