Keeping up Appearances on Your Investment Property
3 things to ensure you maintain your investment property to its highest standard
Keep a Professional Relationship with your Tenants
Once you buy a home for investment and find suitable tenants, it's tempting to kick back and just let the rent roll in, seldom checking up on the house or the market. However, if you're managing the property yourself it is important to conduct the following ongoing maintenance, for both peace of mind and your home's health.
Now, this doesn't mean go out for coffee every other week, discussing any work that needs to be done with the tenants. It does mean keeping an open line of contact with them, however. Make sure to have up-to-date contact details for your tenants so you can get a hold of them if you have any concerns, and vice versa.
Checking in every month or two through email could be an option, as it opens a channel for any issues to be dealt with effectively. Tenants can often be nervous about making a phone call if a repair needs to be made, and email provides a professional contact point that they may be more comfortable using - especially Gen Y renters
Visit the Market
While that clear contact with tenants is vital, always remember that you are running a business. Your investment property brings you income and that should be your priority - as a landlord, you should be ready to adjust rent if appropriate when renewing a lease. If rental prices in your area are skyrocketing, consider adjusting yours to take advantage - but not by too much, or you may scare off the current tenants.
Small, reasonable increases should be met favourably as long as you continue providing an excellent place to live. Try checking out similar rental properties in the area for comparison on what they provide, and how much they cost. Stay on top of market trends - residential property prices jumped more than 3 per cent in Sydney, almost 2 per cent in Brisbane and 1.3 per cent in Melbourne just over the June 2014 quarter, according to the Housing Industry Association. Will these higher values impact how much your charge tenants?
Not every tenant is going to be up-front about any work that needs doing, and you need to take care of your property. Make sure to run an inspection of the property every few months to check up on the condition of your home. Make sure to have taken photographs of the house before people moved in, both as a template and evidence if need be.
Owning these properties is an ongoing job, but keeping your investment in top condition means you will be able to reap larger rental yields for longer - which is absolutely worth the extra effort for now.