There are many important factors to consider as a first time property investor to help…
By Sarah Barton, Terri Scheer Insurance Distribution Channel Manager
The financial and emotional consequences caused by tenants who damage a property or fall behind on rent can be devastating for landlords.
However, there are steps that landlords and property managers can take to reduce the risk of this happening.
In the current rental market, property managers are reporting record numbers of rental applications for properties.
While there are more potential tenants to choose from, that doesn’t necessarily make it easier for property managers and landlords to determine who will be a good tenant.
Ensure the property is well-presented to attract good tenants
A rental property that is well-presented and easy to maintain is more likely to attract good quality tenants.
Tenants are also more likely to take pride in a well-presented property and treat it as if it were their own.
Encourage landlords to undertake simple renovations or maintenance such as a fresh coat of paint or provide gardening assistance as this can help to attract good calibre tenants and ensure the property remains well cared for.
Don’t ignore warning signs & do due diligence
Property managers have good experience in screening prospective tenants and know what questions to ask them.
Ensure a thorough application process is followed, even if the applicant looks good on paper. For example, the property manager or landlord should conduct reference checks for an additional layer of protection. Property managers should also make use of the National Tenancy Database which shows tenants who have defaulted on rental payments, damaged a property or been evicted.
Trust your instincts and don’t ignore the warning signs. If there is any information of concern, investigate further to prevent selecting tenants who may cause issues down the track.
Remove discrimination from the application process
Under the Equal Opportunity Act, property managers and landlords must not discriminate against applicants based on their:
– marital status
– whether they have children
– mental illness
– pregnancy, or
Landlords or property managers are not allowed to turn down a person’s rental application based solely on these factors, however they can be excluded based on their past rental history.
In all cases, landlords still have a legal right to choose the best applicant from all prospective tenants.
Obtain landlord insurance
Comprehensive landlord insurance provides a safety net for landlords if their tenant does the wrong thing and damages their property or stops paying the rent.
Unfortunately, even the best tenant can accidentally damage a property of fall behind in their rent.
Landlords should choose a policy that provides cover against damage and loss of rental income.
An insurance policy that covers these specific risks can assist landlords to safeguard their investment and ensure they continue to receive a steady flow of rental income.
Property managers should check their authority to distribute or refer before dealing in insurance.
A distributor is able to deal in insurance on behalf of their property owner. This enables the distributor to speak with the insurer, place cover, amend cover and cancel a policy. Property management businesses can become distributors with Terri Scheer.
For property managers who are not distributors they can still inform their property owner of the existence of landlord insurance in the form of a brochure. The property owner must complete and sign the application form and send it directly to us by email. Alternatively, they can apply online through the Terri Scheer website.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance. In arranging your insurance, Terri Scheer Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 76 070 874 798 AFSL 218585 acts under authority given to it by Vero Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The Target Market Determination is also available.