Renting out a property? It can sometimes seem like the tide is against you, but don't fret. The exact laws will vary, but as a landlord you have a number of general rights and responsibilities that you should be aware of. Here are three of the most important things to remember.
1. Taking bond
Bond is your No. 1 safeguard against any damage to your rental property. You should take a bond from your tenants at the beginning of a lease as a security deposit, and it generally gets lodged with a government agency to be held on your behalf. In the case that the tenant breaks your agreement, you can make a claim to take some or all of the bond. This usually applies to major damage, not just your everyday wear-and-tear scenarios, so have a clear idea of what damage was or wasn't there before the tenant moves in.
2. Doing repairs
Your tenants are usually responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy, but it depends on what's outlined in the tenancy agreement. Be aware of any legislation and regulations surrounding your responsibilities as a landlord because they can vary. In any case, the property should meet all health and safety laws, and be sure to respond to any major issues like electrical mishaps or leaking taps immediately - otherwise you could end up with a large repair bill or in front of a disputes tribunal.
3. Should I stay or should I go?
You might own the property, but this isn't license to come and go whenever you please. Respect your tenants' privacy and personal items and your relationship should stay pleasant - a happy tenant equals a happy rental - but keep in mind both you and your tenants have distinct responsibilities to each other. You might have the right to enter the property every now and again, but it's polite (and generally obligatory) to inform tenants when you are going to drop by for a routine inspection or to fix something.
Abiding by the general rules of renting will help to avoid problems, as well as making the experience a lot more enjoyable - for both you and your tenants!
Should I engage the service of a Property Manager:
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.