AAG In Action: Is self-managing your investment property worth the hassle?
A client recently came to us for help as they were experiencing significant issues with an investment property they were self-managing. After meeting with the AustAsia Real Estate team (a division of the AustAsia Group), it became apparent that the challenges they were facing were beyond what we could have anticipated – including late rent payments, noise complaints from the neighbours that had escalated to the police, and general anti-social behaviour including vandalism within the community.
Upon further investigation and with the support of our Real Estate team, it was discovered that the property was in complete disarray. The tenants were drug-addicts and had allowed squatters to reside in the home, so there was no question that they needed to be evicted ASAP. Urgent repairs were also needed in order for the property to be made habitable for new tenants.
AAG in Action
When the urgency of the situation became clear, our client gave AustAsia Real Estate (“AARE”) the authority to take over the management of the property and our team took immediate action.
On our client’s behalf, our first step was to issue a Notice to Tenant of Breach of Agreement under Section 62(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act. This was in response to the general nuisance of the residents, and the fact that there were unauthorised persons living at the property. The notice was to be complied with within 14 days of its issue, and after the number of days had passed the matter was immediately escalated to the Magistrates Court. Shortly thereafter, the Registrar issued the Order for Vacant Possession of the premises.
From the initial breach notice to proceeding with Court Action, there were 11 police reports within the month. In the end, due to our determined and swift actions through the court the tenant and squatters left the property of their own accord. This saved the client from having to pay in excess of $700 to organise a Bailiff from the Sherriff’s office to evict the problematic tenant.
The next course of action was to prepare the property for rent for a new tenant. This task seemed insurmountable, given the scope of essential repairs required including:
- Plumbing and electrical works;
- Glass works;
- Cabinetry repairs;
- Tile cleaning and bathroom sealing;
- Blinds and carpet cleaning;
- Plastering and painting;
- Lock repairs;
- Pool servicing;
- General handyman work and cleaning; and
- Gardening works.
Understandably, the client was overwhelmed by what they faced and were contemplating cutting their losses and selling the property. Fortunately, by engaging the assistance of AARE, we were able to alleviate their stress and engaged our team of regular contractors to return the home to a very liveable state.
Within a short space of time, our client’s property was as good as new. And, through the good work of our contractors and by putting a positive outlook on the future rental income, we were able to increase the previous rent by $100 per week.
The sheer ‘never give up’ attitude by the AARE team, together with our caring and supportive approach, gave our client the confidence to stick with the property and the ability to move on with their lives, the situation well behind them.
By engaging AARE to manage the investment property on their behalf, our client can expect the following benefits which will prevent similar issues from occurring:
- Bi-Annual routine inspections;
- Breach Notice for non-payment of rent issued within three days of rent being late;
- Regular communication with both owners and tenants;
- Quick maintenance turnaround; and
- Property Condition Reports for incoming tenants.
These measures have been put in place to avoid any ambiguity, and to bind the tenants to the terms of the Lease.
In addition to the industry standard Lease agreement AARE attaches a further ‘Annexure A’ to the Lease to broaden the necessary protections and ensure that our clients’ investment properties are maintained to a high standard at all times. It includes but is not limited to:
- A tenant must pay any and all utilities and water usage;
- A tenant shall not permit or allow illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia to be possessed or used upon or delivered to the property;
- The tenant shall be responsible for arranging insurance of their own possessions and contents kept at the property and acknowledge that they shall have no claim against the owners of the property for loss or damage;
- The tenant shall be responsible for the consequences of tenant’s and their guests’ activities;
- The tenant shall pay any penalties occurring as a result of the tenant’s and their guests’ behaviour; and
- Upon breach of this condition, the owners shall be entitled to terminate the Lease and retake possession of the premises without further notice; and
- The tenant shall pay any insurance excess and other charges claimed by the Owner’s insurers as being attributable to any act or omission of the tenant and or their visitors and as applicable under the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987.
Important information and disclaimer
This publication has been prepared by AustAsia Group including AustAsia Real Estate Pty Ltd (REBA Licence No. RA1736) and AustAsia Legal Pty Ltd (ACN 123 160 476).
AustAsia Legal Pty Ltd – Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.
Information in this publication is accurate as at the date of writing, 1st October 2019. Some of the information may have been provided to us by third parties. Whilst it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, the accuracy of that information is not guaranteed in any way.
Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of AustAsia Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility, for any errors or omissions in this document.
Any general tax information provided in this publication is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.