Meeting legal landlord obligations
You’ll need specific documentation for your investment property whether you self-manage it or not, but it’s an important one to remember. You’ll need a rental agreement which explains the rights of tenants and must be signed by them. You’ll also need the lease and bond agreements and a property conditions report. These obligations change often so it’s important to be on top of your state or territory’s regulations.
Looking for tenants
When looking for new tenants, you’ll need to continue respecting the rights of the current tenants and observe the rules for notices for access and inspections. When you do find tenants, you’ll need to conduct a background check. You can use the National Tenancy Database to check for good rental records.
Before tenants move in
At the beginning of the lease you must provide a clean, safe and secure property and you’ll need to provide a set of all keys to each tenant on the lease. You also need to ensure you’ve set the rent to meet market expectations. Once you’ve established your asking rent, you’ll need to settle on a good payment method and make the arrangements with your tenants to make it a smooth process.
You’ll need to provide regular servicing and maintenance of fixed appliances which include water, gas and heaters. Any repairs will need to be responded to quickly. For the protection of your investment, you’ll also need to conduct regular inspections of the property and keep detailed records of your observations. This feedback will need to be passed on to your tenants with clear instructions of any actions required following the inspection.
Your financial responsibilities include issuing the receipts for rental payments to the tenant. You also need to make sure you have the finances and resources prepared for any necessary and urgent repairs. And don’t forget that the payment of water and sewage rates comes out of your pocket as well.
Put everything in writing
Think of running your own investment property like running your own business. You need to keep things in writing to protect you should any issues arrive. It’s always a good idea to have a written tenancy agreement which covers what is included under the lease agreement, and a condition report to document any flaws or damage in the property with photos for evidence. It’s also wise to issue a receipt or keep a ledger for tenant payments. This will ensure you’re aware of when payments are made on time and provides your tenants with evidence they can use on their future rental applications.