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The Informed Investor: November 2017 Podcasts

Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer, Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialist, joins Steve Price to take an informed look at tips and traps for property investors.

2017, Changes and you: November 6th, 2017


2017 has been a year of big changes for renters and landlords.

And as the focus has seemed to have been around empowering renters with more rights, it’s made a few landlords nervous- but should they be?

Here are a few of the major talking points right now:

Pets:

While it may be harder for landlords to outright deny pets, that doesn’t mean your investment property is doomed to become Noah’s Ark. What it does mean is more transparency about the desire to keep pets and more open negotiation as to how this can be done in a way that works for everyone. If a tenant is ever found to be keeping a pet against such an agreement, as this is a breach of lease, you may still ask them to remove the pet, or negotiate the official terms by which the animal can stay.

Rent increases:

In some markets, the possibility for rental increases have been restricted to once a year as opposed to once every six months. The best way to navigate this is to really ensure you, as a landlord, know the costs of maintaining the property as best you can all the time. The plus side here is the added security given to tenants, which hopefully leads to a more settled tenancy overall.

Specific rent figures:

Instead of a range, landlords must provide the precise rental cost. Similarly to the above, the peace of mind and security this gives to tenants is actually a good thing for landlords too- there is no point in attempting to score more rent if it’s only going to lead to a breach of lease.

The ability to name and shame ‘shonky’ landlords:

Whilst perhaps not a perfect system and definitely something to watch, it’s a reminder of the importance of being a good landlord- not only to keep yourself out of trouble, but because a good relationship between landlord and tenant works to everyone’s benefit.

Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer, Australia’s Leading Landlord Insurance Specialists, has something to say about all these points and more. Hear it all from the player above.

Tips and traps for property investors: November 13th, 2017

Airbnb, alterations and more: November 20th, 2017

There’s more than enough complication in even the most simple landlord-tenant relationships – but increasingly there are more and more circumstances that require extra care.

Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer Landlord and Building insurance joined Steve Price to take a look at a few of them.

Airbnb: 

Many have found this disruptive short-stay platform an excellent way to generate an extra bit of income, but it’s vital to make sure your insurance has you covered before starting out. If you’re planning on listing your entire house on Airbnb, chances are a policy for short term letting is all you need. However, many people opt to just rent a single room whilst residing in the rest of the house. This is often more complicated and probably warrants a chat with your insurer.

From living to leasing: 

Landlord’s insurance is not home and contents insurance. It specifically covers you for circumstances that may arise from having tenants, such as failure to pay rent or damages incurred. This means if you’re planning on renting a property that was previously your own home, it’s vital to make sure you update the policy to prevent being caught out in a situation wherein you’re not covered.

Alterations: 

The state of the property market means people are renting for longer and staying in the same places longer too. An investment property to one person is a home to another, and with that feeling of home comes the desire to really make the place your own. If you’re a long term renter with aspirations of changing or altering the property in any way, it’s important to be open about this to your landlord. Simply going ahead could be a breach of lease, even if it’s something that on face value just seems like a simple improvement, such as a lick of new paint. As with everything, a good tenant-landlord relationship is king.

Do you need a property manager?: November 27th, 2017

A property manager is more than an estate agent with specialised responsibilities and expertise- at a price. So the question is: do you need one?

Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer, Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialist, joined Steve Price to answer some of the more frequently asked questions about property managers.

What do property managers do?

It’s all in the name- property managers are responsible for all aspects of managing the property. This includes maintenance and insurance claims, taking care of the lease, being the first point of contact with tenants, conducting the initial background checks on potential tenants as well as organising and conducting regular inspections and reports.

How much do they cost?

This can fluctuate suburb to suburb and property to property, but generally you can expect to pay around 7% of your rental income. It’s unlikely you will pay less than 5%. However, it’s worth remembering this is tax deductible.

How demanding can you be of your property manager?

The responsibilites that property managers should be taking care of as part of their role are fairly comprehensive and shouldn’t require you to ask anything more of them. In most cases you’ll just need to ensure they are doing what they are supposed to.

What’s the most common issue property managers take care of?

Whilst property managers are very handy in cases of accidental damage, this takes comes in second to the far more common problem of missed rental payments- whether it be from tenants simply forgetting, a problem with automatic transfers or from instances where tenants abscond with money still owing.

So why is a property manager valuable?

Every task a property manager takes care of is one less thing for you to act on or worry about yourself. Additionally, a property manager will ensure their knowledge is up to date, which is especially important given just how many changes property legislation is undergoing at this time. Finally, as the property manager will deal with the tenant in most cases, it helps mediate in the case of any problem or dispute and protect the landlord-tenant relationship.

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