Investment property is one of the best ways to grow your wealth in Australia. Of those taking the plunge to become landlords, almost one quarter are choosing to manage their rental investments themselves (https://www.domain.com.au/advice/can-you-manage-your-own-rental-property-without-a-real-estate-agent-20180226-h0wogn/). But what are some of the things you should consider having in place to minimise headaches and anxiety later on?
Find some friendly handymen
Every property requires maintenance and repairs. If you’re managing the property yourself, you will be responsible for all repair requests. Meet with a few local handymen and get a ballpark of what is being charged for repairs in that area. Decide on two or three that you want to use on a regular basis and make sure you have their details in your contacts. No matter the repair job, make sure you get at least two quotes to compare costs.
Create checklists for you and your tenant
Creating checklists is a great way to ensure that you and your tenant are aware of, and complete, all the documentation and processes required before, during and after the rental period. As well as basic activities like lease signing, collecting bonds, and determining how/when rent is paid, include things like the rubbish collection day, your preferred method of communication, and how and when tenants should contact you for non-urgent requests.
Have a document management system
As a landlord, you need to keep a record of everything to do with your property. Copies of lease agreements, bonds, rent, repairs, maintenance costs and other expenses all need to be kept and a full account of incomings and outgoings is required. You should also take photos of the unit before the tenant moves in, when you do an inspection and the day the tenant moves out. Investment property management software can help you keep on top of your investment property bookkeeping, help you manage your records and take the stress out of preparing your yearly tax return.
Being a landlord means dealing with the unexpected. But having systems and processes in place from the start will help you to be confident in managing your investment property.