Choosing a Property Manager
When it comes to choosing a property manager,
often the easiest place to start looking is with friends and family. Ask
people you know who have bought, sold and leased property for their
suggestions and comments about local agents. For a lot of people, the
‘bottom line’ when appointing an agent to represent you is always the
agent’s estimate of the property’s rental value. Keep in mind that it is
important that this figure be realistic and achievable in the
particular market. This is not the only fact to consider; we believe
there’s more to making your selection. At Harcourts Langwarrin, our
property managers will provide you with relevant and accurate
information and make recommendations about all issues that should be
considered when leasing a property. The role of the individual agent is
critical: while you are in fact looking to engage a company to let your
home, you must feel confident and comfortable about working with this
person throughout the leasing process.
The Harcourts Advantage
The experienced team of professionals at
Harcourts Langwarrin are selected carefully for their skills, knowledge
and ongoing desire to provide a client service second to none. With
nearly 20 years combined experience in Real Estate, the Harcourts
Langwarrin Property Management team delivers outstanding results for
their landlords and tenants. Organised, efficient and friendly, our
Property Management team provides excellent service in all property
Specialising in the appraisal, marketing and
leasing of investment properties, our staff members have attended the
Australian Real Estate Conference and the Australasian Residential
Property Management Conference in order to learn more about the industry
and to improve our service standards. With two full-time (and one
part-time) property managers, your property is always cared for. We are
able to handle maintenance and queries for our rentals 7 days a week.
on the best agent to manage your property is vital. If you choose
Harcourts Langwarrin, you will be selecting a team dedicated to the
welfare of your investment.
Leasing your property
We do not hand out keys to prospective tenants;
all inspections are by appointment only. We always conduct an entry
condition report, allowing us to know exactly what the condition of your
property was at the start of the tenancy. Selecting a suitable tenant
to occupy your property is the most important step in the rental
procedure. It is better to have a property vacant than to enter into a
tenancy agreement with a tenant who does not meet our stringent criteria
of suitability. There are many advantages in having Harcourts Ballarat
find a tenant for you:
- We have a large number of prospective tenants pass through our doors every week.
- Listing of the property on key websites.
- Your property is placed on a regularly updated rental list.
- The use of nationwide tenant checks.
- The use of a professional service to get the best tenants.
Our rental applications require several checks on
tenants, including an Australia wide rental checking databases, only
available to agents. These checks assist us in locating the most
suitable tenant by eliminating tenants who have defaulted in the past.
Once a tenant has been selected, we prepare the
paperwork. Every document a tenant completes provides the landlord with
added security and ensures the tenants are fully aware of their
responsibilities. We must meet a number of legal obligations under the
Residential Tenancies Act 1997, and so must your tenants. Most of these
are detailed in the lease agreement. All parties involved keep a copy of
the original lease; the tenant, landlord and the property managers.
This binds the parties to the agreement for a specified period and
sometimes beyond the term of the lease.
The Act ensures that both parties have their
interests protected in regards to the condition of the property. We
complete a condition report (both written and digital) detailing the
condition of the property upon entry, and the tenants also add comments
to this. This report can be used as evidence should any dispute arise
regarding the condition of the property.
The bond is a security payment paid by the
tenants and held by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
until the tenancy comes to an end. This is usually equal to one month's
rent, and is used to secure the property and lease agreement. If
warranted, the landlord may apply to the Victorian Civil and
Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to claim all or part of the bond.
Maintaining your investment
Quality Maintenance Service
Harcourts Langwarrin we believe all maintenance issues should be dealt
with immediately in order to maintain your valuable asset and prevent
further costly maintenance issues. We will always endeavour to contact
you regarding maintenance issues. Internal inspections are also used to
identify maintenance issues early, before they become costly repairs. By
identifying these problems during these inspections, we can often have
the matter attended to before the problem worsens.
take the utmost care when choosing tradespeople to carry out repairs on
your property. Harcourts Langwarrin has compiled a register of quality
tradespeople, who provide prompt service at competitive prices. All
tradespeople are required to have insurance.
24 hour Contact
The property manager acting on behalf of the
landlord must provide the tenant with full agent contact details, and we
are available in the case of emergencies 24 hours a day. The landlord
agrees in writing when completing the management authority to the terms
under which the property manager is able to deal with urgent repairs
without obtaining the landlord’s authority; however, we always endeavour
to contact the landlord prior to making arrangements. The Act is very
clear about what constitutes urgent repairs.
Inspections & Entering the Property
inspections of your property are vital to ensuring that the tenants are
taking care of the property and to determine that there are no
maintenance issues going unnoticed that may result in costly repairs.
The landlord, property manager and tenant all have rights and
responsibilities with regard to entering the property. When a time is
agreed upon, the tenant must oblige. In some circumstances, only 24
hours written notice is required. At Harcourts Langwarrin we conduct
internal inspections after the first three months of the tenancy, then
every six months. The inspection report that we complete is a
comprehensive report which we hold on file here and we then write to you
advising of the outcome of the inspection. Another benefit of
conducting regular inspections is that during the inspection we evaluate
the rental figure. We compare the property to similar properties we
have successfully leased over the past few weeks and current market
conditions to ensure you are receiving the best return possible on your
Ending a tenancy
When tenants decide to move…
a tenant informs our office that they will be vacating, we take
immediate action to re-let the property. We advertise the property on up
to 6 internet sites and on the rental list in our office. When
possible, we will arrange an open for inspection for the property.
Specific minimum notice
is required from both landlords and tenants wishing to end the tenancy,
depending on the circumstances of the termination. Your property
manager is able to give expert advice regarding this.The Final Inspection
the tenant has vacated the property and returned the keys to our
office, we conduct a final inspection to assess the condition of the
property. Using the original condition report as a reference, the
property manager and landlord must be satisfied the property has been
left in a similar state to that when let.Retrieving the bond
both the landlord (Agent) and the tenant agree on distribution of funds
from the bond, then they both sign the Bond Claim form. The landlord,
through their Property Manager, may claim compensation for damage caused
by tenants or their visitors, professional cleaning if the property is
not left suitably clean, loss of goods and unpaid rent. The landlord may
not claim costs due to fair wear and tear. Any dispute is advised to be
resolved through the property manager, who is skilled in negotiation
and dispute resolution, before involving external authorities. If no
agreement is reached an application can be made to the Victorian Civil
and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on your behalf.Goods abandoned by the tenants
the scenario that tenants leave behind some of their belongings, there
is a strict procedure to follow that is set out in law. In general,
every attempt must be made to return these goods to the tenant within
the stipulated time frames, and they may not be held in lieu of unpaid
rent or compensation. Your property manager will be able to manage this
process and provide advice.
What leases well?
The characteristics of a great
rental property vary greatly from those of a property that you may buy
to live in yourself. The greater the quality and appeal of a property,
the higher the rent achievable for it. Tenants also treat these
properties with greater respect.
Features of a great rental property:
- Low maintenance yards and gardens
- Great location
- Updated or new kitchen and bathroom
- Adequate garaging and/or shedding
- Immaculate presentation
- Security shutters and doors
- Air conditioning, if the house heats up in warm weather
- Adequate heating for all rooms
Presenting your property for better tenants
two properties that seem almost the same on paper, lease for vastly
different prices? Quite often it simply comes down to a matter of
presentation. As owners, we become so familiar with detracting elements
in our property, such as pet odour or a particular furniture
arrangement, that we overlook their impact on a tenant inspecting it for
the first time.
See your property through a tenant’s eyes
in the street outside your property & try to imagine seeing it for
the first time – as though you were a potential tenant. Most tenants
will see your property for the first time from that same vantage point
as they drive or walk past. Remember – first impressions last. The best
tenants are attracted by quality, and these are the tenants that we want
for your investment.
Creating Space, Atmosphere & Ambience
is very important to make each room appear as spacious as possible;
often we accumulate possessions which tend to give the property a
cluttered appearance & make it look less spacious. Remove
unnecessary items to accentuate the spaciousness, without leaving the
rooms looking sparse. Opening the curtains & blinds to allow as much
natural light as possible will brighten up the property & again
help accentuate the feeling of spaciousness. Each property in the rental
market is in competition for tenants with others in the same price
range & location. An attractive presentation & atmosphere will
tip the scales in your favour & create increased competition for
your property, resulting in a high quality tenant.
What expenses do the tenants cover?
- Rental payments, in advance
- Water bills (if separately metered)
- Electricity, gas and telephone
- Utility connection fees
- Cleaning costs on vacating
- Break lease fees if applicable
- Any repairs for which they are liable
- Any other expenses stipulated in the lease agreement
What expenses do I cover?
- Maintenance and repairs
- Initial utility connection or installation costs
- Council rates
- Body Corporate fees (if applicable)
- Other items if agreed to in the lease agreement, such as a gardener
The Residential Tenancies Act 1997
governs property management in this state, and this is enforced by the
Department of Justice. All Landlords, Tenants and Property Managers must
adhere to the Act. The Renting – Statements of Rights & Duties
guide is a useful publication to read, as it stipulates each party’s
obligation. More information can be gained by contacting the Real Estate
Institute of Victoria, Consumer Affairs or speaking with your property
manager. We’re more than happy to help!