Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How to be a GREAT tenant

Image result for child getting a gold starThe rental market is very competitive right now. This has been caused in part by rising local house prices which have forced some tenants out of the market; tenants who would otherwise buy a home. This means there are a stack of fantastic, long-term tenants out there looking to rent a property and they are competing with you. How do you beat them to the best rental properties?
Here are my 5 tips (as a first-time renter myself) on how to be a great tenant:

Pay your rent on time

It may seem like a no-brainer but this is one of the biggest grievances with Property Managers and landlords. Prioritising the payment of your rent each week will allow you to avoid eviction and to keep you out of tribunal and your agency’s bad books when it comes to arrears. Get your weekly budget sorted and rent will never be a problem!

Take pride in your property

As a tenant you are required by law to appropriately maintain the property. From mowing lawns and weeding gardens to ensuring the home is clean and tidy, a little bit of effort goes a long way.

Impress your Property Manager by investing in the ongoing maintenance of your rental property and you will have no problems extending your lease.

Make nice with the neighbours

Although the neighbour’s dog may bark at your bedroom window at 3am every night (insert internal scream) it is best to get along with your neighbours as much as possible.

Introduce yourself to your surrounding neighbours and say ‘hello’ when you see them out and about. The less disturbance you make the less complaints your neighbours will have about you during your tenancy.

Tell your Property Manager immediately about any required repairs

Be upfront. If a repair is required lodge a repair request with your Property Manager to ensure it is fixed before your routine inspection rolls around.

Instead of living uncomfortably with a broken tap for example, it is best to tell your Property Manager and save you the worry (regardless of the cost).

Understand your lease and the costs involved with leasing the property

Ask as many questions about the property as possible before signing the lease. A few examples include;

  • Does the property run on electricity or gas bottles?
  • Is the internet coverage good? Do the current tenants have any issues with getting ADSL or NBN broadband connections?
  • How are utility bills processed? Are the utility bills split with another property or group of properties?
  • Can I keep a pet at the property? If so what type of pet?

By asking your Property Manager about such issues you will better understand the ongoing costs you face entering the lease.

It is important to read over your lease agreement and keep a copy on hand so you understand the full extent of your rights as a tenant and the rights of the agency on the landlord’s behalf.

Leave the property in a better condition than when you moved in

Ensure that you leave the property clean, in full working order and with all rubbish removed. This will not only save you money being taken out of your bond for cleaning and rubbish removal, it will also ensure you have a smooth transition from one property to the next.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

What can I claim as a reduction when renovating my investment property?

Image result for tax time

Looking to revamp or renovate your investment property? We break down the difference between a ‘repair’ and ‘maintenance’ to simplify tax time.

As an investor it is crucial to understand the difference between repairs, maintenance and improvements because the Australian Tax Office pays particular attention to these types of deductions on your annual tax return.

To help you understand the difference here is how to define the difference between a repair, maintenance and capital improvement;

  • Repairs are considered work undertaken to fix damage or deterioration of a property, for example replacing a broken fence panel or broken front porch light fitting.

  • Maintenance is considered any work completed to prevent deterioration. For example oiling a deck, sealing a driveway etc. Any costs incurred to repair or maintain a rental property can be claimed as an immediate 100 percent deduction in the year of the expense!

  • A capital improvement is classified as work completed to enhance the condition or value of an item beyond its original condition at the time of purchase. This type of work must then be classed as either a capital works deduction  and depreciated over time or as plant or equipment depreciation. An example of a capital works deduction could be replacing the taps in the bathroom sink to chrome fixtures or updating the kitchen cupboards and door handles. On the other hand, an example of a capital improvement is when an item is removed or replaced for example an old in-wall air conditioning unit and replaced with a split-system unit.

If you would like further advice on what renovations you should undertake at your property to get the best return on investment, contact Nick Giles today on (02) 4628 0033. He would love to help you!