Tip 1: Always Have Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is not optional – you MUST have landlord insurance regardless of whether you own an apartment in a strata complex or you own a house/townhouse. Many investors in Sydney make the mistake of thinking strata will cover everything.
There are great insurance products available on the market and you can generally get them for amazing prices. If your rental income is less than $1,000/week, you’re looking at roughly $400-$500 per year for landlord insurance. Not bad for peace of mind!
Tip 2: Move on applications for tenancies FAST
When you’re property is for rent and you start receiving applications for tenancy – move on them FAST. Your agent will need your ‘okay’ before they proceed with the applicant and it’s up to you to move quickly.
Our rule of thumb is – Get back to applications within 24 hours. If you take longer your applicant will get approved for something else or lose interest in your rental.
Tip 3: Don’t immediately deny applications with pets
As a property owner in NSW you are entitled to disallow pets in your investment property. However, we recommend not turning away potential tenants purely based on pets – some of our very best tenants in our portfolio have pets.
Just be sure to put in the lease agreement to get the carpet steam cleaned when tenant vacates (payable by tenants of course).
Quick tip: Strata laws on allowing owners to keep pets are different from owners allowing tenants to keep pets.
Tip no.4: Account for repairs – don’t penny pinch
This one probably sounds most “commonsensical” however, it’s the biggest pitfall many landlords fall into – not wanting to repair and losing tenant.
As a property owner in NSW you are responsible for the reasonable upkeep of the property. ‘Reasonable’ depends on the age of the property.
Don’t blame your old tenant, your new tenant, your builder (especially after 15 years!) or the strata company. When things break down, be ready to fix them.
Having your repairs and maintenance up to date means you will potentially attract a higher rent return and better tenants.
Quick tip: Understand what repairs you are responsible for as an owner. If you are unsure ask your agent or Fair Trading.