Rent Your Property with Laing+Simmons FAQ
How quickly will you find me a tenant?
Unfortunately no one can guarantee an exact time frame, but your property manager will inform you of our effective methods for locating tenants.
How much will my property rent for?
The agent can't always quote the exact dollar amount, but they should be able to give you a fairly specific range. We'll tell you what similar properties have leased for in the area and how your property compares as a basis for valuation.
How will you find me a tenant?
- Internet listings on a variety of industry websites
- Print media
- Our database
- Open homes or private appointments
How do you qualify tenants? The approval process
Sometimes the first tenant is not the best tenant for your property. Tenants should be selected on the basis that they meet the following criteria:
- Ability to pay rent
- Ability to maintain the property.
In order to verify that the tenant meets these criteria, the property manager will qualify the tenant using the following methods:
- Completion of a highly detailed application form.
- Verification of the information provided in the application including means of income, employment and previous tenancies.
- Search of the tenant on at least one of the available databases, e.g. National Tenancy Database (NTD) or Tenant Reference Australia (TRA).
Once the property manager obtains this information, they will discuss it with you and together you will choose the right tenant.
Tenant selection tips:
- Stability of employment: this will give you an indication of whether the tenant will be likely to stay for the nominated lease period and whether they will have the funds to pay for it.
- Good tenancy track record: this should reflect both areas in a positive way.
- Good credit history: ability to pay the rent.
- Property owner: ability to pay, as they pay their mortgage.
- Avoid over crowding: ask about the number of people who will be living in the property. Over crowding can cause excessive wear and tear.
- Avoid pets (unless you agree): even the most well-behaved pets can cause damage.
- Proof of identity: ask the property manager to take a photocopy of a licence. Some agencies even complete a 100-point check, like banks do.
- Ensure the property manager has phoned each of the referees.
Under no circumstances can you or the property manager discriminate against the tenant.
You cannot discriminate on the grounds of:
- Race, colour, nationality, ethnic or religious background
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Marital status
- Disability (physical or intellectual)
When and how will I receive my money?
Most commonly agencies will pay you twice amonth - usually on the 15th and the 30th.
How is the money paid to you? Is it by Electronic Funds Transfer? Have in mind which account you prefer the property manager to transfer the funds to.
If your rent money is going to be paid direct into your mortgage account, it is always a good idea to have your account paid several months in advance, just in case the tenant is late with their payments or the property becomes vacant for a short time. These circumstances can happen sometimes and it is best to plan ahead to avoid bank fees.
How do you collect the tenant's rent?
Tenants are often given two options in paying rent:
- A direct debit for the rent to be taken from their bank account on the due date.
- A rent payment card or number for them to pay their rent via:
- B Pay
- Phone Payment
All of these options make it quick and easy for tenants to pay rent and reduce the possibility of arrears.
What happens if the tenant does not pay their rent on time?
Legally the property manager cannot take steps to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent until the tenant is 14 days in arrears. The means that on the 15th day, the property manager may issue the tenant with a Termination Notice for the tenant to vacate the property in 14 days time. If the Notice is to be posted, four working days are allowed for postage.
Prior to this time, the property managers should have been speaking to the tenant by phone, sending them letters or visiting the tenant at the property to try and ascertain why they have not paid the rent.
If you feel that the tenant's reason is genuine, ask the property manager to work out a payment plan that is suitable to you and the tenant.
If the tenant does not comply within the specified time on the Notice to Vacate, the property manager will apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancies Tribunal to have the tenants evicted.
Regular inspections of the property should be completed. Three types of inspections are carried out by the property manager to minimise any problems that may arise to do with tenant damage to the property.
The first is the Residential Premises Condition Report. This is completed by the property manager prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
- Is a legal requirement
- Constitutes Part 2 of the Tenancy Agreement
- Determines bond refund at the end of the tenancy
- Must be accurate (this is critical).
The tenant is given a copy to approve. Any discrepancies should be resolved at this time rather than at the end of the tenancy.
Another type of inspection is a Routine or Periodic Inspection.
- At least one inspection per year (NSW P,S & BA Act)
- A maximum of four inspections per year (NSW RT Act)
- That tenants must get 7 days' notice of each inspection.
The purpose of these reports is to see how the tenant is keeping the property, report any repairs or maintenance needed, review the rent and report back to the landlord on these items and offer solutions. Digital photos can be used in these reports as well as written information.
If you wish to be present, notify your property manager to contact you prior to arranging the inspection.
Lastly, the Final or Bond Inspection is carried out once the tenant has vacated the property. The Residential Premises Condition Report is taken to the property and the current condition of the property is compared to that on the original report. Allowances are made for reasonable wear and tear to the premises.
How are repairs and maintenance handled?
Allow the property manager an expenditure limit, so they may action small repairs without disturbing you each time.
Major repairs should be discussed with you first. Quotes should be obtained first to ensure the correct work is being carried out, by the best tradesperson, at the best fee.
Not every repair must be attended to by the landlord; however urgent repairs outlined in the Residential Tenancy Agreement, such as burst sewers or hot water services, must be acted upon regardless of whether the property manager has been able to reach you.
You may nominate your own tradesperson if you have a friend, family member or a regular tradesperson that you feel confident in.
How often will I hear from you?
Would you prefer to hear from your property manager every time something occurs with the tenancy or would you prefer them to handle situations with your best interests in mind?
Advise the property manager of your expectations to avoid confusion. Also discuss your preferred method of communication - is it by email, your home phone, your mobile?
What documents do I need to sign and why?
- Management Agency Agreement: This agreement is you, authorising the property manager to act on your behalf in all matters that are noted in relation to the management of your property. The property manager cannot legally act on your behalf without your signature on this document (not even advertise your property for lease).
- Letting Agency Agreement: This is used if the agency is only going to find you a tenant, not manage the property.
- Residential Tenancy Agreement: This is the lease. It is an agreement between you and the tenant to allow the tenant to occupy your premises for a specific period, for a specific amount of rent, with specific terms and conditions. The property manager signs this agreement on your behalf.
Do I require insurance on the property?
It is highly recommended that you protect your rental income along with property and contents insurance, public liability insurance and if it is a strata unit, strata insurance.
Ask the property manager if they recommend any landlord insurers.
It is the tenant's responsibility to have their belongings insured.
Information courtesy of Bob Walters Team.