Becoming a landlord can be an exciting yet daunting achievement, especially if it’s your first time. But never fear! Ray White West End has all the tips and tricks you need to excel as a first time landlord.
Ray White West End has a 36% higher rental return than industry average
1. Understand Your Responsibilities as a Landlord
When you become a landlord for the first time, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with Queensland’s Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act, administered by the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).
This tenancy act outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenants so your investment and everyone involved is well protected. These obligations are enforced via a written tenancy agreement, also known as a lease agreement.
This contract states that as a Landlord, you must:
- Complete a Condition Report prior to anyone moving in.
- Lodge a rental bond with the RTA within ten days of receipt.
- Give appropriate notice and time frames before entering, including routine inspections. (Unless the tenant agrees, you cannot visit on public holidays, Sundays, or any time before 8 am or after 6 pm).
- Follow and enforce all QLD safety laws (smoke alarms, security, electrical safety switches etc.).
- Respond to and carry out all general and emergency repairs and maintenance.
- Pay all fees and related costs of preparing the tenancy agreement.
2. Know Your Rights
In Queensland, Landlord’s have the legal right to:
- Inspect the property once every three months.
- Receive rent on time and issue breaches if this doesn’t happen.
- Ensure your occupants keep the building well maintained (excluding repairs).
We strongly advise performing an exit Condition Report at the end of the tenancy to determine any damage that is not considered general wear and tear. Landlords have the right to deduct from the bond to compensate for any cleaning or damage repair.
3. Decide if You Will Hire a Property Manager
Are you already feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry! You can appoint a property manager to take care of all these tasks for you. Although it adds to initial costs, hiring a property manager could save you time, money and headaches in the long run.
As real estate specialists, they know how to market your rental to find your ideal tenant quickly, maximise your rental returns and efficiently handle any breaches or issues that may arise.
At Ray White West End, we believe in full transparency from start to finish. That’s why we share accurate information about our services upfront so you know what you’re paying for.
Our elite property management services include:
- Preparing your property for rent.
- Using proven marketing strategies and technology.
- Organising pre-move-in checklists and tenancy agreements for landlords and tenants.
- Collecting rental payments and bonds.
- Carrying out routine inspections.
- Organising efficient maintenance and repairs.
- Preparing lease renewal agreements in advance.
- Preparing tax-ready EOFY statements.
To learn more about our services and fees, please visit our property management page or contact us directly on (07) 3844 4244.
4. Protect Your Investment with Landlord Insurance
Imagine this: you’ve just bought a beautiful investment property, found a family to move in and within only the first few weeks, a Summer storm causes a tree to fall through your roof. Nightmare!
Unfortunately, your standard homeowner’s insurance won’t automatically cover your investment property and contents. That’s why we highly recommend buying Landlord Insurance, so you’re covered if any unforeseen events such as theft, fire or storms occur. Depending on your chosen policy, it could also include protection against public liability or rental income defaults.
5. Prepare Your Property to Stand Out
Successfully marketing your rental involves two key steps: attracting a reliable tenant and sealing the deal! A crucial part of preparing your property for rent is ensuring it is presentable and well-maintained. How can you expect your tenant to respect the home if its starting condition or appearance is less than desirable?
We advise to complete the following before marketing:
- Hire a professional cleaner to steam all carpeted floors.
- Have all floorboards and tiles re-polished.
- Clean or replace all windows, doors, blinds and curtains.
- Ensure the outside of the house is tidy and presentable — stairs, weatherboards, driveways, gutters, ∙ bins etc.
- Check all light bulbs, taps, etc. are in working order.
Now everything is sparkling, it’s time to style your property to stand out! Potential tenants will favour a well-presented space. Placing furniture throughout the house or hiring a stylist will allow prospects to imagine the place as a welcoming, lived-in home instead of somewhere they just pay rent.
We also highly recommend having a professional take some crisp, vibrant photos of the home to set you apart from the competition. This preparation period will drastically boost your success as a landlord and lower your vacancy rates.
6. Screen Your Potential Tenants
Tenancy screenings are essential to ensure everything runs smoothly. Before selecting your tenant, you must determine their ability to meet their obligations by checking proof of income, ID, and previous rental history. Speaking with their references and interviewing prospective tenants in person is also a great way to assess their character.
At Ray White West End, our property managers use the National Tenancy Database and proven processes to screen all applicants. Combined with our elite marketing strategies and real estate experience, we guarantee to lease your property within seven days!
7. Choose Your Preferred Type of Lease
As a landlord, you will generally have two types of leases to choose between:
- Fixed-term — a strict time frame of 6 or 12 months.
This option provides the homeowner with regular income and secure tenancy. It also offers the tenant the security of knowing that even if the property sells, they have the right to stay until the end of the lease.
- Periodic or month-to-month — has a definite start date but no end date.
This option provides flexibility for both parties and is a favoured lease if the house is up for sale or under development.
There are benefits to both lease types, depending on the landlord’s situation and goals. But fixed-term is the most popular in Queensland due to the security and peace of mind both parties receive.
8. Learn How to Maximise Your Rental Returns
Your rental home is a valuable source of income, so learning how to optimise your earnings in an ever-changing market is vital. We suggest the following steps:
- Review the rent regularly to confirm it meets market value.
- Research the average rental return in your area (for similar properties).
- Ensure you give appropriate notice before any price increase.
- Choose a reliable, respectful resident who will take care of your investment.
- Research or seek professional advice on taxes — you may be able to claim back numerous expenses.
Ray White West End does all this and more, so you can focus on more exciting things — like what to do with your new investment earnings!
9. Written Communication is Key
Efficient, consistent communication is one of the most critical elements of being a good landlord. And in real estate, written communication is king. Therefore, we strongly advise that your tenancy agreement includes all obligations and conditions in writing, along with all rent payments, receipts, property maintenance and repairs, breaches and any general questions or concerns.
This way, you can rest assured that there is ample evidence if your tenant does not fulfil their responsibilities or attempts to dispute a decision you have made. As always though, you must ensure your agreement aligns with your state’s laws. This can be a complex process, so hiring a property manager can take a lot of pressure off, especially for first-time landlords.
10. Boost Your Investment with Ray White West End!
At Ray White West End, we achieve low vacancy rates and flawless management for each and every client. Our results speak for themselves, with 36% higher rental returns than the industry average. You can trust that we will maximise your investment in West End, South Brisbane, and Highgate Hill while keeping your tenants happy. So why not give our team a call today?