When it comes to rental properties, what tenants really want isn’t always the same as what landlords really want. So how can a good property manager steer a steady path and keep everyone happy?
A big part of proactive property management is balancing the needs of landlords and tenants so that everyone gets what they need and are entitled to. The difficulty is that what tenants really want isn’t always the same as what landlords really want. But good communication and awareness of the legal rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant can be the key to maintaining a positive relationship.
What Tenants Want
According to the RSPCA, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with around 62% of all households having pets. There is no term in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) that prohibits renters from keeping a pet or that requires them to ask for a landlord’s consent. However, many landlords worry that pets will damage their property, and do include a clause restricting pets in the residential tenancy agreement.
Renters want their privacy ensured while landlords want easy access to inspect their property when necessary. This can cause conflict if landlords don’t respect tenant boundaries or aren’t aware of tenancy laws pertaining to privacy and access. For example, a landlord can only enter the premises without consent in the event of an emergency, to do urgent repairs, if they suspect the property has been abandoned or if they have serious concerns about the health or safety of their tenants.
Security features, such as security screens, deadbolt locks and window grilles are a high priority for many tenants, with many considering them a non-negotiable feature for renting a property. Landlords would do well to remember that security measures are not only in the best interests of their tenants but can also help protect the property against forced entry and any resulting damage.
What Landlords Want
1. Long-Term Reliable Tenants
Naturally, landlords want trustworthy tenants who will remain in the property long-term. We closely screen all prospective tenants in order to ensure that they are a good fit for the property with a reliable tenant track record. Landlords can hold on to good tenants for longer by being communicative and responsive to requests regarding repairs and keeping the rent competitive with market rates.
2. Low-Cost Maintenance And Repairs
Because repairs can be expensive, many landlords will attempt to put them off until they are unavoidable. However, it’s important to be aware of your legal obligations as a landlord in regards to repairs and maintenance. What’s more, putting off small jobs can lead to larger repair costs down the road. It’s our job as property managers to be proactive about repairs in order to minimise future costs. It’s also fair to expect your tenant to take reasonable care of your property, so we will intervene and speak to tenants should we feel that this is not the case.
3. Minimising Vacancies
In a tough market like we are currently experiencing in Sydney, there is one main area landlords need to focus on – being strategic about minimising vacancies. This means having a strong marketing campaign, including professional copy and photographs, and a well presented property at a competitive rental price that will appeal to a great number of potential tenants. With a large number of vacant properties on the market, the competition is strong and ultimately, by being strategic with your campaign, you can place yourself in a good position to lease your property within a shorter period of time than the market average.