As a landlord with a great tenant, it’s easy to become complacent. You’ve got a steady income and no worries ... then your tenant gives Notice.
There is never a good time for your property to become vacant. We all have financial plans, a vacant property is going to slow those plans down.
Here are some tips for keeping ahead of the game and keeping a buffer between yourself and a financial burden.
In an ideal world, we would suggest putting at least two month’s rent buffer between yourself and a vacant property. By that, we mean have around two month’s mortgage in your bank account as a type of float, so if you’re tenant does give Notice, you’re not in a panic.
Another tip would be to stay on top of maintenance at your property. If you’re with an Agent, make sure you pay attention to the Periodic Inspection Reports they send. If your house is well maintained you won’t have to do much to attract a new tenant.
You need to remember that tenant’s have rights ... and they will be protected at Tribunal if ever you end up there. A tenant can make a retrospective claim too, so you need to be vigilant with repairs. For example, if the air conditioner breaks down, it needs to be repaired quickly or the tenant can make a claim for “loss of service” and the Tribunal may make you re-imburse the tenant a portion of the rent they’ve paid. Lets say and air conditioner is worth $20 to a tenancy and the tenant is without that service for a year, you may be asked to pay $1000 back to the tenant.
Certainly, be respectful of your tenant. If you need to do repairs at the house, make sure your tenant is comfortable with the arrangements. Be mindful too that your tenant’s life is just as busy as your own. They may not have had the chance to weed the garden beds, or the rent may be 4 or 5 days late. If you are constantly on the tenant’s back they will find another house with another landlord who is more respectful.
If your property does become vacant, use the time to ensure you are covered. Smoke detectors should be checked annually, or at the beginning of a tenancy. Be sure that your property is water compliant and that no taps leak. Check your Insurance Policies are current if the property is vacant. Pop around and keep the lawns tidy - or have your Agent organise it.