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Property Management Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need window locks on my property?

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    Landlords are obliged to ensure the property is “reasonably secure”. This doesn’t require you to create a complete fortress but depending on the location and type of property window locks may be worthwhile. Remember prospective tenants rate security highly every time we survey them on their needs.

  • Should I allow the tenants to have pets?

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    This is always at your discretion and naturally some properties are simply not suited to animals. Most apartment buildings have by-laws that limit the keeping of animals. If you’re looking for a competitive edge in the rental marketplace allowing pets may be handy. A recent BRW Magazine article reported that 64% of Australian households have a pet. In fact there’s almost double the number of pets as there are children under 18 in this country!

  • Who gets listed on a tenancy default database?

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    Who gets listed on a tenancy default database? The law is fairly clear on this. The databases can only keep listed a tenant who was named on a lease and owes a landlord money that exceeds their bond and where

    a.   they owe money under a Tribunal or RTA conciliation agreement or
    b.   they’ve been served with a notice to remedy a rent arrears breach and haven’t paid up or
    c.   they have abandoned the premises (and aren’t disputing this)

    A tenant can also be listed on a default database where the Tribunal has terminated the tenancy for “objectionable behaviour”, or for repeated breaches.

  • What do tenants want in a property?

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    We all know they want space, a good location, clean and well presented homes and access to transport and shops. Here’s some extra info from our experience dealing with their preferences in Brisbane’s inner suburbs:

    • most tenants use a computer at home; largest number in their bedroom, then the living areas and lastly in a study.
    • they’ll usually choose a bigger living room over a bigger balcony
    • better quality appliances over a larger home
    • bigger bedrooms are better than more dedicated storage space
    • a large majority rate greenery & gardens higher than more car parking
    • two-thirds would usually choose a home close to transport over a quiet location
    • good security – especially for the growing market of single females
  • What happens to the interest on my rent money?

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    The State Government receives all interest on trust accounts. Along with the interest earned from having your tenant’s bond, they use this to fund various initiatives including tenancy support agencies such as the Tenant’s Union.

  • Who pays for water usage?

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    The RTA says the landlord is responsible for a reasonable amount of water used on the premises and can require the tenant to pay for water used above that amount if the premises are individually metered. If all your water devices meet required standards you may be able to charge your tenants for all water consumed.

  • Can we ask for a larger bond?

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    The RTA restricts the maximum bond to four week rent for properties up to $700 per week. Over that amount we can request more but will usually meet resistance from prospective tenants already paying two weeks rent in advance (so totalling more than $4200 on move-in).

  • What is an "emergency repair"?

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    The RTA list various items including a burst water service, blocked or broken toilet, serious roof leak, gas leak or a fault or damage that is likely to cause injury, undue inconvenience, or which makes the premises unsafe or insecure (like broken stairs, broken locks or a serious electrical fault).

  • Do I need public liability insurance?

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    Yes. Court decisions in recent years have seen enormous judgements against property owners. We require you to have a minimum cover of $10million before we start working for you.

    Tell me more!

    Visit our landlord blog for heaps of up to the minute articles on issues effecting property investors in Brisbane. Or call our team on 07 3214 6899!

Tenants Frequently Asked Questions

  • Help - I'm Locked Out!

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    Sorry – we don’t provide a delivery service for spare keys but during business hours you can come to our office with your photo ID to borrow these. Outside of business hours you’ll need to contact a locksmith.

  • What Do I Do About Repairs and maintenance?

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    Use our online Maintenance Form where possible and please be precise as to the problem and provide details. You may be liable for the cost if the contractor advises that the problem was a result of your actions.

  • Who gets listed on a tenancy default database?

    See Answer

    The law is fairly clear on this. The databases list a tenant who was named on a lease and owes a landlord money that exceeds their bondand where
    a. they owe money under a Tribunal or RTA conciliation agreement or
    b. they’ve been served with a notice to remedy a rent arrears breach and haven’t paid up or
    c. they have abandoned the premises (and aren’t disputing this)
    A tenant can also be listed on a default database where the Tribunal has terminated the tenancy for “objectionable behaviour” or for repeated breaches.

  • Do I Need to Have a Pest Controller In?

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    Tenants may need to organise and pay for a treatment if problems result from an unclean home with rubbish not stored properly for example. A condition of approving pets is that you will carry out regular flea treatments.

  • How Do We Pay the Rent?

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    Due to safety concerns we regret we cannot accept cash. You have the choice of a money order, bank cheques or BPAY based system including payment by phone and internet from your account. Only one account per tenancy can be used for this purpose so you’ll need to organise any sharing arrangements yourself. We’ll give you details on the payment system when you sign your lease.

  • I'm Having Trouble Paying the Rent...

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    Please talk to your property manager as soon as possible as our daily arrears system will note your non-payment and you’ll be issued with warning letters and legal notices. With the owner’s consent we may be able to work out an arrears repayment schedule.

  • Can I Put Hooks On the Wall For Pictures?

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    We do need you to contact us prior to making any holes in walls or securing any hook that will leave a permanent mark. Usually landlords will agree to a reasonable number of hooks on a wall provided they’re installed in a “tradesman-like manner”.

  • What happens if I or my flatmate moves out and needs someone else to move in?

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    If you share a property with friends or family and either yourself or a flatmate needs to vacate they must provide this in writing via RTA Form 13 – Notice of Intention to Leave.  If another person will be moving in to the property after the lease is signed each new person must fill out our application form prior to moving in.  These applications need to be approved by the owner just as if it was a new tenancy for the property.  Please be advised that a fee maybe charged to you for application processing.  Check with your property manager.

  • When Will the Lease Expire?

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    Some owners will require the fixed term expiry date to be in the busier times of the year, i.e. January/February or June/July. This may mean your lease term differs to the usual 6 or 12 months.

  • What Happens When The Tenancy Ends?

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    See our checklist for making sure you get your full bond back. Using a cleaning checklist like this helps avoid potential call-backs. If you’re unsure what’s needed use a professional cleaner. If you do the basics first the cost may not be as high as you’d expect. Any damages should be remedied prior to vacating, and again, if in any doubt please use a professional tradesperson. For example using the wrong colour paint to cover a dent in a wall you’ve patched may finish up costing a lot more than fixing it properly the first time.

  • What Do I Do If We're Broken Into?

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    The police should be contacted in all instances and please also contact us, preferably in writing, giving us the full details. We’ll need a crime number from police to validate repairs to windows and doors etc .or you could be held liable for the damage. Please remember the landlord’s insurances will not cover your own contents and possessions and it’s wise to take out cover for this.

Sellers Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's An Exclusive Agency Appointment?

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    You appoint one agent to list the property for sale and they take responsibility for the progress of the marketing campaign. It’s the only way to be sure you have someone giving you a solid effort but beware the 90 day appointment! Make sure your chosen agent offers a written guarantee of service so you can give them the bullet if they’re not doing what they said they would.

  • How Can My Apartment Compete with Big Developer's Projects?

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    Costs of construction are quite simply pricing most of these guys out of the market for the time being. Buyers do like new property but price is always an issue and if they’re ready to move now they might not want to wait for an off-plan purchase. Using first class photography, floorplans and targeted marketing also helps us compete with developer’s buyer info kits on a more even playing field too.

  • Can We Skip Your Fee if Our Neighbour Buys It?

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    If there’s a chance they’ll buy it call them first… you don’t need us to do that. But no, once you appoint us you’ll be responsible for commission regardless of who buys the property. Take some comfort: if we weren’t this tough with our money (and time) how careful would we be with yours?!

  • How Long Will It Take to Sell?

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    Don’t we wish this was a simple answer! The market’s settled to an average selling time of approx 8-10 weeks. Keep in mind that some buyers are ‘lying in wait’ and often the best price is achieved when you first come on the market as these buyers jump for a fresh listing, rather than the ‘stale’ ones. Provided you’ve had careful advice and research from your agent don’t be afraid to sell quickly.

  • What Deposit Should We Get From a Buyer?

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    In the good old days we’d insist on 5% of the purchase price to ensure your buyer had more than just a contract to assure their “good faith”. With our average inner Brisbane price now pushing through half a million dollars buyers often don’t have these funds at the ready. Often we can split the amount with some paid on signing and a balance on finance approval to give them time to withdraw from a term deposit or similar. Either way we strongly recommend you don’t take the home off the market unless they’re prepared to put down a significant sum.

  • How Much Do I Have to Reveal About My Property?

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    As your appointed agent we have a duty to act for you – but we also have a legal duty of care to any prospective buyers. We need you to tell us about any maintenance or other concerns. With almost every buyer carrying out building and pest inspections there’s a good chance they’ll discover the issue anyway. We don’t want a fresh negotiation battle with a cranky buyer late in the contract process when you might have packed your boxes or bought another place.

  • Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Handle the Sale?

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    We think so, yes. Like you need a doctor when you have a nasty itch. Some things in life aren’t worth leaving to chance!

  • Can I Take My Floral Curtains? They Match the Sofa...

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    Be our guest but please remove them prior to us showing any buyers. No matter how small the item a buyer doesn’t want to be told they can’t have it. If you’re unsure what usually stays and what goes please ask us.

  • My Brother's Nephew's Cousin Is In Real Estate - Can They Help You Sell It?

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    To ensure we provide all our clients with first class service we only handle exclusive listings. but with your instruction we’re happy to show other REIQ member agents’ buyers through the property and share commission with them (called “conjuncting”) if a sale results.

Buyers Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's my cooling off period?

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    Under Queensland law you have 5 working days (from the working day you receive a copy of the fully executed contract) during which you may choose to not proceed. Be aware that if you exercise this right you will forego a termination penalty of 0.25% of the price. You can choose to waive your cooling off period.

  • Why is there so much paperwork?!

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    To protect you of course! Before you sign the actual contract you’ll be asked to acknowledge receiving various statements from the agent relating to your rights (including seeking advice from lawyers and property valuers) and disclosures from the agents. Many of these originated to overcome the activities of ‘marketeers’ some years ago, when these groups sold Sunshine State property to frost-bitten Victorians at artificially inflated prices.

  • I've been told I need an electrical safety switch.

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    Sellers have to declare if there’s one already in the home (nominated on the contract), and if not the buyer must have a safety switch installed within 3 months of settlement. It’s also law that all dwellings must have at least one smoke alarm outside sleeping areas and one per floor. See www.fire.qld.gov.au for all the info.

  • Do I need a lawyer?

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    Yes, in our view, definitely yes. We occasionally see DIY kits about but given the complexity of the relevant laws and the plethora of government bodies involved in regulating property ownership or impacting on it we consider a lawyer’s fees money well spent. Southerners note all “conveyancers” in Queensland are solicitors – we don’t yet have a separate service provider.

  • Does the property have any easements?

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    Easements are a right held by one person to make use of the land of another, eg. drainage, sewerage or a driveway to a second property on a block of land behind another. These are often held by councils, railways, etc and will show on the property’s title details. Your lawyer will check and advise.

  • What other costs have I got to pay?

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    Premier Newman takes his cut in state stamp duty (click to calculate) and Brisbane City Council charge a fee to update their rates invoices for you! Don’t forget connection fees for phones, electricity etc. Building and pest inspections may cost as much as $600-900 and if you’re borrowing to buy your bank is likely to want application fees.

  • What's a body corporate?

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    It consists of each owner of a lot (eg. townhouse, duplex, apartment, villa or unit) in a community titles scheme. Upon your purchase of a lot you automatically become a member of the body corporate. A body corporate is generally responsible for the management and maintenance of the scheme’s common property, eg. lawns, access roadways, stairs and infrastructure such as pipes and wiring.

  • Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

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    If you’re buying in more than one name you can choose how the ownership is shared. “Joint Tenants” means it’s held in equal shares and if one dies, his or her share of the property passes to the surviving owner/s. “Tenants in common” allows for shareholdings in the property that aren’t equal and on the death of one owner, the deceased’s share passes to his or her heir/s, who assume the role of tenant in common with the other existing owner/s.