FAQ - Landlords
Frequently asked questions about property management.
There’s a lot to understand about property management so we’ve gathered a list of the most commonly asked questions.
Common queries for those new to property management.
HOW DO I CHANGE THE MANAGEMENT OF MY PROPERTY TO BLACKBURNE?
Simply contact us with details of your current management authority and we’ll take it from there. Once appointed, we’ll notify your tenants and collect the keys from your previous agent. Changing your property manager couldn’t be easier plus there’s no charge for this service.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FIND A TENANT?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer but we can tell you that properties that are better presented, professionally marketed, priced sensibly and represented by a professional agent will be rented more quickly. Blackburne has two full time leasing specialists, working 7 days per week, so you can rest easy knowing your property has the Blackburne advantage.
DOES AN AGENT’S LOCATION AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO MANAGE MY PROPERTY?
Most prospective tenants use the internet to find homes online and pay their rent electronically. Given this, location matters much less today than it did in the past. Our team at Blackburne have experience managing properties all over Perth.
CAN I REFUSE PETS, CHILDREN, SMOKERS, UNEMPLOYED, CERTAIN RACES OR RELIGIONS?
There are strict laws preventing landlords from discriminating against prospective tenants or people with children. However, you are entitled to consider whether or not pets and smokers will be suitable for your property.
The balance of the categories is strictly governed with heavy penalties.
Please note that the maximum that a pet bond can be is only $260 and a pet bond is only held for fumigation purposes, whereas any pet damage will be deducted from the bond.
DO I NEED LANDLORD’S INSURANCE?
While it’s not compulsory, it is our professional recommendation that every investment property owner has a specific landlord insurance policy in place. It protects you in the event of a tenant not paying rent, departing early or damaging the property. A good landlord insurance policy will also cover your loss of rent should your property become uninhabitable through events such as fire. In addition, it also includes public liability and limited cover for contents (e.g. floor coverings, curtains). Building insurance is compulsory.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT MY PROPERTY WILL RENT FOR?
While the market will determine the final amount, we work with you to ensure your property is presented at its very best to achieve the maximum possible rent and financial property return. As a guide, we will also provide evidence of current rental values of similar properties in your area.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY TENANT DOESN’T PAY RENT?
Our “Zero Tolerance” policy on rent arrears is actioned when the rent is two days late. Apart from outlining to new tenants the ramifications of not paying rent by its due date, our system monitors tenant arrears on a daily basis. We immediately contact the tenant by SMS/phone for prompt resolution and if the tenant remains in arrears, we will issue a breach notice or termination notice.
It is our intention to always minimise any loss to the owner and ensure prompt and effective action.
Understanding How We Manage the Money: Administration and Reporting
Your monthly statement will include full details of your rental proceeds and any expenses disbursed from the funds. These statements are emailed to you to ensure you receive them immediately at the end of every month.
ANNUAL INCOME AND EXPENDITURE REPORT
At the end of each financial year we can provide you with a complete income and expenditure report in a single-page summary format, to assist with your tax return.
ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF FUNDS
To improve the return on your investment we aim to transfer rent into your bank account as quickly as possible. So, it’s electronically transferred straight from our Trust Account to your nominated account, usually on the last working day of the month.
PAYMENT OF OUTGOINGS
Blackburne can pay any outgoings for your property on your behalf, deducting the funds from your monthly statement. A copy of the invoice is attached to your statement in the month it’s paid. We’ll determine which payments you’d like us to make at the time of our appointment (e.g., water rates, strata levies, council rates).
AUDITED TRUST ACCOUNT
All funds we receive in relation to your property are immediately recorded in our Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety approved trust account. This account is audited annually to the strictest control standards, by an approved independent auditor.
Tenants’ rental payments to Blackburne are made by BPay or EFTPOS. Tenants have the convenience of being able to make rental payments over the phone or online through their bank. This simplifies the payment process and has proven to significantly decrease late rent payments.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (WA) allows for a security bond of up to four weeks’ rent to be collected. All tenant bonds are held in a bond trust account with the Government Bond Administrator, in accordance with the Act. The bond is returned to the tenant when they vacate the property, following a satisfactory final inspection and deduction of any relevant expenses.
Property Management Fees in Perth
This includes all scheduled and appointment-only viewings with prospective tenants as well as the processing of application forms, thorough reference checks and ID checks, collection and the lodgement of tenant’s bond to necessary authority. This also includes orientation interviews with the tenant to advise them of their rights and responsibilities, explanation of the lease in detail and signing of all necessary paperwork and sign-out of keys.
The Management Fee is based only on monies collected and covers the services provided by Blackburne. This includes collecting and processing of rents and other monies, pursuing late rent and invoice payments, advising the owner of relevant matters and attending to other routine issues throughout the month. These include issues such as maintenance, payment of accounts and liaison with tenants. For your record, management fees are detailed on each monthly statement.
PROPERTY CONDITION REPORT
A comprehensive report including photographs, detailing the condition of the property at the time the tenant took occupancy is outlined in the Property Condition Report. This is an important document, required by legislation, that acts as the basis for bond disposal amounts. In cases where there are disputes, this document can be a powerful piece of evidence submissible in court.
Inspections should be carried out 6-8 weeks after a tenant takes occupancy. This acts as an early alert for any issues that may be evident and is then set at three monthly intervals for the term of the tenancy.
We believe regular and thorough inspections prevent minor issues becoming major problems. If you are encountering difficulties with your tenants, please contact us immediately!
Additional photographs are taken of any maintenance issues. This reinforces to the tenant that we are consistently checking the property and expect it to be cared for.
The internet is the most successful way to advertise a vacant property.
Blackburne advertises on all major real estate websites. Each advertisement consists of photographs and descriptive information about your property. If we think a paid advertisement in a newspaper would help let the property, we will contact you first to discuss this and always ask for your permission.
This inspection is carried out against the in-going report and is necessary to decide whether any damages or cleaning need to be charged from the tenant’s bond.
A final Property Condition Report is completed, as required by legislation and a copy sent to the tenants within 14 days. Photographs of your property are taken in case further evidence is needed over a bond dispute. Our fee also covers updating of the in-going Property Condition Report for the next tenant, so there is no need for the owner to pay for an additional fee.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT
An end of financial year report summarises income and outgoings for the last 12 months in detail. It shows accumulated totals instead of twelve individual statements.
NATIONAL TENANCY DEFAULT SYSTEM
We have access to the performance history of tenants via the National Tenancy Database, which is a database of defaulting tenants.
This enables us to obtain information from real estate agents across Australia, as well as VEDA credit reports when processing prospective tenants. It also allows us to list our defaulting tenants on the database, thereby reducing the possibility of them relocating and leaving rent and damage debts behind them.
At Blackburne, we believe that it is beneficial for both parties if every attempt is made to avoid taking matters to court. However, in some cases it is the only means to resolve matters or to gain permission to refund a tenant’s bond to an owner.
RENEWAL OF TENANCY
This fee applies if a tenant chooses to extend their lease and the owner agrees. It covers negotiations between the tenant and the owner, preparation of paperwork and organising signing of the lease documents. This fee replaces the leasing fee as there is no requirement to find a new tenant.