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Renting Privately? Have a look at some points you may want to consider here!

By Kate Nolan

Renting Privately? Have a look at some points you may want to consider here!

Private rentals are still very much alive and well in the Darwin rental market and I come across landlords regularly who have rented privately in the past or are renting privately at the moment. A lot of the time it boils down to cost or maybe you just prefer to take care of things yourself, some may already work in the industry and so on which is completely fine but I just want to give you some warnings if you do find yourself in this category that hopefully you will find helpful and ease those common private landlord woes we see every day.

A big one is tenant selection, the training our staff are given and the resources we have such as databases and tenancy history are such an invaluable tool when it comes to tenant selection however unfortunately if you are a landlord renting privately you don’t have access to such things, this means you will need to make the most of what you do have, information and gut instinct! Most property managers will base tenant selection on 90% fact and 10% gut instinct and this is what you as a private landlord should aim for too. Fact finding is so important, dig deep, know their rental history, request rental ledgers, ring multiple references and do your homework! I cannot stress how important this is.

Keep in mind that unfortunately the private rental sector is not a great magnet for high caliber tenants, it can attract tenants that professional agencies detract, this is as a result of the due diligence that an agent will carry out and generally if a tenant has something to hide they won’t come to an agency first, they will try the private sector so be prepared and protect yourself and your asset!

Something that seems to go by the way side during a private lease agreement are the routine inspections, it’s very easy to build rapport with your tenant when you are dealing with them face to face and sooner or later you start to build a very valuable tenant landlord relationship, this is great don’t get me wrong but it isn’t a good reason not to carry out your inspections, any good quality tenant will understand that rental inspections are a given so they will be more than happy for you to carry these out, again fortunately for Property Manager’s the training and systems we have in place makes routine inspections a very seamless process, in your case if you are renting privately you may need to come up with a process for this that suits you but you will be thankful you did at the end of your tenancy as will your tenant, the last thing the tenant wants is negative feedback at a final inspection that is too far gone to rectify, by carrying out routine inspections it gives you a chance to show the tenant areas that may need a little work on their part and also an opportunity for your tenant to discuss maintenance and other items that may arise throughout the tenancy. Routine inspections are extremely useful and highly important, my advice is to do them, always!

Making sure your paperwork is in order is always important, it is advisable to use a lease agreement for both yours and the tenants sake. Make sure you read through this and understand the agreement fully in advance and suggest your tenant does the same, this will save any discrepancies throughout the tenancy.

Staying educated is another important area, as professionals in this industry it is our duty to be up to date with all of the latest rules and regulations when it comes to tenancy agreements, the regular seminars and training that we attend are intense but mean that we are highly educated in our field. As a private landlord it is best for you to have as a minimum a basic understanding of the rental market and the rules surrounding tenancy agreements, if you are not already make yourself familiar with these and do your best to stay educated and up to date.

The next item is something you will thank me for later, condition reports are an absolute must! We as Property Managers have lots of procedures and systems that we use to make these reports as detailed as possible with photos and comments on everything from light globes to skirting boards, there can never be too much detail here so my advice is to make sure they are done, having a condition report is vital when it comes to final inspections and also means that everything is in black and white for both you and the tenant.

The above items are really just the tip of the ice berg, I could go on all day about just the necessities however in my opinion these are a few major areas that simply cannot and should not be over looked if you want a successful lease agreement. I have seen it many times where just one of these items have been the cause of a downfall in a private tenancy agreement and it has all ended in tears for both the landlord and tenant. The ultimate goal is for all parties is to walk away smiling and by doing things properly you can’t go wrong.

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