In the same way that a healthy lifestyle is an important contributor to our general wellbeing and longevity, proactive steps to protect the health of an investment property play a key role in its long-term performance. What you get out of it depends on what you put in.
Keeping your investment property in tip-top shape does take a bit of effort, but just as healthy habits make a real difference in our own lives, the end justifies the means.
Here are some important ways of making sure that your investment property remains healthy and is well-placed to deliver sound financial returns in the long-run.
Setting the rent at the right level is the key. Too high may result in the property sitting empty for extended periods of time and too low may negatively affect your cash flow. Given that each week that a rental property is vacant can reduce annual rental income by almost two per cent, minimising vacancies and keeping the property tenanted at appropriate rates should be a priority.
Don't compromise on tenant quality
Not all tenants are equal. The aim should always be to find quality tenants who treat the property with respect and who pay their rent in full and on time - but that's not always easy. That's why it's best to attract quality tenants from the outset and to follow a comprehensive tenant screening process - with no exceptions.
Zero tolerance of rent arrears
Failure to monitor arrears and deal with any issues immediately can have a significant impact on the financial health of your investment. Disputes can be time-consuming and costly and it's imperative that as a landlord, you are up-to-date with the latest tenancy laws in your state so that you take the appropriate action as soon as there's a breach of contract.
Keeping on top of maintenance
Landlords have a legal obligation to keep the rental habitable, but it takes more than just responding to necessary repairs and maintenance to ensure your investment property is in tip-top condition. Proactive preventative maintenance will keep your property looking good which will attract and retain quality tenants at higher rental amounts, but it can also save you significant sums of money over the long-term and add capital value. Remember, maintenance is often much cheaper than repair - so it is imperative not to let the condition of your property deteriorate. Also, repairs and maintenance to a rental property are tax-deductible so there may be merit in getting a professional company to do routine jobs such as garden clean-ups, lawn mowing and pool care.
Seeing is believing and regular, personal inspections of a rental property are crucial to ensure that that the terms of the contract aren't being breached and that the property is being kept in optimum condition.
Encourage tenants to make an effort
Generally, the nicer a rental property is, the more likely the tenant is to make an effort to keep it that way. Landlords can also help tenants to keep the property in tip-top shape by providing equipment such as hoses, garden tools and green waste bins to encourage them to maintain the grounds.
Many property experts agree that a professional property manager who takes care of the day-to-day running of a rental which includes marketing, screening tenants, setting market-related rents, dealing with tenants, conducting inspections, collecting rent and handling any queries or disputes is an important contributor to the overall health of the investment. Property management fees are also tax deductible.
As an investor, your top priorities are ensuring your property is in good condition and that it delivers a good yield. A skilled and experienced property manager such as Time Conti Sheffield will work with you to achieve your goals, giving you the peace-of-mind that every effort is being made to keep your property in tip-top shape and protect your investment over the long-term. You can contact their friendly, professional team on (08) 9362 5333 or visit their website, www.timeconti.com.au to see why they've been a leader in property management in Perth for over 60 years.