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Property Investments Australia
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Latest  /  Property Advice

Property Investments Australia

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Investing in property is one of the most common forms of investment for many Australians. In addition to a constant rental revenue stream, many suburbs are still offering possibilities of capital gains through house price increases. However, being a landlord is a multi-faceted and sometimes difficult job, certainly more than simply collecting the rental payment each week.

Whether you are thinking of taking the plunge into property investing or have recently added property to your investment portfolio, there are many factors you must consider to ensure a smooth ride as a landlord. From expensive repairs to messy tenants who do not pay on time, there are a number of things to consider.

It's certainly not all doom and gloom though; being a landlord can be a financially and personally rewarding experience if care and attention is paid to these six tips in particular:

1. Carefully select your tenants

This is surely the most important aspect of being a responsible and successful landlord. These are the people who will be living in your home; it is of the utmost importance to choose a tenant who will treat it with respect and care. The screening process is also one of the most time-consuming tasks that a landlord will undertake. Get it right and a good tenant can occupy your home for many years with ease, get it wrong and it can difficult and costly.

Screening tenants is a fine-line process of turning down unsuitable tenants in the correct and proper manner and not turning down too many leaving the property sitting vacant for extended periods.

We suggest you make a standardised screening process and stick to it. Ask for personal and employment references, check for potential red flags in their credit and rental history, make a background check if possible and ensure a suitable deposit is negotiated.

2. Collect rent online

Landlordzone recently quoted, "66 per cent of landlords find that managing their property portfolio is more stressful than their full-time jobs". The most stressful part; collecting rent and managing payments. Thankfully, automation processes can eliminate some of the stress. We suggest getting your tenant to commence a direct-debit payment to ensure consistent payments which will allow you to more easily document the flow of funds. There are also a number of property management software programs designed to automatically log and archive payment details to reduce your administration each week.

3. Don't be afraid to outsource

If you know that you will find taking care of particular tasks more difficult than others, it may be prudent to look at outsourcing them. There is no need to add unwarranted work and stress when being a landlord is already a job of wearing many hats. Things like cleaning between tenancies, routine repairs and maintenance and other time consuming tasks can easily be outsourced locally.

4. Deal with repairs immediately

It is important to never allow repairs to remain outstanding. Failing to rectify certain issues can result in further damage or even the tenant being able to legally breach you for failing to keep the property to a suitable standard. Both of these scenarios create the possibility of souring your relationship with the person living in your important investment. If it's broken, fix it. A happy tenant is one of the keys to a happy landlord.

5. Consider landlord insurance

While a suitable security deposit can be used to cover small amounts of damage to your property or loss of rent, landlord insurance will give you the peace of mind of knowing that other major risks associated with renting out a property will be looked after. As always, no two insurance policies are the same, and we suggest contacting the best insurance adviser locally to discuss your personal needs, especially if your investment property is being rented fully furnished. These independent financial planners will be able to take care of the technical aspects of your insurance, so you can focus on other things.

6. Hire a local Property Management firm

While there are many advantages for going out on your own and managing your own property, you may find that you simply do not have the time or resources to run your property day to day. This is where Australian property management solutions can offer assistance in ensuring the most suitable and professional property manager for your investment property is chosen. A good property manager will alleviate the stress of the paperwork, maintenance and inspections and find and liaise with your tenants on your behalf. While they aren't free, you may find that a specialist property manager actually maximises your rental returns in the long run.

Becoming a landlord is an exciting step in your investment strategy and should not be adding any unnecessary stressors to your already busy life. Follow these tips, always do your research and where possible employ the expertise of an independent financial advisor so you can enjoy the many perks of owning an investment property.