RE/MAX Regency

RE/MAX Regency


RE/MAX Regency

Established in 2008, RE/ MAX Regency has grown into one of the most successful RE/MAX offices in Australia, consistently placing in the top 2 RE/MAX agencies for Australia & New Zealand. Over the last two years we have been awarded #1 RE/MAX in Australia and New Zealand, as well as 2014 Global Broker owner of the year out of 6500 offices worldwide. These results have come from the dedicated efforts of our dynamic team who live the "customer is king" philosophy and are not willing to compromise on their integrity or professional service.

RE/MAX Regency has two agency Principals that each focus on separate facets of the business. Murray Carter has a passion for sales, focusing on this side of the business, while Justin Miller is focused solely on property management. Both directors strive to provide the best service possible to RE/MAX Regency Clients and customers and regularly set benchmark levels of service and performance for RE/MAX Regency as an agency.

As two of the youngest agency owners on the Gold Coast, Justin and Murray are continuously striving to raise those benchmarks in order to provide an ever improving customer experience helping to cement strong relationships with everyone they do business with. In order to make their vision achievable they have surrounded themselves with a team of likeminded sales associates, property managers and administrative staff who collectively know that the only way to create success is to understand that they are in the business of helping people. At RE/MAX Regency, we believe that the more we communicate and engage with you, our client, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what we should be doing to serve you better.

Backed by RE/MAX International, the largest Real Estate Network in the world, the professional team at RE/MAX Regency is able to offer you access to industry leading tools and strategies. Our state of the art Property Management systems & tools allow our team to provide landlords peace of mind giving them more time and less hassle. All these tools allow us to provide our clients and customers an honest, transparent, committed and professional service that will help them to achieve their real estate goals.


 


Links

Why RE/MAX?




Why should we give you our property to manage? and... 

What will be different at RE/MAX Regency?

YOU WILL HAVE PEACE OF MIND WITH US

Leaders in Technology

We have systems and software that manage nearly every aspect of our business. Due to our progressive nature, our office is often called upon to trial new software, upgrades and improvements giving us the leading edge when it comes to technology in our industry. Our maintenance management software manages all maintenance via cloud based services allowing Tenants to log maintenance, owners to approve items, and tradesman to invoice and quote via any PC or mobile device.

We are also innovating the entry condition and routine inspection reporting process by using “Matterport” 3D technology to virtually map our properties. This allows Tenants, Owners and Property Managers to conduct a virtual walk-through of the property to verify the condition. It also allows interstate and overseas Landlords to see their properties virtually, something no amount of photos can achieve. We are the first agency in Australia to be using this technology for Property Management.

 

WE FIND QUALITY TENANTS FAST

Professional Marketing

We are one of only a few offices on the Gold Coast that offers our clients “premiere listings” for all advertisements on realestate.com.au.  Given that 95% of all tenant enquiry now comes from online marketing, "premiering" your property means that your property is given priority placement.  Prospective tenants looking to relocate from interstate or overseas may not necessarily be familiar with the different Gold Coast suburbs, therefore to have a priority placement on a "Gold Coast" search means your property is likely to viewed by more people reducing vacancy rates and increasing rents. 

As a standard we advertise all properties using professional photographs. This makes the property more desirable and helps generate more enquiry, increasing the number of people attending inspections.   With the introduction of 3D imaging, we now also offer virtual tours of all properties. Over the past three years we have realised a need to be able to let interstate or overseas tenants view the property regardless of their physical location.  


Prospective Tenant Database – Over 38,000 Registered tenants

We have 38,000 prospective tenants registered on our database. This gives us the ability to source quality tenants who want to rent our properties, sometimes without even the need to advertise. This is one of the reasons our vacancy rate remains incredibly low - consistently at less than 1% when the current industry average is 1.5%

 

WE WILL REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF THINGS GOING WRONG

Keeping your property tenanted

10 – 12 weeks prior to a Tenancy Expiring, we’ll review your rent and complete a Comparative Rental Analysis (CRA). This is an x-ray of the rental market. We will work with you to increase the rent, without losing a quality Tenant.  If the tenant decides to move one, we will have enough time to source another quality tenant prior to the current tenant vacating, reducing vacancy and ensuring a higher return on your investment.  

The average stay of our tenants is 22 months, well above the industry average of just 14.  The longer your tenant stays the less vacancy you will have equating to more money in your back pocket.

 

YOU WILL HAVE OUR COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO OWN PROPERTY

Knowledgeable and Experienced Team

Our team is committed to Training hard and Developing our skills as Property Managers - Every week we have a team meeting which is split into two sections: The first is used as an opportunity to increase our knowledge whereby we invite property experts (such as tradespeople, depreciators and finance specialists) into our office to share their expertise. This is invaluable in increasing our team’s knowledge of property in general, particularly regarding what to look for when completing inspections. The second half of the meeting is an open forum for ideas to be discussed prior to implementation. This gives our clients peace-of-mind that they are working with dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who know what it's like to own property.

 

YOU’LL FIND IT’S EASY TO DO BUSINESS WITH US

Two Property Managers Allocated to Each Property

The two property managers in each pod adopt an “in office” and “out of office” task based role with both of them liaising with the owners and tenants as a team. At all times our customers will always have someone in the office who can assist them with their enquiries and both property managers are accountable to each other, as well as the systems that drive the department.

 

Support & Management

One of the biggest factors lacking in many property management businesses is support  and efficient team management. With a dedicated Principal in charge of Property Management and a Team Leader, our staff have the confidence and direction to efficiently manage your property.   We have even engaged the very best, industry leading, experts to ensure that RE/MAX Regency has the most effective systems and structure resulting in only very best service being provided.

 

YOUR INCOME WILL GROW WITH US!

Greater Return on Investment

We understand that fees are a big and important issue for our clients. Instead of reducing our fees to complete with other “fee-discounters” we prefer to provide better service and value for money. Paying the cheapest fees will not necessarily put more money in your back pocket. There are several ways to maximise your income, such as achieving the highest possible rent for properties through quality marketing, ensuring the property enjoys minimal vacancy and ensuring a quality tenant is selected (one who will consistently pay the rent at all times). We know all too well that there are discounters active in the market. One of our strongest sources of new clientele are landlords who are disgruntled with ‘the discounters’. These agents always sound good at the time but often over-promise then under deliver. Even though our fee is higher than some, we believe we offer the most value for money as we ensure you receive more for the fees you pay with the added bonus of making sure the property is well maintained to maximise its capital value.

 

Whether you are a first time investor or a seasoned professional - RE/MAX Regency has the structure and service to suit your needs!  

 


Links

Why Invest in the Gold Coast?


Why Invest in the Gold Coast?

 The Gold Coast is a city coming of age. It is a place of opportunity that, over the next decade, will transform into a globally-recognised city while retaining its enviable lifestyle and stunning natural environment.

As host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2018, the Gold Coast is embracing transformative civic projects like never before, with more than $13.5 billion in major projects planned or underway that will change the face of our city.

Why invest on the Gold Coast?

Realise the advantages that our great city offers businesses, Iandlords or developers looking to invest:

• $13.5 billion is being invested in major projects
• as a world-class tourism destination, the Gold Coast welcomes an additional 12 million people each year
• as Australia’s sixth largest city, the Gold Coast still remains one of the most bio-diverse with an enviable lifestyle and natural environment
• the city is commercially competitive and offers affordability relative to Australia’s capital cities
• the Gold Coast is strategically located on the edge of the Asia-Pacific rim, with access to two international airports
• we’re building a reputation for cutting-edge research and innovation
• the city prides itself on being business friendly and offers an Investment Attraction Program
• our economy has grown from a platform on tourism and construction and is diversifying into a knowledge based economy
• our three world-class education institutions mean we offer the greatest educational choice of any city of our size.


Links

Last Performance Results


Last Performance Results

The following statistics are current to 30th August 2017:

 

% Percentage of Tenants Paying in Advance - 98.98%

 

% Percentage of Properties Vacant - 0.5%

 

Average Maintenance completed - 11 days

 

Time on Rental Market - 10.4 days 

 

Tenant Enquiries Received in August 2017:  970 (peak 2000)

 

Tenants average stay: 22.2 months

 

 

 

 


Our Team


Our Team

Justin Miller (Principal)

Justin Miller, Co-Owner and Property Management Director, heads up the property management division at RE/MAX Regency. In 2013, he became one of the first to graduate from Bond University with a Masters of Real Estate, adding to his two other Masters degrees in Construction Practice and Building Surveying. With a professional background in property development, commercial construction & property management, Justin has gained invaluable experience across multiple Real Estate facets, such as Property Finance, Land Acquisition, Construction and Property Management.

Justin defines his charter as property management growth and to seal an unquestionable reputation in residential property management. His team’s point of difference is service though strong relationships with landlords and tenants, established as a result of communication and education. Justin and his team are pioneering the evolution of the property management process with the introduction of technologies and processes, unique to the RE/MAX Regency office.

 

Jackie Hardstaff & Benny O'Loughlin (Property Management Team)

Jackie’s and Benny’s approach to Property Management is detailed, conscientious and very systems orientated with a high importance placed on efficiency and customer service. Jackie, having spent the last six years working with her current portfolio of investors, takes pride in her consistency and ability to understand each property and landlord she works with. Recently joined by Benny, whose enthusiasm and desire for knowledge has lead him to surpass even the most experienced in the industry, together, they constantly receive an array of testimonials from very happy clients.

Jackie and Benny believe that communication is the key to being a great property manager - “We believe our clients have the right to know what is happening with the management of their property at all times. We ensure that they are always kept up to date and their instructions are followed whilst providing them the knowledge of the relevant acts to help them make informed decisions."  This has helped them to form fantastic relationships with long lasting clients, built on knowledge, trust and respect.

Jackie and Ben look forward to taking the best possible care of your investment.

 

Cushla Symons & Aaron Biles (Property Management Team)

As a Licensed Real Estate agent and Accredited Trainer, Cushla has achieved many levels of excellence throughout her 20+ years' property management career (1994 - current). Having spent much of her career  at the coalface of property management, in 2006 she became a National Property Management Consultant and Trainer assisting and working with other property managers in the industry to achieve excellence. She has written articles for, and edited, The Property Management Journal, as well as spoken at National Property Management Conference events.

Despite the success achieved through this endeavour, Cushla realised that her passion was in working within Property Management Industry, and more specifically, assisting property investors in achieving their investment goals.

 Cushla has attracted a loyal client base who appreciate her integrity and conscientious approach. Cushla is also extremely well regarded by the tenants she works along-side with, taking pride in the ethical and reasonable manner in which she treats people. Whilst many may shy away from the mediation role between property owners and tenants, Cushla welcomes the opportunity to find a better solution for both parties.

Aaron is a great communicator, and his convivial personality makes him a natural property manager. With his professional manner, attention to detail, and ability to confront the daily obstacles inherent in the role, he has built a reputation as a capable and respected asset manager. Clients dealing with Aaron can be assured of his best attention to their needs. Aaron believes that acquiring an investment property is one of the biggest investments a client will make. He sees it as his responsibility to look after their property as if it were his own.

Aaron and Cushla's experience and diligence in working together, to make sure your property is well maintained by tenants, make them invaluable to the Remax Regency team.

 

Ben Tranter (Leasing)

Being the Leasing Consultant of one of the most successful real estate businesses in Australia, requires an extraordinary capacity for excellent customer service. Ben is dedicated, conscientious, and takes pride in achieving and maintaining one of the lowest vacancy rates in the local area. Ben also takes his role of maximizing inspections seriously, in order to find the best tenants for each and every property that he rents.

 

Meghan Scicluna & Sammie Richards (Administration Team)

Meg & Sammie’s attention to detail, outstanding customer service skills and efficiency, make them ideally suited to their roles as the Administration Team to our Property Management Department. Each of them have over 5 year’s experience, covering all aspects of property management; Meg & Sammie understand what is required to create a successful property management environment.

Meg ensures all the paperwork and administrative tasks are completed effectively and efficiently, whilst Sammie looks after the financial side of the Property Management Business, ensuring tenants continue to pay their rent in advance and landlords receive their money on time. Collectively, they make it their mission to ensure that our customers and clients receive the best possible service and highest level of communication. The successful management of all administrative tasks give our property management team the confidence and support to manage your property effectively.



 


Marketing


Marketing

In order to minimise any vacancy period we suggest commencing the marketing campaign (to secure another suitable tenant) at least 30 days prior to the tenants vacate date.

At RE/MAX Regency, we believe that how you present your property to the market has a huge effect on, not only the rent you achieve but also, the quality of the applicants we receive. Smart, professional and effective marketing often means securing a suitable tenant well before the current tenants have vacated, giving you peace-of-mind that your income is protected.

 

Professional Photography

In order to present your property to the market in the best way possible, professional photographs will be required. Gone are the days where taking a quick snap with the office camera or iphone is acceptible, particularly as technology improves and competition becomes fierce.

  • Professional photographs can enhance the design, lighting and presentation ensuring that we immediately capture the attention of any prospective tenants.
  • The difference between professional and amateur photographs can be quite dramatic (see the photo’s above of the same property).
  • The cost for a professional photographer is only $135.00 (+GST) which is tax deductable,
  • You will own these photographs, to be used whenever the property is required to be marketed.

 

Premiere Marketing

Along with the professional photography, we have taken the option of only marketing the properties as “Premiere” listings on realestate.com.au –

  • The appearance of the advertisement is larger and has a greater impact.  
  • A premiere listing will appear at the top of a “Gold Coast” search, not just a suburb search, this ensures that your property is being seen.
  • Statistics have shown that 25% of all prospective tenant searches come from outside Queensland (many of who are not familiar with the individual suburbs).
  • With more people searching under “Gold Coast”, 75% of people do not look past page 1 or 2
  • On many occassions standard listings may not be seen.
  • The cost for our office to premiere a property on Realestate.com.au is $115.00.
  • The standard rate for a premiere property through most other offices is usually around $600.00.
  • We have found that premiering all listed properties we have reduced the average time a on market from 26 days to 14 days.

Links

Pricing - The Market


Pricing - The Market

T.O.P. Action Plan

The goal of any investment property owner is to maximise the net income whilst simultaneously minimising the risks associated with legislative landlord responsibilities.  At RE/MAX Regency, we understand that your investment property is a precious asset and by helping you maximise the income and minimise risk, we help ourselves.  Ultimately, your success is our success.

At RE/MAX Regency, we achieve a top income for our landlords by maximising the property's occupancy; this is crucial.  The bottom line is, that if the property is vacant, you don't get an income, and neither do we.  Our goal is to reduce or eliminate these periods of vacancy by having a successful "T.O.P" Action Plan. The "T.O.P." Action Plan involves having market specific strategies.

Assessing the Market

TIMING (T) & OPPORTUNITY (O)

The rental market on the Gold Coast, to a certain degree, has predictable highs and low's based on prospective tenant demand.  The trend has continued in this same way for at least the last 20 years.  The only thing we don't know for sure is how high or low these markets will go.  Based on this predictable trend we can maximise income by engineering a tenancy agreement (where practical) that will expire at these peak times and carry a fixed term agreement through the lows.  In this way, if the property is offered to the market we can maximise the rent in a high demand market and protect your income in markets that generally carry little demand.  

Outside of these peaks and troughs, we must also assess what similar properties are being offered to the market.  This can be classed as assessing the "Opportunity" available to maximise the rent in the rental market.  For example, a property that is unique or has little competition in the features it offers may have greater opportunity to rent for a higher figure or more quickly.  Properties being marketed alongside numerous others in feature and options, may have less in the way of "Opportunity" as there is more for a prospective tenant to choose from.  This could result in a lower rent or longer vacancy period.

When assessing a rental figure, both Timing and Opportunity are crucial factors in maximising the rent you can achieve in any rental market. 

 

The three "P"s 

Presentation

"Attractive Properties Attract Tenants" often doing small cosmetic enhancements can result in higher rentals and lower vacancy periods.  Ensuring the property is clean, inside and out, and gardens manicured, will assist in locating a prospective tenant quickly and at maximum rent.   Our professional photographs help us reflect your property in the best possible way to prospective tenants.

Promotion

By marketing your property as a "Premier Listing" on Realestate.com.au, RE/MAX Regency is ensuring your property is viewed first by prospective tenants.  

Price

In assessing the price for your property all of the above needs to be taken into consideration.  If timing, opportunity, presentation and promotion is all right but the price is wrong the property will stay on the marketing costing the investor precious time and money.  A property rented at $500.00 per week only needs to be vacant for 2 weeks to cost the owner $40 per week over a 6 month tenancy.  Where as if the property was listed at $480.00 per week and rented at this price, the owner would be ahead by at least $20.00 per week. 


Top 10 Questions


Top 10 Questions

Whether you are a first time investor or a seasoned professional, there are a number of key indicators that will separate the top performing Property Managers from "the rest".  

By focusing on the following key questions, you will be able to determine the quality and experience of the management team under the microscope:

 

How do you promote properties available "For Rent"?

It is important to understand that 90% of tenant enquiry is now generated through online marketing.  

To ensure that your property can attain the highest rent, whilst not compromising on the standard of tenant selected, it is important to be seen by the widest audience possible.  Recent advancements and restructuring of online marketing has meant that simply "putting your property on the internet" may not necessarily mean your property will be seen by prospective tenants.

Realestate.com.au (the leaders in online marketing in Queensland) have structured their advertising to different levels in order, to give preference to higher quality advertisements and marketing campaigns.  There are 4 levels of advertisement each giving the client differing exposure.  The top level of marketing is called a "Premiere" advertisement.  These advertisements are given the prime position appearing at the top of each search, prior to any other levels of marketing. There are then two more levels of marketing (Feature & Highlight) before any of the standard listings are seen.  With over 2000 properties (on average) being listed each month, a propertly listed as standard may not deliver any results.  This will lead to high vacancy periods or poor quality tenants (who work their way through listings until they find an agent who is desperate enough to accept them). 

 

Do you organise professional photographs?

Whilst Realestate.com.au can provide the avenue and the very top positioning on their site, this must be backed by quality presentation.  There is no point in securing a position that will ensure every available tenant is seeing the property, if it is not being presented in the best way possible.  With advancements in photographic technology, we understand that iphone camera's and do-it-yourself "SLR's" provide images that can be acceptable to the naked eye, however, when presenting your property to the market, these types of photo's are not nearly as effective in promoting the properties best features. Prospective tenants will be assessing your properties value versus the rental price simply through the photographs provided.  Most properties, advertised using amateur photo's, usually result in a reduced price simply because prospective tenants cannot see the value, compared to professionally presented properties.

 

How many properties do each of your team members manage?

The answer to this question has morphed significantly over the last few years, as property management businesses have adopted differing views on how properties and tenancies are managed.  Many agencies will have ever-changing structures, allowing their property managers to manage differing numbers of properties.  For example, one property manager may be able to manage 200 properties if they are supported with administrative team members, however there is little chance that one person could manage this number alone.

The core reality is... there are a number of tasks that MUST be done in order for your property to be managed efficiently and effectively.  These tasks take up a certain number or minutes or hours in the day depending upon the task to be completed. The equation is reasonably simple in theory... the higher the number of properties per person, the less time that person will have to complete the tasks required.  

In saying this, any property manager managing more than 100 properties would be placed under a large amount of pressure.  This can lead to a high turnover of staff and ultimately inefficient and inconsistent service.  

 

How long have your team members been employed by your agency?

A high turnover in staff can generally mean that the staffing structure, remuneration and support available may be lacking, resulting in a less than desirable working environment.  This is relatively common within the property management industry, however, from a landlords perspective, the results can be catastrophic.  If the property manager is under pressure, and does not have the support required to effectively manage multiple properties, many critical tasks may be missed causing high rental arrears and the property often falling into a state of disrepair through lack of regular inspections and maintenance. Aside from this, when a new property manager is engaged, they often fall short of expectation, as the history of the property is unknown and often not documented, causing inconsistency in the service provided. 

 

How do you document the condition of the property prior to a tenant moving in?

Probably one of the most important questions you should ask!  It is well legislated that an entry condition report be completed prior to a tenant moving in, however, often these entry reports fall short of providing an accurate representation of the true condition of the property.  What supporting evidence will the agency provide as part of the entry report process? For example, will photographs or a 3D scan of the property be taken, giving greater insight into the properties true condition. At the end of the tenancy, what protection will you have against the tenant damaging the property, and being allowed to walk away without consequence.  We are seeing additional numbers cases heading to tribunal hearings, as tenants become more and more savvy with what they can get away with through lack of supporting evidence.

 

 

Do you complete routine inspections and if so, what do you look at and how will I know when an inspection has been done?  Will you be invited to attend each inspection?

Most agencies and property managers will say that inspections are completed every 3 or 4 months, however, in reality, how do you know this to be true?  If the inspections are being undertaken, is the property manager sticking their head in the door, having a quick look and then ticking the boxes that everything is fine?  The truth is, this happens more often than not, unless the team are held accountable by the systems and processes of the business.  A routine inspection should be detailed, commenting on each room (accompanied by at least a photograph), and a full report provided both verbally and in writing.  The report should outline whether the tenant is keeping the property in clean condition, commenting on any maintenance or reporting on capital improvements that may increase the property's value.  You should also be given the opportunity to attend every routine inspection given that, in Queensland, there are strict legislative guidlines as to how often you may inspect the property.

 

What % of your tenants are currently in arrears with their rental payments?

This statistic is often a great indication of how an agency generally manages property.  High arrears rates are the result of poor tenant selection, poor tenant education and they ultimately lead to long delays in monies being paid to landlords. Often if processes are poor, the liklihood of recovering the funds from a tenant heavily in arrears are very, very low, as landlord insurance providers will refuse to pay a claim where an agent has failed to mitigate a loss.

 

What % of the properties you manage are currently vacant?

High vacancy rates are usually indicative of poor marketing strategies and poor renewal and rental assessment processes. The average vacancy rate is published by realestate.com.au as well as the REIQ (Real Estate Institue of Queensland); a well managed agency should at least meet, if not be significantly lower than, the industry average. High vacancy rates can lead to long periods without income.

 

How can I access my accounts and information?

Most agents will send you a monthly statement, similar to an account you may hold with a bank.  However unlike most banks, many agents do not have the facility for you to view your accounts and information online.  Being able to access your information when you need to, without having to wait for a call back from a property manager, will allow you to effectively manage your finances, in your own time.  This transparency also gives you the ability to make sure your property is being well managed.

 

What sets you apart from the competition?

When asked this question, most agents will answer by stating what they will do, day-to-day, in the management of your property (which is usually necessary, regardless).  The higher operating agents who understand value (versus what you pay), should be able to discuss the extra services you receive that are not part of the management process.  Extra's, such as complimentary finance broking, legal advice, sales and investment strategies, are not connected with the daily processes of managing the property, but necessary if an agent is to provide a comprehensive management service.... a service that gives you more for the money you pay... providing better value and creating a greater return for your investment.

 

 

 


What Can Happen?


What Can Happen?

Most of the time, your tenancy will continue with little or minimal interruption or issue.  Your tenants will move into the property, pay rent on or before the due date and keep the property in good condition.  There are, however, times when things don't always go to plan.  Below are a few of the situations we have encountered, and information to keep on hand, should they occur whilst your property is tenanted.

 

Change of Shared Tenancy

This can occur when one tenant wishes to leave the property but there is still at least one tenant from the tenancy agreement that wishes to continue the tenancy.  

There are a few things to consider in this situation:

  • Can the remaining tenant/s afford to pay the rent without the income of the exiting tenant/s?
  • Is the exiting tenant being replaced by another tenant?
  • If there is a replacement tenant, what will be the dynamic with the other tenants?

What we will do:

  1. Request notification of the tenants request for approval in writing & request applications from any prospective tenants
  2. We will process any applications and assess the viability of any ingoing replacement tenants
  3. We will contact you with the relevant information for your instruction
  4. We will advise you of all available options and the best course of action

Most of the time, these scenarios do not present any issues once the relevant paperwork has been finalised, however occasionally there are issues with either the remaining tenants affordability or the ingoing tenants viability.  This can mean that the only option the tenants have, if one or more of them wish to go, is to break their lease.

 

Break of Lease

On signing a fixed term tenancy agreement, both the landlord and tenant are legally bound to the responsibilities as outlined in the agreement and as specified by the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodations Act 2008.  

However, from time to time, people's circumstances can change causing them to be put into situation where they have no other alternative but to break the tenancy agreement.(Examples of this could be a break down in relationship, or relocation of employment etc. etc.).

If this occurs, the tenants are responsible to uphold all aspects of the agreement until another suitable replacement tenant is located.  They are also responsible for any reasonable costs associated with this process.  (Examples of reasonable costs would be the advertising and agents letting commission).  

A landlord cannot unreasonably refuse this request as long as the tenants are prepared to meet their obligations (as stated above).  All parties to the tenancy agreement have a responsibility to mitigate any losses to either party.  For example, the landlord and agent have a responsibility to exhaust all avenues to locate a suitable replacement tenant (if costs have been met) and the tenant has a responsibility to ensure the landlord does not incur any unreasonable costs as a result of breaking the agreement.

What we will do:

  1. Request notification of the tenants request for to break the tenancy agreement in writing and request a reason.
  2. Upon payment of the reasonable re-letting costs, we will commence advertising the property with a view to locating another suitable tenant.
  3. Upon receipt of applications from prospective tenants, we will contact you with the relevant information for your instruction.
  4. Upon the approval of another suitable tenant, we will commence the change of tenant process (outgoing / ingoing tenancy procedures)

 

Excessive Hardship

In extreme cases, a tenant or landlord can apply to have the tenancy ended under "Excessive Hardship"

The legislation does not define what is "excessive hardship". This is dependent on individual circumstances and must be ruled on by an Adjudicator at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT or the tribunal).

Some examples of excessive hardship may include:

  • Someone who has lost their job and has no means to pay rent (tenant) or mortgage (property owner or landlord)
  • A person who is forced to relocate to another location for work
  • Severe physical or mental illness
  • If a tenant or resident would suffer excessive hardship by continuing with a tenancy, they can apply to the tribunal to end the agreement.

A property manager/owner can also apply to the tribunal to end the tenancy if they would suffer excessive hardship by allowing the tenancy to continue.

If the tribunal makes an order to end a tenancy it can also make additional orders such as an order for a tenant to pay compensation to the property manager/owner for lost rent or the costs of re-letting the property. It could also order the property manager/owner to compensate the tenant for the costs associated with moving, for example, when a fixed term agreement ends early.

 

Failure to Pay Rent

In Queensland there are strict guidelines and procedures to follow should a tenant (or landlord) not meet their obligations as stipulated in either the General Tenancy Agreement or Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accomodations Act 2008.

In the event that the tenant fails to pay rent on or before the date due, the following action will occur

  • Day one - The tenant will receive an sms/text message as a reminder that rent may have been overlooked
  • Day two - The tenant will receive a second reminder stating that rent is overdue
  • Day three - The tenant will receive a call to try an ascertain the reason rent has not been paid/received
  • Days four - seven - The tenant will receive a call every day until day 8 to remind them of their obligation under the conditions of the General Tenancy Agreement
  • Day eight - The property manager will (after advising the owner) issue a formal "RTA Notice to Remedy Breach".  Under the RTRA Act this notice gives the tenant 7 days with which to remedy the breach of agreement.  If this breach is not remedied the tenant may be issued a formal "RTA Notice to Leave".
  • Days 9 - 14 - If rent remains unpaid, the tenant will receive a call every day until day 14 (when presumably the Notice to Remedy Breach expires)
  • Day 15 - The property manager will (after advising the owner) issue a formal "RTA Notice to Leave"  this gives the tenant 7 days to leave the premises.

Extreme Cases

If, after the temination date, the tenant has failed to pay rent, and continues to remain in the property, an order will be sought through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to terminate the tenancy.  This will be accompanied by a Warrant for Possession which can be executed by the police in order to ensure tenants vacate the property.

Please note: It is extremely rare for this situation to occur and in most instances the action is avoided through careful tenant selection, communication and good management.

 

Death of a Sole Tenant

Following the death of a sole tenant, the tenancy ends when one of following happens first:

  • Two weeks after the tenant's representative or relative gives the property manager/owner written notice of the end of the agreement due to the tenant's death.
  • Two weeks after the property manager/owner gives the tenant's representative or relative written notice of the end of the agreement due to the tenant's death.
  • The day agreed between the property manager/owner and the tenant's representative or relative.
  • The day decided by QCAT on application by the property manager/owner.

However, if:

  • no notice is given, or
  • no agreement is made between the property manager/owner and tenant's representative or relative, or
  • no application is made to the tribunal to end the tenancy

the tenancy agreement ends 1 month after the tenant's death for both fixed and periodic agreements.

 

The Property (in whole or part) Becomes "Unliveable" 

Unliveability is when the property:

  • has been destroyed, or completely or partly unfit to live in, for reasons other than a breach by the tenant/resident or property manager/owner, or
  • the property can no longer be used lawfully as a residence

This could be after a natural disaster or for other health and safety reasons.

The unliveability of a property must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Important Notes:

  • A tenancy does not automatically end when a property is declared unliveable.
  • A tenancy agreement will only end if the tenant gives the property manager/owner a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13) or the property manager/owner gives the tenant/resident a Notice to leave (Form 12). For rooming accommodation, the resident gives the provider a Resident leaving form (Form R13) or the provider gives the resident a Notice to leave (Form R12). Until this point, the tenant/resident is responsible for paying the rent in full.
  • Where the notice is given on the basis of unliveability, the tenancy ends on the date the notice is lodged.
  • The Notice to leave, Resident leaving form or Notice of intention to leave must be given within 1 month of the event, and the tenancy agreement will end from the lodgement date.
  • Sometimes the tenant/resident and property manager/owner may not agree about the liveability of the property. If you are unable to agree, you may apply for dispute resolution.
  • If everyone wishes to continue an agreement in a property that is damaged, a rent reduction might be negotiated instead of declaring it unliveable.

Your property manager will guide you through this process step by step.

 


Links

Property Compliance


Property Compliance

Smoke Alarm Compliance

Property owners/managers must:

  • install smoke alarms complying with Australian Standard 3786-1993 outside sleeping areas and one on each level of the dwelling
  • replace smoke alarms before the end of their service life (smoke alarms are required to have a recommended service life of at least 10 years under normal conditions of use)
  • test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy.

Property owners/managers must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).

Tenants must:

  • test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
  • replace any flat or nearly flat batteries
  • advise the property manager/owner if there is any issue with the alarm (apart from batteries)
  • allow the property owner/manager right of entry to install smoke alarms.

The tenant must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).

 

Blind Cord Compliance

The Federal Government has introduced a mandatory standard for internal blinds, curtains and window fittings (corded internal window coverings). The main reason that the standard was introduced was due to safety of children as statistics show that; 

  • 1-2 Australian children die each year after being strangled by blind or curtain cords
  • between 2001-2008, there were at least 11 deaths in Australia. Nine of these were of children under three years of age
  • in the US, a child aged between 7 months and 10 years dies each month after being strangled on curtain and blind cords.

To minimise the risk to children, all new corded blinds, curtains and window coverings must comply with a national safety standard.

All new window coverings supplied to rental properties must follow the mandatory standard, which came into effect in 2010 and is detailed on the Product Safety Australia website.

Blinds and curtain cords supplied before 2010 can be made safe by either cutting the cords or hooking them up out of harm’s way.
Safety tassels, which join the ends of blind cords together and separate when pressure is applied, are available from hardware stores.Alternatively, blind cords can be wrapped securely around hooks attached high on the wall.The Office of Fair Trading recommends the bottom of any blind cord is at least 160cm above the floor level. [link to http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/blind-and-curtain-cord-safety-reminder.htm]Lessors are obliged to ensure a rental property is in a good state of repair and fit for the tenant to live in.

Further information is available on the ACCC website.

How will our agency ensure your property is compliant?

We have researched the best possible options to reduce risk whilst minimising the cost to you, our client. There are numerous businesses providing professional servicing to blind cords and a number of businesses that currently provide services to inspect smoke alarms, blinds and safety switches. From researching these businesses, we have found that “1300 Smoke Alarms” is the most cost effective professional service. Not only do they seem the most cost effective, but after contacting many of their current clients, we are confident in their ability to provide the best possible service.

 

Pool Fence Compliancy

Queensland's pool safety laws were introduced in 2009 and apply to all pools—new and existing.

You must comply with the pool safety standard by 30 November 2015, or before if you are selling or leasing your property.

For buyers, sellers, lessors (renters) and agents

Pool safety laws apply to all pools associated with domestic buildings, including motels, hotels and backpacker hostels.

Different rules apply depending on whether you are buying, selling or renting a property with a pool.  Read the Guidelines for pool owners and property agents (Link below).

You can check the pool safety register to see if a pool safety certificate has been issued for a property or to register a pool.

 

 

 

 


Links

Water Charging


Water Charging

Lessors are allowed to pass on the full water consumption charges (including bulk water charges) to tenants provided all the minimum criteria have been met.

 

What are the minimum criteria for water charging?

Lessors are able to pass on the full water consumption charges to tenants if:

  • the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
  • the rental premises are water efficient, and
  • the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption.

Items a tenant can be charged

A breakdown of water charges is shown below.

Charge as shown on water bill Can tenant be charged?
State Bulk Water Charge Yes, tenant can be charged*
Water Usage Charges Yes, tenant can be charged*
Sewerage Usage Charge
 (may appear on the bill as fixed or variable)
No, tenant cannot be charged
 Sewerage is not a service charge as defined by the Act and cannot be passed onto the tenant
Fixed Access Charges 
(including Water Access Charge and
Sewerage Access Charge)
No, tenant cannot be charged
 The lessor must pay all fixed charges for water supply

*if the above criteria are met 

 

What are water efficient rental premises?

A rental premises is considered water efficient if certain water fixtures meet the standards listed in the table below.

Water efficient devices Minimum water efficient standard required
Internal cold water taps and single mixer taps (excluding bathtub taps and taps for appliances) A maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
Showerheads A maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
Toilets A dual flush function not exceeding 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush and a maximum average flush volume of 4 litres (based on the average of 1 full flush and 4 half flushes)

 

The requirement for taps applies only to internal cold water taps that are installed over a hand basin, kitchen sink or laundry trough (including single mixer taps). The requirement does not apply to other taps in the premises such as bath tub taps, outside taps for the garden, or taps which supply washing machines or dishwashers. These taps are not required to be water efficient.

 

How can the lessor/agent prove the premises are water efficient?

At the start of the tenancy agreement, the lessor/agent and tenant should negotiate arrangements for water charging and frequency of charges. The presence of water efficient devices should be noted on the Entry condition report (Form 1a).

Lessors/agents should be able to demonstrate the presence of water efficient devices where it may be unclear, such as by providing copies of:

  • plumbing reports
  • receipts
  • packaging
  • warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads, etc.

For any water fixtures produced from 2005 onwards, the easiest way to check if they meet the required efficiency standard is to look for products with a WELS rating of three stars or higher. WELS is Australia’s water efficiency labelling scheme which rates fixtures including taps, showerheads and toilets according to water efficiency – the more stars the better. To find out more about the scheme or search the registered product database, visit

Important points to note:

  • Tenants and lessors/agents should negotiate obligations at the start of the tenancy and put these in the tenancy agreement, for example, if the lessor is to contribute to water costs.
  • It may be helpful to contact your local water provider about average local water consumption. You can find the correct contact details on your latest water bill.
  • Water billing periods are unlikely to align with tenancy agreements. It’s important that both the tenant and the lessor/agent make note of the water meter readings on the condition reports at the start and end of the tenancy to calculate water consumption.
  • Lessors will receive the water bill, pay the full amount and provide their tenants with a copy of any water bills or evidence of water consumption to verify the amount to be charged. Tenants will not be billed directly by water supply authorities.
  • Tenants have one month to pay the agreed amount for water consumption after the lessor provides evidence of the costs to the tenant. The lessor/agent cannot require the tenant to pay more than the billable amount, or charge tenants late fees.

Landlord Insurance


Landlord Insurance

One thing is certain in Property Management and that is..... No matter how professional the agency, no person or manager can completely guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong.  Unfortunately tenants circumstances can change due to job losses or a breakdown in relationship causing people to make poor decisions.  Sometimes these decisions can have financial consequences to landlords, consequences that could not ordinarily be avoided.  With this in mind, Landlord Insurance has become a necessity and something that every Landlord should consider.

Before insuring your property you should consider what type of coverage you will need - Not all policies are created equally and on numerous occasions landlords have been caught short by insurance companies who have not provided the level of coverage necessary.   Investigate your policy thoroughly and ensure that you have the best coverage possible. Comprehensive policies range in price from $295.00 - $350.00 per annum.  We have provided links below to two Insurance Providers below who specialise in Landlord Insurance Coverage.

What do I need to be covered for?

Below is a list of items that you can use to audit your current Landlord Insurer:

Loss of Rent due to: Cover
Denial of Access 52 weeks
Prevention of Access 52 weeks
Default of Rent 6 weeks
Departure without notice 6 weeks
Breaking of lease 6 weeks
Malicious Damage¹ 52 weeks
Accidental Damage to Contents¹ 52 weeks
Accidental Damage to Building 52 weeks
Theft by Tenant¹ 52 weeks
Hardship 6 weeks
Death of a Tenant 52 weeks
Defined Risks to contents (Fire and storm etc.)² 52 weeks
Damage & Theft (building)
Malicious Damage $50,000
Accidental Damage $50,000
Theft by the Tenant $50,000
Damage & Theft (contents)  
Malicious Damage¹ $50,000
Accidental Damage¹ $50,000
Theft by the Tenant¹ $50,000
Defined Risks (Fire and storm etc.)² $50,000
Legal Costs $5,000
Legal Liability $30,000,000
Professional fees due to Tax Audit $1,000
Workers' Compensation (WA) Included
 
Excess
Loss of Rent Nil
Malicious Damage $400 Per Claim
Accidental Damage $400 Per Event
Theft by the Tenant¹ $400 Per Claim
Legal Expenses Nil
Owners Liability Nil
Contents fire and perils

$200 per claim
(except earthquake $250 and cyclone $500)

 


Links