How Much Do You Know About Tenancy Laws?

More people than ever these days are living in rental properties, so tenants need to understand their rights and responsibilities. The Residential Tenancies Act is the legislation governing tenancies, but the issues most often reported are ending a lease before the time is up, who pays for maintenance and repairs, getting behind in the rent, tenants’ right to privacy and getting the bond back when the tenancy is over.

Reputable Property Managers do the Right Thing

If you are a first-time tenant looking to rent a property, using a reputable agency like Bunbury Real Estate is your best chance for a hassle-free tenancy. As property managers, we observe all laws, from the day you lodge your application to the end of your tenancy. Many tenant problems arise when the property is rented directly from lessors, who may have their own interpretation of the law.

Breaking a Lease

Sometimes tenants find themselves in situations where they need to leave their rental property before the lease is up. If you have signed a fixed term lease, you could be liable for compensation to the lessor if you break the lease. There are processes to be followed so get advice from a property management agency like ours before you act.

Who Pays for Repairs?

A rental property should be in a reasonable state of cleanliness and repair before you move in. The tenant is responsible for keeping it clean and advising the lessor if any damage occurs. If intentional or negligent damage is caused by you or a guest, you are liable for the cost of repairs. However, you are not responsible for repairing the normal deterioration that takes place in any property.

Getting Behind in the Rent

Sometimes, even the best tenants get behind in the rent through unemployment or other circumstances. You must notify the lessor immediately to avoid your lease being terminated. However, the lessor cannot just evict you without following some legal processes. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan to bring your rent back on track.

Tenants Have Privacy Rights

As a tenant, you have the right to privacy, so the lessor cannot drop in unexpectedly to check the property. The correct notice period must be given to the tenant and this includes instances where tradespeople need to do work, and if the property is being showed to prospective buyers.

Getting Your Bond Back

For tenants who leave the property in good condition, getting their bond back is a major concern, especially if the lessor tries to claim it without sufficient reason. Be assured that the bond money can only be disposed of by consent or court order, all of which involve legal processes.

For peace of mind, select your rental property through an agency such as ours, and leave all the legal issues to us.

Solutions For The Nervous Property Investor

If you have just purchased your first investment property, the chances are that you may be daydreaming about your second or third and imagining yourself ten years down the track as a multi-millionaire property magnate. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, however, there are still some important decisions to be made if you wish to get the most value out of this new venture of yours.

Get This Wrong and it Costs you a Bundle

One decision you will be confronted with almost immediately is where to find a reliable tenant, and if you get this decision wrong, you could find yourself thousands of dollars out of pocket. The media is filled with stories of tenants wilfully causing property damage and not paying the rent. Delays in the legal process can allow lawfully evicted tenants to remain in the property for weeks or even months, placing an enormous financial burden on the owners, who must still pay the mortgage even though there is no income to offset it.

Professional Property Management is the Solution

Investors should not despair, however, as there is a solution. Professional property management by a reputable agency is not expensive, and their experienced team takes all possible steps to ensure that only reliable tenants are placed in client properties.

Take our agency, Bunbury Real Estate, as a typical example. We have been finding tenants for our clients’ properties for some time, and now have a reputation in the industry for delivering a “hassle free” service. If you are unsure if the rent you are expecting for your property is market value, we offer a free appraisal, giving you a realistic figure by comparing your property with others like yours in the target area.

Proven Management Systems

Once we become your property manager, we go to work using our proven management systems to select the best tenant. Typical steps are to check our database of already qualified prospective tenants for those that suit your property. If the best prospect is someone new to our agency, we then follow our selection process to ensure that the person meets our criteria.

Reference, Credit and ID Checks Essential

We always check references given by previous landlords, ask for identification and evidence of employment, as well as perform a routine credit check to ensure there are no outstanding credit issues. Once the tenant has passed our selection process, we make sure that all the required legal documents are correctly completed and lodged with the appropriate authorities.

If you want your property investment to keep earning with minimal involvement by you, getting a professional agency like ours to do the work for you is the obvious choice.

How To Take Advantage of Social Media For Real Estate Advertisement

Real estate is an industry that depends on high-level communication skills to generate the levels of persuasion needed to attract attention, to get noticed and sell property. Where once all this energy was directed through print advertising in newspapers and photos in shop windows, it is now channelled via the internet.

Social Media – a Game-Changer

This doesn’t mean that those older methods are obsolete, but there is no doubt that internet advertising and the growth of social media have been game-changers. If we stick with real estate as a prime example, twenty or so years ago, real estate ads in newspapers and photos in every agency window in town were the “go to” places if you were looking for a property to buy or rent.

Web Pages Also Essential to Advertising Success

Fast forward to the present day, and we still use these methods, but an internet presence is also essential. Bunbury Real Estate has a professional website displaying all our information, photos of current properties, an option to get a free appraisal, interesting news and other marketing material, designed to grab and hold attention.

Facebook and Instagram the Current Favourites

Agents have also become more adept at connecting with their markets and projecting their persona via social media. These platforms add depth to the client/agent relationship and open a communication channel that is more personal than a company website. In our industry, Facebook and Instagram are currently the front-runners, with Instagram favoured because of its more visual nature.

Social Media Platforms must be Well Managed

When social media platforms are created and managed properly they are highly effective because they are constantly changing. Regular followers check in almost every day to see what is new, loving the photos and visual effects and the opportunity for a more personal connection with the agent.

It is essential to post regularly, keep content new and interesting, know your audience and tailor your posts to the needs and interests of that audience. A successful social media platform is the ultimate marketing tool, but like everything that brings success, it takes work and commitment.

Start with a Plan and Jump in with Both Feet

The best place for any agent or agency to start is to develop a social media plan as part of the overall marketing strategy. Like any other marketing initiative, your social media presence should reflect the overall philosophy of your business. It should complement your other marketing efforts and be an integral part of the culture of your organisation.

Social media is a powerful tool for both the positive and negative aspects of our society. Like all businesses and institutions, we want ours to be seen in a positive light, so now is the time to embrace this medium, get to know its quirks and use it to project ourselves to the world in the best possible way.