With the end of the financial year fast approaching, now is the ideal time to assess your property investments, with a view to securing stable cash flows, minimising risks, and steadying property performance. We hope the upcoming financial year is more ‘normal’ and promises steady recovery.
We have compiled a list of tips to assist – Rest assured, these tips are the result of our experience over many years, coupled with the obligations of more recently amended legislation which allow for increased safety requirements, rental standards and provide protection for renters who seek long-term stability in accommodation. These tips provide the answers to the questions property owners (now known as residential rental providers) often ask.
Black Fox Real Estate Property Management’s Top 10 tips for Rental Investment Success in 2022-23
Review your mortgage. As repayments are a property investor’s biggest expense, it is worth searching for a competitive rate, particularly on the cusp of interest rate rises. Brokers are also available to help support you with your search and our team at Black Fox Real Estate can connect you with a broker to do the work needed to move forward with the best possible rate.
Check your insurance. Its best to ensure you’re protected in the face of unforeseen adversity and that premiums are competitive. Remember, all policies are not the same, meaning it is important to assess all inclusions and restrictions of your particular policy. Building insurance, public liability and rental default insurances should be in place for all properties and we can certainly assist in connecting you with the best providers in the industry, or simply to help you obtain competitive quotes from our preferred providers.
Claim all available Tax Benefits.
This list includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Loan interest
- Council and water rates
- Land tax
- Strata fees, if applicable
- Insurance premiums
- Depreciation (ie capital works and fittings/fixtures)
- Repairs and maintenance
- Accounting and legal fees
- Safety checks and certificates
- Minimum standard checks
Attend to any overdue maintenance and receive the immediate benefit of claiming it in THIS financial year and the long-term benefit of a happy renter who is more likely to stay in a home that is well maintained. The Black Fox Real Estate team can help negotiate a payment plan and/or arrange staged maintenance with our contractors to increase affordability. Speak to your Property Manager about the financing options available.
Avoid expensive Emergency Repairs.
Consider scheduled and preventative maintenance -the old ‘stitch in time saves nine’ is completely true of small leaks that invariably turn into big ones. Gutter cleaning regimes, heating and cooling checks (especially now we are in winter). We know that existing supply chain issues will only be exacerbated as winter continues, so planning ahead is the smartest (and most economical) way to go.’
Heating upgrades – $1000 rebates are currently available for some rental properties where the owner decides to upgrade to higher energy efficiency for heating – there is no reason to delay. (https://www.heatingupgrades.vic.gov.au/upgrades-rental-properties)
This attention helps the rental provider-tenant relationships immeasurably and with an ever-increasing awareness surrounding energy efficiency, could be a future wish list item for renters in the marketplace. On the flip side, compensation may be payable where heating has failed in a property and any delays in reinstating as quickly as possible.
Gas and Electric Safety Inspections are now required every two years, with Smoke Alarms remaining as annual. Your Property Manager can help implement a compliance schedule if you’re not already set up.
Review your unique property’s rent and verify that it is aligned with current market rates – there has been a lot of movement recently in rental pricing. Increasing too much may be counterproductive as renters are well informed about what rental rates are and good tenants should be incentivised to stay. Our team at Black Fox Real Estate will provide you with feedback and research the immediate area prior to proceeding. Unfortunately, rent cannot be increased immediately, there is a 65 day notice period that is required prior to receiving the increased amount. Rent cannot be increased for tenancies within a Fixed Lease Agreement.
Pool/spa barrier laws have changed- all pools must be registered with the local council and have safety barrier inspections. Being up to date with these helps you to uphold your duty of care as a rental provider and, of course, to avoid hefty fines. More information can be found on your local council website – Frankston City Council (https://www.frankston.vic.gov.au/Home) or Mornington Peninsula Shire Website (https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Home).
Build positive relationships with your renters. Obviously, retaining good tenants reduces re-leasing costs, maximises rental cashflows by avoiding vacancy and a valued tenant is considerably more likely to take diligent care of your property and to be generally more cooperative.
Discuss your property goals with your Property Manager. We are here for you – to assist in obtaining the outcomes you seek from your investment – year in, year out.
Stay warm this Winter and please contact our team at Black Fox Real Estate should you have any questions or need assistance arranging any of the above.