The start of the year is a good time to re-think and refine your role as a landlord and set your resolutions. Here are 6 new year’s resolutions that we believe should be on all landlords ‘to do’ lists in 2021.
Resolution #1 – I will visit my investment
When did you last visit your investment property to check its condition for yourself? Even a dream tenant may not report every single issue that needs fixing. Organise a suitable time with your property manager, and of course your tenants, to do an inspection of the property.
Walk through with a critical eye and if something needs to be fixed, take care of it quickly. By keeping in touch a couple of times a year with your tenants and staying across any repairs that are needed, you will help ensure your tenants are happy and take care of your property, which make landlords happy too!
Resolution #2 – I will create a maintenance and repair protocol
Quick and efficient processing of all maintenance requests should be a priority. Talk to your property manager and agree on a protocol around how you want them to proceed to fix different issues that may arise. It is also worth giving them specific instructions as to what repairs can be organised on your behalf if you happen to be unreachable. Plus, discuss how they currently handle and report maintenance complaints and their expected timings for completion.
Legally you are obliged to maintain your property, so this is important for you and has the benefit of keeping your tenants happy too.
Resolution #3 – I will organise my paperwork
No one’s favourite job but paperwork is well worth doing. There is a huge amount of documentation involved in owning a property and it is important to keep it safe for the duration of your ownership and for up to 7 years after you sell the property.
An organised filing system for quick access is ideal and should include original purchase documents, all invoices including legal and agent fees and other associated costs, home loan statements, invoices relating to any work you have had done on the property.
Additionally, if you have ever lived in the property you should keep evidence of the time spent there as it could reduce your tax liability.
Resolution #4 – I will spring clean my investments
It is no surprise that well maintained and presented properties attract and retain better tenants, yield higher rents and add value to your investment. Consider painting the walls, or sanding the floorboards. Perhaps retile the bathroom or give the kitchen a quick makeover.
Don’t forget the garden if you own a house. Refresh the mulch, weed the garden beds and consider adding some flowering plants for a splash of colour. Clean any external lighting and windows and check if the entertaining deck needs any repairs. Not only will your tenants love the clean-up, but it will also add considerable appeal to your property.
Resolution #5 – I will be ready to act quickly
As a property investor, if you are looking at expanding your portfolio in 2021, being financially prepared is key. Have you considered your budget and price range, have you done your research and identified where you would like to buy?
Buying a property is a big decision and you don’t want to feel rushed without thinking through your options, but indecision can keep you from what could potentially be a rewarding decision. Talk to your home loan provider and get pre-approval so you are ready to take advantage of the right opportunity if it comes along.
Resolution #6 – I will plan my budget
With the current low interest rates, you may think that the extra bit of cash will be around if needed. But things change and interest rates will undoubtedly rise, so it never hurts to have a bit of money saved up on the side to pay for unexpected costs.
Additionally, it is important that you have a clear view as to how much you are spending on your investment. Start by monitoring and documenting every expense over a month. This will help you create an accurate budget and identify any expenses you can remove going forward.