Being a landlord for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially consider the breadth of roles and responsibilities you have to be on top of. In Part 2 of 8 questions all landlords should ask, we look at issues such as how often you should refresh your property, should you allow pets and reasons why your property might be empty for any period of time.
5. How Often Can I Review The Rent?
Rather like your ability to enter your investment property during the year, there are strict guidelines about how often you can lift the rent, and it is generally dependent on the type of tenancy agreement you have. Each State also has different rules stating when you can consider lifting the rent. In NSW, for example, if you have a fixed term agreement of more than two years, you are able to look at raising the rent once in a 12 month period.
6. How Often Should I Refresh My Property?
When it comes to brand new properties, you’d probably think that it’s unlikely you’d ever have to refresh your property – that is, give the walls a new coat of paint, have carpets replaced or have the outdoor areas renovated. After a few years, however, it can be a good idea to think about ways to keep your property investment in good shape. It can be a good idea to schedule such activities if you are between tenants, thereby minimising any disruption to your tenants but also having a nice fresh property to advertise and for new tenants to move into.
7. Should I Allow My Tenants To Have Pets?
More and more brand new apartment buildings are allowing residents to keep pets with them, and it is certainly more common nowadays for tenants to apply to have their pets included on the lease. There are moves to have all new properties accept pets as the default position, with the landlords being able to then tailor their strategy accordingly. While it is up to you ultimately, your property manager or agent will be able to tell you whether it’s a good strategy or not for your particular area.
8. Why Is My Property Empty?
Even the most well laid plans can be disrupted by an unexpected event such as a tenant leaving or a property investment that sits on the market for longer than you expected. The important thing if this happens to to have regular contact with your property manager to understand their plan for getting new tenants as quickly as possible. If the property has not been leased within your expected timeframe, find out why and find ways to remedy the situation quickly.