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7 things to know about being a landlord

by earnshawsblog In Uncategorized

07 July 2016

Property is a top investment choice for many Western Australians, and so it makes sense that more of us are becoming landlords.

Being a good landlord takes a little more effort than just sitting back and collecting the rent, and taking on the title comes with certain responsibilities.

Here’s our list of what you need to know about being a landlord:

house-1407562_1920 (Mobile)1. Employ a property manager

It’s possible to go it alone as a landlord and manage your properties yourself. But employing an expert property manager (usually a licensed real estate agent) as a middle man can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

While it will cost a percentage of your rent, a specialist property manager can actually maximise your rental returns, simplify your responsibilities, organise all the paperwork, maintenance and inspections, find tenants and liaise with them and use their experience to minimise any potential problems.

Ensure the property manager you choose has a good reputation with other landlords and tenants, and is up to date on their own responsibilities.

law-books-291683_1920 (Mobile)2. Be aware of your legal responsibilities

All landlords should ensure they are familiar with their rights and responsibilities under Australian law. The landlord-tenant relationship is governed by the Residential Tenancy Act of each state and territory in Australia.

A good property manager should recieve regular training through their company, and should be fully updated on all the latest legislation changes. When interviewing a property manager, ask how they keep abreast of the latest legislation.

3. Document and communicate

Whether or not you decide to use a property manager, it’s best to ensure all tenant agreements are documented in writing as a lease agreement so all parties are on the same page.

And good, efficient communication is key to a successful tenancy. If you have expectations about how the property should be kept, communicate them to your tenants or your property manager in advance.

The best property managers do everything in writing, either by email or snail mail, even if their first communication is in person.

4. Administer the bond correctly

It’s advisable to collect a bond up front against any future damage or loss of rent from prospective tenants.

But a landlord cannot hold this bond themselves – it must be lodged with the appropriate state or territory residential tenancies bond authority who will hold the bond during throughout tenancy.

A bond can be held against any damage to the property, but cannot be held against “fair wear and tear”.

hand-101003_640 (Mobile)5. Look after your tenants

Attracting good tenants who treat your property as if it was their own is every landlord’s dream. There are two key things you can do:

a) Make sure your property is well presented and desirable
b) Don’t skip on reference checks when assessing prospective tenants.

Get to know the local legislation around when rental inspections are permitted and the proper process to go through.

And, once you have good tenants, do your best to keep them by ensuring the property is well maintained, being reasonable about any rent increases and making sure any queries are addressed promptly. A good property manager will be able to pick the best tenants, and will give you great advice about how to hang on to good ones!

6. Consider landlord insurance

While a bond may cover small amounts of damage or loss of rent, landlord insurance covers other risks that can be associated with renting out a property and that don’t fall under a normal home and contents or strata title insurance policy.

Not all landlord insurance policies are the same so work out which one might suit your particular situation best.

7. Maximise your earnings

Rental properties are an investment so most landlords want to maximise their rental earnings.

You should keep an eye on market rents, choose a desirable area in which to invest and make sure your property is well maintained. But you should also seek expert advice about what you might be able to claim through the ATO – for instance, you may be able to claim back expenses like council rates, water bills or capital improvements against tax.


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Looking for a new home? Fall in love, but buy with your brain.

by earnshawsblog In Uncategorized

01 July 2016

KitchenFalling in love with a property is easy to do. It could be the newly refurbished kitchen, the big backyard or the pool you’ve always wanted that gets your heart beating. But you want to make sure that love at first sight turns into a happy life-long relationship. If you’re susceptible to falling blindly in love, then consider these tips when you go house hunting.

Be early
When you inspect the property for the first time, get there early and allow yourself at least 15 minutes; this is not something you want to rush.

Take a checklist

To avoid getting caught up in the excitement of the home open, take a list of all your deal-breakers and the items you need to check for. If the property seems to tick all the boxes, arrange to see it again, on a different day at a different time. Visit the homes as many times as you need to.

What should you look for at an inspection?

While it seems obvious, ensure the property has enough bedrooms and living areas to suit your needs now and in the future. One living space might be enough now while the children are small, but later you could need a separate TV room for the kids.

This also goes for the outside areas of the property – is the yard big enough, are the fences adequate for your dog, how would the property respond in a bushfire? This last one is important for Hills homes; find out if your prospective home is bushfire ready.

The orientation of the property to the sun is an important consideration in Western Australia. Look for true north and work out where the sun will hit for the majority of the day so you can determine what areas of the house will be hottest in summer and warmest in winter.

You want to avoid purchasing a property that isn’t structurally sound. Look for cracks and watermarks on walls or ceilings; they are tell-tale signs of bigger issues. While older properties may have some small cracks due to wear and tear, it’s major structural issues you should be mindful of.

We strongly recommend using the help of professionals to carry out a termite inspection and a building inspection. People specially trained in these areas can identify issues you might not notice. Your real estate agent can help select reputable suppliers to carry out these inspections.

Taking the time to assess the property can ensure you avoid a broken heart down the track.


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You’ve decided to sell. What now?

by earnshawsblog In Uncategorized

01 July 2016

sell-your-home-fastSo, you’ve made the decision to sell your home. What do you do now? Here are some basic steps about the sale process to help you out.

Choosing your agent

In selecting an agent, be sure to ask them how they plan to promote your property, what costs are involved and why their plan is the best strategy to ensure your property sells for the highest possible price in the shortest period of time.

Your chosen agent should provide a thorough and precisely costed marketing plan designed to give your property the best possible exposure by using a suite of promotional activities. Signboards, web presence, home opens, buyer data bases, social media and press advertising are some examples.

Your agent is also a crucial resource in determining the most important aspect of marketing your property: deciding on a price. A good agent should be able to give you detailed and recent examples of properties that have sold in your area. They should be able to describe the difference between your home and their examples, and explain how those differences affect the asking price. Working together, you and your agent should be able to decide on a realistic asking price which is clearly intelligible to any potential buyer.

Selling methods

The next thing to consider before you come to market is the different selling methods available to you. There are three ways to sell:

  • Private Treaty is the most common way to sell a home in WA. This is where you advertise your home for an asking price and then negotiate with the buyer through your real estate agent. When you reach an agreement on price and conditions, the sale proceeds to settlement.
  • A variation on the above is an invitation for offers to be submitted by a set date. Similar to a sale by tender, this process can be referred to as Expressions of Interest, Set Date Sale or End Date Sale. Your agent will recommend a marketing period of between four and six weeks, with a determined end date. Interested buyers submit their offer before the end date for the vendor’s consideration.
  • Auctions make up a small percentage of property sales in WA when compared to the eastern states. Auctions are a great way to sell if you have multiple buyers who are emotionally attached to your home, because they compete and push the price up. Auctions can limit buyer numbers however, as they usually only allow cash offers, which can preclude buyers who are subject to finance or subject to the sale of their own home.


When you’ve decided how you want to sell your property, the next decision is how you want to promote it. A solid marketing plan is essential to ensure all buyers active in the market get a chance at seeing your property so as to enhance competition between buyers. Your agent will guide you through the options available, and how appropriate they are to a property like yours.


Finally, spend some time working on your property to present it in the best possible manner before coming to market. Your agent can offer advice on what improvements you could carry out to expand


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