Your Property Assessment Is Your Best Investment

When to have a Property Assessment Done?

Thinking of buying a rental property? Are you wondering if the property you’re keen on is a solid investment? Will it rent? If these questions (or others) are on your mind, and you want an experienced industry expert to do the legwork and provide a comprehensive assessment of this property’s viability as a rental, then keep reading.

Even the most experienced real estate investors and landlords may not be up on every neighborhood’s status, and current trends in the market or have the time to do the research. However, if you’re serious about being profitable in this market, please do your due diligence or hire someone to do it for you.

What’s Included In a Property Assessment

I evaluate the property, research the area, and give you the honest feedback you need to make a decision and may even wind up with some negotiating points.

What’s involved and included in a property assessment? The following list of highlights is by no means everything, but it gives you a general idea of the depth and value of what having an assessment can do for you in making the right property choice.

Each property assessment will provide:

  • Determination if this property is worthy of tenants?
  • Property Assessment Overview
  • Appraisal of rent
  • What property consists of (and what’s missing)
  • Profile of tenant – what type of tenant will want it 
  • Suitability of the property for rental 
  • A summary of who lives in the area, schools, parks, ages, renters profile, rents, the average longevity of tenants. 
  • List of repairs required
  • Safety and security assessment of the property and area
  • Does it meet compliance
  • and more

A Property Assessment is for you if

  1. You are thinking about purchasing and not quite sure if the purchase should be a house or an apartment.
  2. Have a property you are seriously considering purchasing but want to make sure it will meet your cash flow goals
  3. You have a busy schedule 
  4. You don’t know the area well
  5. You have less than 2 properties in your portfolio 
  6. You know you need to do your due diligence, and you want to make sure you don’t miss important things
  7. You’ve had a bad experience in the past because of unknown issues with the property
  8. You are planning on fixing up the property and/or renting it out
  9. You want to have another expert on your team to evaluate the property
  10. You want to determine how profitable you can be with the property or avoid loss
  11. You want long-term tenants 

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these, then a property assessment is likely the next best step. 

Contact us today to discuss.


Make sure your property is safe?

When owning or managing an investment property, you are bound by a legal duty of care to the tenant to ensure that the property is fit and safe to reside in.

Maintenance and repair requirements can fall into different categories in accordance with each State law, such as:-

  • general repairs;
  • urgent (emergency) repairs; and
  • repairs that (if not actioned promptly) can lead to a litigation claim and compensation payable if someone is injured or adversely impacted.

Throughout the management of your property, if you are confronted with repair requests below, it is important that you take immediate action:-

  • Faulty window or door locks.
  • Ripples or loose threads in the carpet or on the stairwell.
  • Cracked or sharp edges on tiles.
  • Cracked or loose power points sockets.
  • External uneven pavers.
  • Balcony railings – ensure they meet Council regulations and are not loose.
  • Loose or exposed wiring on light fittings.
  • Appliances that are shorting out the electrical circuit board.
  • Circuit board has been upgraded to meet requirements.
  • Inadequate lighting in stairways and external walkway areas.
  • Unnecessary objects protruding out that could lead to a slip and fall.
  • Sagging ceilings.
  • Faulty or non-closing pool gate fence.
  • Dry rot on external railings, floorboards, and steps.
  • Loose or hanging gutters and downpipes.
  • Non-compliant smoke detectors and safety switches.
  • Excessive mould.

If a claim was made; the questions asked to determine liability would include:-

  • Was the accident the result of failure to repair, maintain or clean the space?
  • Could the accident have been prevented in any way?
  • Would it have been reasonable to have noticed the repair/hazard?

We do understand that, for many investors, paying for and attending to repairs and maintenance can place a financial strain on a household. However, the consequences of not being proactive can result in an unwanted lawsuit.


DIY Repairs

With tradie shortages, COVID restrictions and tight budgets, some landlords are attempting repairs and maintenance themselves. Others are engaging tradespeople based on the cheapest possible quote.

Be very careful.

When it comes to residential rental properties, there are strict regulations on who can conduct repairs and maintenance. If things go wrong, it can cost the landlord far more than they save.

6 Things you need to know before you DIY on your rental property

  1. Established property managers have a network of excellent tradies who will prioritise work on the properties in their care. It’s certainly the case for our landlords. In fact, we have the power to be highly selective about the tradespeople we use and we select according to their reliability, quality workmanship and value for money.
  2. Trades must carry significant insurance – particularly if they are working on a strata property. If you choose to use your own trades, make sure you ask to see their certificate of insurance and expect to see an 8 or 9 figure sum insured.
  3. Tradies who work on rental properties must have a registered Australian Business Number (known as an ABN). There are huge penalties if something goes wrong and the authorities discover you used an unregistered tradesperson.
  4. Only qualified trades can perform repairs on rental properties so if you are planning to do the work yourself, you need to be a qualified, insured and registered tradesperson. Ignoring this legal requirement could cost you far more than the repairs themselves!
  5. Never contact the tenant direct – even if it is to arrange a time to conduct repairs or maintenance – as it could lead to disputes or complaints between you and the tenant.
  6. Always talk to your property manager before embarking on any repairs, maintenance or upgrades on your investment property. At Stills Properties, we believe an important part of our job is to advise landlords on what work needs to be done so you don’t over invest in your property.

One more peril

Ignorance is probably the biggest risk for any landlord. Whether it’s how to choose a conscientious property manager or what is and isn’t allowed. But that’s why so many of our landlords choose Stills Properties and then recommend us to their friends and family.

We build relationships with both our landlords and our tenants so they feel comfortable asking us questions or discussing their concerns. They know they will receive timely, honest and knowledgeable advice.

If you are thinking about buying your first investment property or you are an established landlord who is tired of being treated like a number, get in touch with Brigitte from Stills Properties. Simply call 1300 091 638 or email propertymanager@stillsproperties.com.au


Make the current lockdown work for you by reviewing your property investment options

There’s nothing like a COVID lockdown to give us time to think about things. After all, there isn’t much we can do. So let’s turn this negative into a positive by talking about how the rental market is changing.

3 Key Trends

Trend # 1:  Tenants are on the move

Tenants are looking for more space because they are working from home, home schooling their kids and craving open space. For families, there is a definite move away from units and into houses. As a result, rentals for houses are on the rise. In fact, it seems like the rental returns for houses are increasing each month.

Trend # 2:  Young people are moving out of home

This is the group who are attracted to units. They are feeling a bit claustrophobic living with their parents and are looking for their own space. In general, they want clean, modern units at a moderate price.

Trend # 3:  Seniors are moving into retirement villages

If you speak with retirement village salespeople, they’ll tell you their industry has never been busier as seniors are realising how isolated they are during COVID spikes. The great news for property investors is that this group is selling their homes, giving you the opportunity to tap into the potential returns from Trend #1.

What do these trends mean for property investors?

When it comes to investing in property, there are 2 investment strategies – purchasing for long-term capital growth or purchasing to gain passive rental income. Knowing your property investment strategy, should determine which type of property you buy.

Either way, now is a great time to review your situation so you can take advantage of the opportunities the current property market is offering.

Of course, you need to involve your financial planner when making these decisions. But we also suggest speaking with us BEFORE you buy as we can provide a comprehensive and accurate Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal. This will give you the latest information on the renters’ profile for the area you are considering. That’s important as it will determine whether you should be purchasing a unit or a house.

We’ll also provide you with information on:

  • The current rentals achieved
  • Days on the market
  • An overview of the suburb
  • Sought after locations within the area you are considering
  • What upgrades you may need to make now or in the future

This is valuable, independent information you need to know before you sign a contract because it will guide you on the returns you can expect from a property. At only $150 + GST, our Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal could be the best investment you ever make.

Make the current lockdown work for you

With over 35 years’ property management experience, you can rely on Brigitte Stills and her team to guide you on your investment property selection.

So don’t waste the current lockdown. Start making it work for you by reviewing your investment property strategy and asking Brigitte to help you select your next property. To learn more or to arrange your Pre-Purchase Investment Property Rental Appraisal, contact Brigitte on 1300 091 638 or propertymanager@stillsproperties.com.au


5 Ways the lockdown has affected landlords and tenants

The current and sudden Sydney lockdowns have caused great confusion for landlords, tenants and property managers. We now have some clarity. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Repairs and maintenance in tenanted properties

Only urgent repairs and maintenance can occur. Everything else needs to wait until things reopen again. For tenants, our recommendation is to report any issues to your property manager, just as you usually would, and let them determine the urgency or otherwise.

2. Cleaning, repairs and maintenance in vacant rental properties

If you have a vacant investment property, cleaning, repairs and maintenance are permitted providing they are necessary for re-leasing the property.

3. Inspections and opens

In the Greater Sydney area, one-on-one property opens are allowed as long as they follow current COVID restrictions.

4. Rent reductions and protection from eviction

Tenants can request a substantial rent reduction if they fall into the category of an “impacted tenant” and provide evidence of this to the landlord or property manager.

An “impacted tenant” is a member of a household who has suffered a reduced weekly income (due to the impact of COVID-19) of at least 25% because one or more of the rent-paying members of the household have:

  • Lost employment or income
  • Experienced reduced work hours or income
  • Stopped working or substantially reduced their work hours because:
    • They are ill with COVID-19
    • Another member of the household has COVID-19
    • They need to take care of a family member who is ill with COVID-19

Tenants are advised to have honest discussions about their financial situation with landlords (or their property manager) so an agreement can be reached on the rent to be paid for the duration of the lockdown.

“Impacted tenants” can pay at least 25% of their usual weekly rent to receive a 60 day moratorium on eviction. This moratorium includes failure to pay rent and other breaches of the tenancy agreement under section 87 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW).

5. Relief for landlords

Landlords who provide tenants with rental relief can apply for Residential Tenancy Support Payments. These payments are based on the rental reduction provided – to a maximum of $1500 per property.

Alternatively, landlords can apply for land tax concessions. These concessions are the equivalent of the rental reduction provided to each tenant, up to 100% of your 2021 land tax liability.

Owning an investment property is complicated

We can’t recall a more complicated time to be a landlord. Not only do you need to understand how the current lockdowns affect any repairs, maintenance and cleaning that can be done. There’s the added burden of having difficult conversations with tenants about their financial ability to pay rent.

If you manage your own investment property, I suggest it’s time to seek help from a professional property manager. If you currently engage a property manager, you need to evaluate how confident you are in their negotiation skills and understanding of the legislation.

For help or a second opinion, contact Brigitte from Stills Properties. With over 35 years’ property management experience, she understands the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. To get in touch with her call 1300 091 638 or email propertymanager@stillsproperties.com.au