Whether you’re a new landlord or an old hand, there are common pain points all property investors face.
Here are eight common landlord problems that we see regularly, and how to manage them.
1. DIY property management
Self-managing your investment property can be an appealing idea. After all, you just find a tenant, sign a lease and that’s that, right? Well, not so fast…
Property management can be incredibly time-consuming and involves people management and communication skills and regulatory expertise honed over years in the industry – which is why the majority of investors use a professional property manager.
2. Property maintenance
Property maintenance is about more than keeping the lights on and the gutters clear. It involves ensuring aspects such as roofing, plumbing, the kitchen and fencing are in good working order, and regularly checking that appliances like dishwashers are functioning and up to date. It’s also about knowing the regulations around which repairs are urgent, and dealing with them in the right way in a timely fashion.
If you fail to keep on top of these things you won’t attract the best tenants, and an unoccupied property or high turnover rate could be the price you pay.
3. Unoccupied property
Every day your investment property doesn’t have tenants in it, you’re losing money. So how can landlords minimise the chances of lengthy vacancy periods?
First, determine why renters are choosing other properties over yours. Is the property well maintained? Does it offer what renters in your area are looking for? Are you asking a fair market rent? Working with a professional property manager can help you identify problem areas so that prospective tenant will want to lease your property.
4. High tenant turnover rate
You invested in property to make money, right? Having a high tenant turnover rate, with tenants seemingly on a roundabout, can drain your finances. There are advertising costs involved in finding new tenants, as well as the potential loss of rent if the property is vacant at all, or for too long. So attracting and retaining quality long term tenants is a key part of most landlord’s strategies, and an experienced property manager can really help with this side of things.
5. Dealing with difficult tenants
Having tenants who pay the rent late or mistreat your property is probably most landlords’ number one fear. Worse, having to evict difficult tenants can be costly and very stressful. To avoid this, you need to find reliable tenants who will treat your property well and stay with you for the long-term. But you also need experience and good people skills to spot early warning signs and nip problems in the bud before they escalate.
6. Finding good tenants
Finding good tenants can take up a lot of your time. But the payoff is having long-term tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property. To avoid a high turnover rate it pays to know how to find tenants that are suited to you and your property.
7. Finding good tradies
There’s a reason people ask their friends for tradesmen recommendations – good ones can be hard to find! And if your tenant calls at 8 pm on a Friday night to tell you the toilet’s blocked and overflowing, or a major pipe has burst, you won’t have the luxury of time to search for a top-tier plumber.
Dedicated property managers forge good connections with the best local tradies over many years, and can save you the hassle of trying to find one yourself.
8. Legal issues
Part of being a landlord involves understanding your legal obligations and keeping up-to-date with any changes to the WA Residential Tenancies Act. Considering this can be updated to reflect unexpected issues – such as changes made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic – it can be easy to get caught out.
Other legal issues landlords need to know about it include:
- knowing your rights and obligations around everything from bonds to evictions
- ensuring you keep on top of all documentation
- understanding the restrictions of your lease agreement (e.g. access to the property, how and why to give notice to tenants, rent increases).
For expert advice from a dedicated property management team, call the experienced Rentwest team today.