Owning an investment property should not be a stressful experience, if you are a first time investor it is important to know what to expect when leasing out your property. We have covered off on some key points to know before renting out your investment below.
Marketing your property
Our research has shown that over 95% of applicants find our properties on the internet. At OC Rentals we advertise all available properties through many web sites including
Through internet advertising, we have the ability to provide a detailed description of the property and up to 12 images of the property, including a floor plan if available. There is also an option to include a Google map to show prospective applicants not only how to find the property but services and schools in the area.
Prospective applicants can contact our office directly through a link on the advertised property. The emails are received and responded to automatically advising the applicant of the next viewing time.
All available properties are also placed on our Rental List which is emailed to prospective tenants and is also available for people who come into the office.
Where necessary the Advertiser and Messenger newspapers can be utilised, however only in consultation with the Landlord.
When conducting our showings of the properties we observe and interview interested parties and ask them to complete an application form. This form asks a number of vital questions including the following:-
- Personal details
- Current and previous rental history
- Employment details
- Personal references
- Emergency contact details
- 100 point identification check
These details are then thoroughly checked; initially by contacting the references and then by checking them against the TICA national tenancy database.
The importance of comprehensive application checks cannot be underestimated; this is, without doubt, one of the most critical parts of the whole process.
Once these checks have been completed we will contact you to discuss the applications and to obtain your approval. Once an application has been accepted we will contact the applicant immediately to advise them of their acceptance and request that they pay a deposit on the property within 24 hours.
Prior to the commencement of the tenancy, a detailed Ingoing Inspection Report will be conducted. This report details the condition of the property prior to the tenant moving in and is used as a reference for when they vacate the property for this reason it is imperative that the report is detailed and accurate.
At OC Rentals we have developed a comprehensive written report that also incorporates photographic images of the property. Each page of the report represents one room of the property with up to 9 photographs; additional photographs are included at the end of the report and identified as to which room they are for. Photographs taken are of rooms, key features within the room such as light fittings, curtains, marks on walls or carpets and appliances, etc.
In accordance with legislation, the tenant is provided with two copies of the report; one for them to sign and return to the office within 14 days and the other for them to keep for their own records. A copy of the report will be forwarded to you once it has been returned by the tenant.
OC Rentals employs two specialist Tenancy Inspection Officers to ensure that regular inspections take place at your property. Unlike other companies, which conduct only three tenancy inspections each year, we conduct up to four tenancy inspections per year from the commencement of the tenancy.
Tenants are advised in writing of their pending inspections and are supplied with an inspection guide to help ensure that their property is presented at a high standard.
We pride ourselves on providing thorough tenancy inspection reports which include details of:
The general condition of your property.
The manner in which your tenants are maintaining your investment.
Any maintenance reported by the tenant.
Any maintenance issues noted by the Inspection Officer.
Photos are taken of yards and any maintenance issues where possible.
Tenants are advised if there is anything they can do to improve the presentation of the property. Should the tenant be required to attend to a number of items, a follow-up inspection will take place to ensure that they are completed. If the items have not been completed to a satisfactory standard Form 2 may be sent.
Landlords are welcome to attend tenancy inspections. If you wish to attend, please notify your Property Manager so that a time can be arranged. Tenants must be given between seven and 14 days notice in writing.
Rental Payments Methods
We believe in early intervention when it comes to rent arrears. As part of the tenant induction process, our tenants are made aware of our policy relating to rental payments, their obligations under their lease agreement and the consequences if they should fall behind.
Our preferred method of payment of rent is by direct debit, One Rent or Centrepay. Direct debit is our own system with which we can take payments directly out of the tenant’s account and there is no cost to the tenant. We also use a company called One Rent; this company will accept payment in a number of ways including credit card, BPay, POST billpay, BPhone and internet transfer, but they do charge the tenant a small amount for this service. Centrepay is for tenants who receive Centrelink benefits. Whilst this is not a guaranteed method of payment, in our experience, it cuts down on the instances of tenants on Centrelink payments paying late or defaulting on their rental payments. Centrelink pay us the rent before they put the social security benefits into the tenant’s bank account.
It is a condition of our Residential Tenancy Agreements that the rent be paid fortnightly in advance. A tenant needs to be 14 days in arrears before we can issue any legal documentation, however, at OC Rentals we commence the recovery procedures much sooner.
Rent arrears are checked every working day. If your tenant is in arrears they will be contacted in a number of different ways; by phone, text message and by mail. We continue to contact tenants by these methods right up to the fifteenth day. The Act states that at fifteen days we can then issue a Form 2 Notice of Breach. The tenant will then be given seven clear days under the Act to either pay the entire outstanding amount of rent or vacate the property. This notice will terminate the tenancy and its obligations should the tenant choose to provide vacant possession under the notification period.
When the Form 2 notification is unsuccessful in obtaining payment of outstanding rental income due, we will forward an application to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal (known as a Form 7) requesting a hearing. There is a fee charged for these hearings payable to the Tribunal which we will pay on your behalf and debit from your account. At this hearing, we will request that the tenant pay all outstanding rents as due and depending on the circumstances of the tenancy and your intentions we can seek vacant possession.
The decision of the sitting member during the Tribunal proceedings is final.
In the unlikely event that your tenant is in rent arrears and the breach is severe enough that we must attend the Tribunal, our office communication policy will ensure that you are informed every step of the way. The Form 2 and Form 7 mentioned earlier can also be used for other reasons such as non-payment of water accounts, gardens, damage but the procedures change slightly in some cases.
Your funds will be deposited directly into a bank account that you nominate on the last business day of the month. Additional payments can be made into your account as required, however, additional fees may be incurred.
Statements will be emailed to you along with copies of any accounts paid.
At the end of the financial year, you will be supplied with an Income and Expenditure Statement which will help your accountant prepare your tax return.
As an additional service OC Rentals can arrange for accounts to be paid out of your rental funds. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Council rates
- SA Water accounts
- Strata levies
- Insurance policies
- General maintenance
- Land Tax
- Emergency Services Levy
Tenants are informed at the signing of their lease that all maintenance items are to be directed to our office. Our Tenancy Inspection Officer will also notify you of any maintenance issues noted during an inspection.
At OC Rentals we also have a dedicated after-hours emergency maintenance phone that is monitored by one of our Property Management staff 24 hours a day. Should a phone call come through regarding your property, we will first assess whether the issue is urgent or whether it can wait until the next working day. If the matter is deemed urgent we will attempt to call you to discuss what action to take. Should we be unable to contact you or should the time of day be unreasonable our trained staff member will use their discretion to have the problem rectified.
We ensure that all of the tradespeople we regularly use have the appropriate licenses and public liability insurance. We also monitor all the accounts from our tradespeople to ensure they stay competitively priced.
Lease renewal/rent reviews
Most fixed-term leases are for a period of twelve months; the procedure with lease renewals and rent reviews is as follows.
Approximately three months prior to lease expiry our office will contact you by mail with our suggestions regarding the lease renewal and rent review. If it is our recommendation that the lease is renewed we would state this in our correspondence and we would also indicate what we consider the rent is for similar properties in the same area. In this correspondence we would then ask you for your instructions regarding the lease renewal and if you wish us to increase the rent at this stage.
When this paperwork is returned to our office the renewal paperwork is then sent to your tenant; advising them of the rent increase and the new term of the lease. We ask that the tenant returns this renewal to us at least four weeks before the expiration of the lease. We ask for this four weeks before the lease expires in case the tenant has decided not to renew the lease and we need to begin advertising for a new tenant. Once the paperwork is returned by the tenant it is photocopied and copies are sent to both landlord and tenant.
Should it be that we suggest that the tenancy is not renewed, for whatever reason, we generally try to give the tenant four to six weeks notice to enable them to look for alternative accommodation.
When making our suggestion regarding rent increases to market rent. This recommendation is based on two things: firstly our expert knowledge of the current market right across the state; and secondly our research to ascertain the rental amount similar properties have achieved recently in the same area.
End of tenancy
Upon receiving notification from your tenant that they will not be renewing their lease we will contact you to seek your instructions regarding the re-letting of your property. Should you wish to re-let your property we will:
- Confirm the end of the tenancy in writing
- Commence advertising on the internet and rental list
- Allocate a Final Inspection time and date
Once the Final Inspection has been conducted we will contact you and advise if there are any items that require attention and gain your approval for the Bond to be released.
Should you have any queries in regards to property management, please contact our property management on 08 8269 2252.