Now that you know all about the benefits of managing your own rental property, there are a few things to keep in mind to reduce potential problems.
- Be professional when dealing with your housemates. If you’re the Landlord or Lead Tenant, you can avoid being taken advantage of by keeping things professional.
- Make sure you follow all the legal and legislative requirements. In Victoria, the Rentright app covers most of the things both Landlords and Tenants need to know. Even better, it’s free on both iOS and Google Play!
- Prepare a standard questionnaire beforehand. First off cover basics like employment (How often do they work? Is it a stable job? What hours? Do they work from home? If they have a partner, how often will they be staying over? But don’t be afraid to dig deeper into things that can make or break how well you live together. Things like favourite TV shows, music, if they like to cook or eat out and if they have a large circle of friends that will be visiting frequently (at all hours) are better asked upfront. These things may seem trivial but can have a huge impact on how comfortable you feel in your own home.
- Screen them before meeting. Apart from watching their Real Estate Tube video and checking their online footprint, have a chat on the phone or use FaceTime or Skype to get an even better feel for them.
- Be very clear about what happens with bills. Are utilities included in the rent & if so, which ones? Or will you be splitting bills & if so, who pays what share?
- Make sure your home complies with safety regulations. For example, make sure you have good quality smoke alarms fitted in every bedroom, hallway and living area. Don’t forget to get them professionally checked and change the batteries annually.
- Get an external tenant background check. Let’s be honest: nobody is going to tell you they have a terrible rental history. You can find more information on our tenancy agreements page. Or for a small fee, agencies like tenancycheck.com.au can run a thorough search and find out if they’ve been blacklisted before. You can do this online and it’s relatively cheap for peace of mind.
- Fall for stories like I am starting a new job and can’t pay you until… (We recommend a strict no money, no room policy to reduce your risk)
- Skip reference checking. Get a couple for each category if possible: personal, previous landlords and employers. References can uncover a lot, and your future tenant of the year won’t have anything to hide.
- Leave things unclear in negotiations. Clarity now will save you a lot of hassle later. By knowing that their partner will be staying over every night (ie. Basically another tenant) before you rent a room to them, you can set boundaries first and avoid difficult conversations.
- Let payments go unpaid. Set up a Direct Debit and always make sure the money is paid on the agreed day. Chasing up one payment that is slightly overdue is better than chasing many. It also sends a message to your tenant that you won’t put up with late payments.
Disclaimer: Real Estate Tube makes no representations to the above blog or accepts any responsibility as to the accurateness of the above information. Both tenants and Landlords should seek their own independent advice and not rely on the above information.