Communication is everything…right?
RIGHT!! But in the world of Property Management, it’s quite easy to say something has been done, when in fact it might not have been.We’ve picked up a few new properties to manage recently and upon picking up the files have noticed that in most cases, something is missing. In most instances when we’ve spoken to the owner, while obviously they have been unhappy enough to change to a new Property Management company, they haven’t really been aware of how much hadn’t been completed.
While we understand that you’re paying for someone else to handle the detail for you, it’s important that you are at least seeing copies of important documentation – here’s what and why…
Routine inspection reports + photos – Make sure that you’re seeing your property at least once per year – even if it’s via photos. Ensuring photos have been taken along with the report highlights changes in the property’s condition and allows you to plan for any maintenance you might like to do in the future. Most importantly, it’s a small check that the routine has actually been completed. At a minimum, you should have two inspections per year.
Copies of the General Tenancy Agreement and any subsequent renewal – if your property is on a fixed term lease, you control the times it might become vacant. This has a huge impact on your investment return. It’s also important for insurance reasons.
Copy of the Entry Condition Report that’s been completed and signed by the tenants – this report will show you any changes between tenancies and will identify areas that the property managers should have taken care of from the previous tenant’s bond. It also draws attention to maintenance that might be needed in the future – for eg. are there a lot of paint chips? – you might like to budget for a repaint at the changeover of the next tenancy.
A few more important things we would diarise if it were our own investment properties – annual timber pest inspection, building inspection especially if there’s any chance at all the property is not structurally sound, and the date any insurance is due for renewal.
Your investment property is a business and possibly one of your largest assets. As with any business, it’s great to have a reliable and trusted manager – and you can mentally ‘tick’ the box if you’ve sighted the important documents.