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How to be a successful landlord

There’s never been a better time to own a rental property than right now. If you’re looking into breaking into the residential investment market, you should consider this expert advice.

Adelaide’s rent values have climbed almost three per cent since January and, as they continue to rise, Harris Real Estate Director of Property Management John Carey says more people are looking into becoming landlords.

“Residential investment is very much back in terms of there’s a big return because of the higher rents and low interest rates,” Carey says.

“A lot of lenders are coming back to the residential investment market, which they’ve walked away from.”

Though becoming a landlord may seem as easy as owning a suitable property, finding and keeping  a good long-term tenant goes a long way in achieving the best return on investment.

Communicate effectively

No one wants a landlord hassling them every day but, you also don’t want to never speak with the tenants of your property.

Carey says the best way to avoid this common dilemma is to seek out an agency to who can communicate respectfully and efficiently.

“There should be an adequate amount of communication, but by an agency because both the landlord and the tenant like their privacy,” Carey says.

“It’s a great aid [for a tenant] to be able to ask a property manager for what they need without feeling uncomfortable.

“Similarly, landlords can say no because it is a commercial relationship.”

Be prompt with maintenance

“Being a good landlord with maintenance costs the same to respond promptly and be mindful of the tenants comfort at all times,” Carey says.

When it comes to maintenance, John says landlords should try to attend to maintenance as quickly as they can.

“If there’s a minor plumbing issue in the morning, get the plumber there that day and don’t take your time about it,” Carey says.

“This shows respect for the tenant and allows you to have a good working relationship.”

By being efficient in maintaining your investment property, you’re ensuring your tenant feels truly at home, giving them the opportunity to maintain a positive relationship with you.

Consider allowing pets

It’s always a risky game taking applicants who have four-legged friends yet, John says this can increase your chance of finding a good long-term tenant.

“A lot of landlords are very mindful that a pet is an extra risk, but it’s true that if you allow pets, the volume of applications will be much greater for your property,” Carey says.

“In terms of getting a long-term tenant it’s something to give serious consideration to, for the right tenants of course.”

Though there are some exceptions such as health issues where a landlord has to say no to pets, it should be negotiated where possible if it means securing the ideal tenant.

Carey says not wanting pets in certain areas of your investment property can allow for compromise.

“We do encourage pets and again try to make a working relationship where landlords comfortable saying they don’t want the pets to go on the carpets, for example,” Carey says.

“That can then be a good point in the term of the lease.”

Make improvements

As well as ensuring your investment is well looked after, Carey says it is beneficial to make improvements to your property throughout someone’s tenancy there.

“Today, tenants, look for and really appreciate good air conditioning, all the basics in a dishwasher, irrigation systems and so on,” Carey says.

“We encourage landlords to consider putting those in before letting the property or upon request from the tenant.

“Often it’s also tax deductible and appreciative improvement that could perhaps broaden the market appeal of the property later.”

Don’t skimp on tenant screening

Though property managers will often carry out a detailed screening of all rental applications, Carey says landlords should also take their time to look over prospective tenants.

“We encourage the landlords to be very involved in the selection process, not so much to meet the applicants, but just to listen and take interest in the referees, commentary and be quite active in the selection,” Carey says.

“Landlords should be discerning, and if necessary, wait a week and take their time.”