Can I request my final rent inspection be conducted prior to the end of the 30 days notice if I have fully vacated the property ?

by Administrator 3. November 2016 22:04

Yes, there is nothing to prevent a final property condition report being prepared before the official tenancy end date. However, your responsiblities would not come to an end until the agreed date.

 

It should also be noted that even if you have vacated the home, an inspection has been carried out and the report prepared, it would still be prudent for the property manager to return on the last day to ensure that the condition had not changed.

 

Referenced by Craig Bradley, REIWA Executive Manager Agency Practice

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Can you sell your tenanted property ?

by Administrator 26. October 2016 20:44
So you have a tenant in your property and you decide you want to sell, can you do it ??
Yes you can. A few important things to remember are:
Does the tenant want to buy the property? If they like living there then this is their chance to have secure tenure.
A tenants lease over rides a sales contract so the person who purchases the property needs to honour the lease agreement.
A sale contract will incorporate The Joint Form of General Conditions which requires vacant possession so the contract will need to state if vacant possession won't be given in the event the tenant/s are staying.
However if it is a periodic lease (known as month to month) the tenant needs to be given 60 days notice to vacate. But, if the lease has 30 days or more remaining then 30 days notice can be given that the lease won't be extended in time.
Notice for home opens is required (special condition clause).
Have a good relationship with the tenant so that they co-orperate with the sale and appointments.
If it is an option, ask the tenants for their preference for either home opens or viewings by appointment and set some regular times up so that every week they know what to expect.
Ensure that any special conditions in the lease have been relayed to the sale agent selling your home to ensure they are passed on to potential buyer.
At settlement the seller receives the rent from the day of settlement.
Often a copy of the lease will be given to a potential buyer however if there are multiple offers and the tenant isn't comfortable about the lease copy being given out to various people then the selling agent needs to write into the contract of sale- 'The seller/s warrant the lease end date is until xx/xx/xx at $000.00 per week for example. In law, the word 'warrants' carries over after settlement so the seller is responsible that this is true and is liable even after settlement has taken place.. A copy of the lease could be given to the successful buyer prior to settlement.
Communication is the key and keeping a good relationship with them is vital.

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To Stage or Not to Stage ???

by Administrator 23. March 2016 20:24

In a slow market I had a couple wanting to sell their lovely character home in South Perth which had been renovated whilst they lived there. With its white picket fence and manicured gardens the 1940's home looked inviting and once you walked inside you could see yourself living there. The owners were sensible in pricing the property according to what was selling and most importantly what wasn't selling. We agreed on a selling fee and as we had a winning formula and I'd known them for 15 years so I waived any advertising costs so we would wear it. When speaking with the owner she asked my opinion of 'staging' the home. I said that the staging companies will charge about $3000.00 per month and my rational was that we had a winning formula so yes they should do it. This is the first time I have thought that way. I'm too Scottish to think spending money that won't have a tangible result is worth it. The owners have a Scottish background to so we talked about using some of their own furniture and maybe buy some and borrow some. Their parents had spare tv's, computers etc...so we all agreed that was the way to go as a house in South Perth can take months to sell in the current market so the $3000.00 per month could become $15,000 which they couldn't afford.

The first buyers that saw the home offered the asking price as they didn't want to risk losing it to another buyer and sellers accepted their offer a few hours later.

Whilst I'd love to go on about what a great agent I am I think that all the critical points in selling a home where here to make a winning formula. Staging did play a part and ultimately the sellers and I did have a tangible result being time and money.

I am now a staging advocate. I can't afford not to be.


Bill McKenzie | Director - Sales

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Life in Kensington ....

by Administrator 7. November 2015 23:15

 

Kensington is a small suburb bound by South Terrace in the south and Canning Highway in the west. It is in a convenient location close to a number of inner-city urban hubs and just six kilometres from Perth City. More than 4, 450 people live in the area, which was developed in the post-war years.

A number of parks and reserves dominate the Kensington landscape providing plenty of scenic vistas and open public space for locals to explore. The retail and amenity requirements of residents are largely serviced by establishments in surrounding areas, however there is one supermarket within the suburb. Kensington borders Perth's Technology Park, is close to Curtin University and features one local school, Kensington Primary School.

 

The annual median price is $875,000

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SOCO REALTY shares the dangers for private investors

by Administrator 29. September 2015 07:12

One of the most important decisions a landlord will make is whether to manage their rental property themselves or enlist the services of a professional property manager.

While DIY property management may sound easy enough, it can actually be quite complex and there are potential traps.

One of the biggest issues facing landlords is the legal implications as risk management is now an important part of property management. If you’re going to do it yourself, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the tenancy legislation and paper work required.

There are also many day-to-day problems that can arise. Common issues that may need to be dealt with are tenants failing to mow the lawn and maintain the gardens, having pets without approval and getting behind in the rent.

As many landlords often develop a personal connection with their tenant, they may feel uncomfortable chasing arrears. Property managers, on the other hand, are removed from the emotions.

If you are considering managing your own rental property, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls.

Here are five traps to avoid:

Failing to ask for a bond

This is a security deposit which is held in case the tenant doesn’t meet their obligations under the tenancy agreement, such as causing damage to the property or failing to pay the rent by the vacate date.

Not having a lease

This is a legally enforceable contract which usually spells out the length of the rental agreement, the amount of rent that will be paid, and the condition the property must be returned in.

Not filling out a condition report

This document describes the standard of repair for the premises and any items included within the premises, such as furniture. It is designed to protect the interests of both parties and is now compulsory

Not understanding tenancy laws

Property management can be very complex and if landlords don’t comply with the legislation it can lead to fines. There are different Acts legislating tenancies in each state and territory.

Inspecting without correct notice

The tenancy laws in each state stipulate how often inspections can be done and how much notice must be given to tenants. Failing to issue correct notice can be costly penalties apply.

One of the biggest advantages of enlisting a property manager to look after your rental home is peace of mind. They take the hassle out of every step of the process from finding a tenant to collecting the rent, and attending maintenance issues to conducting routine inspections.

Although there is a cost involved in using an expert, you are paying for a professional service and the fee is tax deductible.

A property manager can also advise you on how to present your property to attract quality tenants and get the best rental return. Even if supply is tight and tenants can be quite choosy – they’re more prepared and starting their search for rental properties earlier.

So when it comes to property management, think carefully before you decide to go it alone.

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Cheap vs Value for Money

by Administrator 20. September 2015 06:53

Things to consider when choosing an agency to manage your property

Too often when I am asked for more details on our property management services, I am initially asked for our fee schedule. Yes this is definitely an important thing to check….but is it the MOST important thing to consider when choosing an agency ?? definitely not.

Cheap vs Best Value for Money ?

A cheap agency is one that has cheap fees but also cuts corners as a result, they may use limited resources, they may also pay staff little which means they are more likely to have staff change overs. An agency that is best value for money, knows what their profit margin is, pay their staff well, invest in training and the best resources necessary and prices their fees accordingly. In most cases they will offer you the same marketing and service as a more expensive agency but are more realistic.

Did you know that when you are trying to negotiate your fees with an agency from 9.35% down to  8.8% you are trying to save yourself a measly $3.00 per week !! (don’t forget that this is also tax deductible !) Property Management fees have been the same for probably more than 20 years yet costs have gone up (and yes rents have too I hear a lot of you say !)

What is important ?

  1. How is the department set up ? Is the agency set up with pods, so one person deals with maintenance, one person deals with leasing, one person does routine inspections, one person deals with tenants etc. OR are you given a property manager who manages the entirety of the property from viewings to final bonds ? OR a bit of both ?? It is important for you to be clear as to how this works so that you can consider the pro’s and con’s of each communication method

  2. Where will your property be advertised ? realestate.com makes up approximately 60% of our tenant enquiries therefore I suggest that this website is really important to be on. Other websites such as domain.com.au and reiwa.com.au are also important for our industry.

  3. How are property managers monitored ? Who is the person in the office responsible for keeping an eye on the person looking after your property ? How are staff motivated to do a good job etc. It is a good question to ask ! You also need to know that there is a person within the company that is easily contactable should a problem arise

  4. What is the agency doing to reduce vacancy rates in this tough market ? Find out what the process and marketing plan is to minimise any lengthy delays with renting out your home.\

  5. Ask to look at the agency’s paperwork. Particularly a copy of the property condition report, routine inspection report and end of month statement. Make sure you are happy with the detail of these reports. Every agency’s will be slightly different.

Hopefully these little tips will give you a few ideas of questions to ask when meeting with an agency to do a rental appraisal and I hope to be able to answer all these questions for you when I meet with you.  Feel free to contact me any time on 0416 352 679 or ashleigh@socorealty.com.au


What changes do we expect to see in the next 5 years ?

by Administrator 3. September 2015 22:49

I am so excited about the changes ahead ! Have you noticed how much the world is changing with everything becoming online and cloud based? Just drop in to your local bank or Coles and you will see that there is an increase of self service machines and less staff….SO…can this be replicated within a real estate office ?? Yes I think it can ! but maybe not to the same extent.

We have already seen new online systems for tenants to  book their own viewings for rental properties and there are a few programs that offer this and have been a real time saver for us property managers. At SOCO Realty we use a great one called Inspect Real Estate.

We are also in the process of implementing a maintenance manager program which is going to enable our property managers to manage and follow up maintenance in one system which is really going to be a benefit for our landlords and tenants and we are really excited about this.

I also received an email today from a company called Real Estate Virtual Assistants….I know that personally I am not ready to go this far with the “whole online thing” just yet….but maybe in 5 years I will !

At present, SOCO Realty is just happy to implement a few of these online system to ensure our property managers work as efficiently as they can with out sacrificing our personal customer service that we are proud to offer our clients.

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Renting your home in todays market ?

by Administrator 27. August 2015 19:08

Property Management in Perth is currently in the middle of a touch market with properties having high vacancy rates and achieving lower then usual rents. A lot of properties that have previously been renting are experiencing a 10 – 20 % drop in rent when they come available for rent again in our local area. While we are fortunate enough to have our clients accept the market, I can’t help but feel that we also have a “market responsibility” to be conservative when reducing rents too low. The minute an owner in the area lists their property for  a ridiculously cheap price, then all the other homes similar to this may have to follow suit as this will be setting a precedence and we will end up with a whole lot of houses in South Perth rented out for $300 per week ! So what are we doing as agents in this tough market to get your property leased out as quickly as we can ? We ensure that all marketing methods are exhausted including a for lease sign, all major websites are being used for advertising, we have invested in an online booking program which allows tenant to book in their own inspection time and constantly checking the market to ensure we are priced fairly in the market without going too low. My advice to owners with vacant properties is to be flexible with accepting pets when you can as this opens you up to a whole lot more enquiries, while the property is vacant take the time to attend to little tidy up jobs such as a fresh coat of paint, new tapware, possibly new blinds or carpet. With so many choices of rentals for potential tenants they can afford to be a bit fussier so we are noticing that the properties that are presented well are leasing out quicker then the older ones. Finally, accept that the market changes, we have had a lot of good years and we may have a few low years, but at the end of the day, it will always bounce back so hang in there !

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WA home owners are moving less frequently

by Administrator 8. April 2015 23:54

New analysis from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia indicates that Western Australians are moving house less frequently than they used to.

A comparison of figures between the periods of 1990-91 and 2013-14, showed that as dwelling stock across the state increased from 586,000 to 992,000, the average turnover time increased from 14 to 21 years.

REIWA President David Airey said this suggested that owners and investors are holding onto property for longer, which debunks the long held myth that home owners move an average of every seven years.

“The peak turnover rate of 11 years occurred in 2005-2006, at the height of the property boom and record turnover.

“Conversely, the longest turnover period of 25 years occurred in 2010-2011 as markets across WA recorded weak turnover levels not seen since the recession in the early 1990s,” Mr Airey said.

Further analysis at sub-region and region level produced varying results across the state, with the Perth metro area's turnover climbing from 14 to 19 years, which was not as significant as the overall state figure.

“If we break this down to the types of dwellings, we find that owners of multi-residential property, such as units, apartments, villas and townhouses, have traditionally held property for longer and continue to do so.

“This is probably influenced by the fact that around half of all multi-residential stock is owned by investors. Around 22 per cent of Perth’s dwelling stock is multi-residential and our research shows ownership of this stock has stretched from 16 to 23 years since 1990,” Mr Airey said.

Perth metro 

At sub-region level within the Perth metro area, results were much more varied.

In the central sub-region (roughly a 10 kilometre radius from the CBD), data showed that this zone held 59 per cent of all dwelling stock in the 1990s, but had dropped back to 47 per cent, while the average turnover moved slightly from 15 to 19 years.

Higher turnover rates were found through the northeast region of Perth, which includes Swan, Mundaring and Kalamunda. In this region, the ownership period stretched from 14 to 21 years, which is the longest rate in the Perth metro area.

Perth’s southeast sub-region saw more rapid turnover through Gosnells, Armadale and Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

“This is probably indicative of the larger number of first home buyers and investors, and possibly also the higher number of forced sales resulting from the recession in the early 1990s.

“These factors may also have influenced the northwest sub-region through Joondalup and Wanneroo, where the holding time went from a low of 13 years to 19 years during the period of this study,” Mr Airey said.

Perth’s southwest region, through Cockburn, Kwinana and Rockingham, saw turnover rates shift from 14 to 18 years.

Regional WA

In Regional WA, turnover times were more highly variable as a result of changing economic fortunes, population growth, investment trends and lifestyle choices which ebb and flow around the state.

“In the Peel region, including Mandurah, the high level of turnover once associated with discretionary holiday homes has given way to levels now comparable to Perth as its population has grown.

“It looks similar through the South West and Great Southern, with an upward trend in turnover time more reflective of lifestyle living choices, while in the Wheatbelt, the holding time has stretched out to 42 years as rural communities decline,” Mr Airey said.

Through the mid-west, the mix of rural and holiday settlements beyond Geraldton has influenced more recent turnover rates, while in the Gascoyne, lower sales activity after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 blew out the turnover rate.

The Pilbara saw little change between 1990-91 and 2013-14, and there was an extended period between 1995 and 2010 where average turnover periods levelled at 20 years.

In the Kimberley, low turnover in sparsely populated and small communities resulted in turnover rates similar to those found in the Wheatbelt.


Source: aussiehome.com


Minimum levels of Security in Rental Properties

by Administrator 30. March 2015 22:41

In 2013 it was announced that there were now minimum security requirements for rental properties and lessors have until the 1 July 2015 to comply


To summarise please read note the following:

Front main door must have a deadlock or a key lockable security screen. If the door does not have a security screen it must also have a peep hole or side light to ensure that a tenant can see who is at their front door safely without opening the door.


Windows need to be fitted with a lock but not necessarily a key lock to prevent the window being opened fro the outside. This is not applicable for windows that are not on the ground floor.


External Lighting - There needs to be an electrical light at the main entry door that can be operated from the internal of the property.

 

If you require any further information or clarification on the above it would be a good idea to visit the Department of Commerce Consumer Protection

http://www1.safetyline.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/minimumsecurityrta.pdf