Here are some questions and brief answers to most commonly asked questions from landlords and tenants about property managers and property management services.
- Q: If I hire a property manager, do I lose control over the management of my investment property?
A: No. The property manager works for you and you set the limitations that are not defined by law, such as allowing pets or not, length of lease, among others.
You will know what is going on in your property at all times. Your Arrive property manager will contact you to inform you of any issues that may arise, including repairs and maintenance.
- Q: Do you pay the bills for me?
Yes. We will pay expenses for you, including taxes and repairs. Make sure there is enough funds in our trust account from your property to cover the expenses.
- Q: How do I become a good landlord?
A: Bad landlords do exist. Here are some things you should DO to avoid being one:
- Respect your tenant’s privacy. Even if it is your property, you must send a proper written notice before entering the property.
- Take care of your tenants. Maintain the rent at fair market rate and don’t make huge, unjustified rent increases.
- Q: Legislation constantly changes. Are you updated?
A: Yes. We make sure to get updated on the latest changes to any property-related laws and regulations.
- Q: Who does the maintenance of my property?
A: We have built a reliable network of tradespeople who will perform the maintenance of your property. We have worked with these professionals for years, so you are assured of quality service.
- Q: How often do you check the state of my property?
A: According to regulations, routine inspections should be performed every three months. A reliable property manager will therefore check the state of your property four times a year.
- Q: How often should I visit my property?
A: Even if you have a property manager, aim to be a proactive landlord and visit your property at least once a year. Your rental property is a major investment so you should allocate time to accompany your property manager to see for yourself that is property is being managed well.
- Q: What are the tasks that a property manager is expected to perform?
A: Here are the things that a property manager will do on your behalf:
- Search for prospective tenants
- Do background checks on prospective renters
- Prepare documents and accomplish administrative tasks
- Write inspections and exit/entry reports
- Offer you advice on property management
- Collect and manage rental payments
- Update the landlord regularly
- St up advertising
- Arrange for maintenance
- Represent you at tribunal in the event of a dispute
- Maintain records
- Q: How much does a property manager cost?
A: Here are the common fees that a property manager charges:
- Management fee: This fee is a percentage of the rent collected.
- Let fee: This fee is charged when the property manager signs up a new tenant. The amount will depend on the weekly rent amount of the property.
- Administration fee: A small fee charged monthly for administration, such as stationery and printing expenses.
- Advertising fee: Fee for advertising, including printing of signboards and marketing. This is charged only when it occurs.
- Lease renewal fee: This fee usually depends on the amount of weekly rent for the property.
- Tribunal fee: This fee is charged when the property manager represents the landlord at QCAT (tribunal).
- Q: What happens when a tenant is late in paying rent?
A: A good property manager will have a system to monitor late rent payments. This allows the property manager when to notify the tenant that their rent is due.
The laws in Queensland state that when a tenant is seven days behind in rent, the property manager may send a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11). The tenant has seven days to pay the overdue rent. If the tenant fails to pay rent in seven days from the day the notice is sent, the property manager may issue Notice to Leave (Form 12), giving the tenant seven days to vacate the premises.
- Q: What if I decide to sell my investment property while it is occupied?
A: There are certain rules that pertain to the sale of a rental property when it is occupied. First, the tenant must be issued a notice of the sale, which is through the Notice of Lessor’s Intention to Sell Premises (Form 10). The rules will depend on whether the tenancy agreement is a fixed contract or a period contract. On a fixed term tenancy, the tenant has the right to continue living in the property for the duration of the lease and the new owner will become the new landlord. On a periodic tenancy, the property manager may issue a Notice to Leave (Form 12), which gives the tenant four weeks to move out.
- Q: Why is my property vacant?
A: There are two reasons why your rental property is vacant: (1) bad marketing and (2) the rent is too high. A good property manager will know how to market your property and what rent to charge, depending on the season or state of the market.
- Q: What are the risks if my rental property is left vacant?
A: Your rental property faces serious risks when left vacant for long periods of time:
- Your property may become a target of vandalism if left empty for weeks or months.
- You are losing income by at least $400 per week. Over time, it can add up to a lot of money.
- Your landlord insurance may lapse if your property is without a tenant after a certain period of time. Ask your provider whether a claim would be valid if you were to make one after a certain period.
- Q: What is a bond and who keeps it?
A: A bond is a security deposit paid at the start of a tenancy. The money is kept in trust with RTA and remains there for the duration of the tenancy. A portion or all of the amount may be used at the end of tenancy to cover damages or loss of rent.
- Q: How often will my rental property be inspected?
A: The landlord or property manager will inspect the property and fill up an entry report when you move into your property. A routine inspection will then be conducted once every quarter, or four times a year. When the lease ends, the property manager will again check the property and fill up an exit report.
- Q: Do I need to be present during inspection?
A: No. Your property manager has a set of keys for the property and will leave a note to inform you they had conducted an inspection. You can make an appointment to see your property manager if you have any concerns that you want to discuss. With that said, you are welcome to be there for the inspection to show the inspectors around. If you are not going to be present, make sure your pet(s) is secured and there is access to all rooms and spaces so that the inspection will be completed.
- Q: What do I do if I lose my keys?
A: It is your responsibility as a tenant to secure all keys and garage remotes. You will incur the cost (including travel) of replacing the keys. Your property manager is available to recommend the best option for you.
- Q: What happens if I break my lease?
A: Inform the property manager in writing of your intention to break your lease. In most cases, you have to fill up a Form 13 (Notice of Intention to Leave). You must continue to pay rent until a new tenant is signed. You also need to pay a let fee (plus GST) and an advertising cost (plus GST).
- Q: What if I cannot pay my rent on time?
A: Contact your property manager immediately in writing should you face difficulties in paying your rent on time.
- Q: Should I get insurance?
A: It is recommended that you get a contents insurance. Insuring the house is the responsibility of the landlord, but this doesn’t cover your personal belongings. For example, if some of your items were stolen during a burglary, the content insurance will cover the loss. The same goes for natural disasters, flood damage, lock replacement and other items covered in the policy. You can refer to your insurance policy for the coverage.
- Q: How do I report urgent maintenance?
A: Here is a list or urgent maintenance items according to the RTA:
- A major roof leak
- A gas leak
- A burst water service or a major water service leak
- A blocked or damaged lavatory service
- A serious electrical fault
- Flooding or major flood damage
- A major storm, fire or impact damage
- A breakdown of the gas, electricity and water supply to the property
- A breakdown of vital service or appliance on the property for cooking, hot water or heating
- A damage that makes the premises unsafe to occupy
- A damage that could injure a person or damage the property or undeservedly make living in the property uncomfortable for the occupants
- A break in the staircase, lift and other common areas that undeservedly inconvenienced a tenant from entering or using the property
- Q: How do I deal with urgent maintenance after office hours?
A: If the issue requires an urgent resolution, you can contact the tradespeople stated in your lease agreement to handle the issue. Make sure your property manager is aware of the repair by advising them in writing.
- Q: What do I do with accidental damage caused to the property?
A: Report the accidental damage to your property manager as soon as possible. Report it in writing together with accompanying photos of the damage. Your property manager will contact the landlord for their instruction. However, it is likely that you will bear the cost of the repairs.
- Q: Can someone move in with me?
A: You must seek the landlord’s approval first before letting someone move in with you. If you do this without approval, you can receive a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11). Note that this incident will affect your tenancy history, so it is important to abide by the rules.
- Q: What if someone on the lease have to move out?
A: If an occupant needs to leave the premises before the end of the lease, they must fill up a Form 13 (Notice of Intention to Leave) and submit this to the property manager. Add other residents must agree to this person leaving the premises prior to the end of the lease.
- Q: How do I break my lease?
A: Situations come up that could force you to break a lease. Your property manager will be happy to assist you in this situation and will help in finding a replacement tenant quickly. You will need to complete some paperwork and pay certain fees and charges. Once the paperwork is finalised, your property manager will begin advertising the property in search for a new occupant. You must continue to maintain the property and pay the rent throughout this period.
- Q: I have a pet. How do I apply for a pet?
- Q: Can I make changes to the property?
A: Any changes you want to make to the property, temporary or permanent, must be approved by the landlord. Send all your requests in writing, giving as many details as possible. Making changes without permission can result in you being issues a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11) and being asked to remove the changes and repair any damages.
- Q: Am I responsible for maintaining the garden in the property?
A: As per your lease agreement, you are responsible for watering, weeding and maintaining the gardens and lawns.
A: Apply for a pet in writing and submit it to your property manager. The application will be sent to the landlord and/or body corporate to decide whether to approve or not the application.
If you would like more information about our property managers or our property management services, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.