OWNER FAQs

 

Renting out your property “An Owner’s Guide” (Department of Commerce)

  1. www.commerce.wa.gov.au/…/PDF/…/Book_Up_factsheetfinal.pdf

Can a tenant break a lease?

Sometimes extraordinary circumstances occur and tenants need to break a fixed term lease early. If this happens they must inform us immediately and complete a ‘break lease’ form.
With your agreement we usually ask that until a new tenant has been found, they will still be responsible for any of the costs associated with the signed lease agreement.
Including but not limited to:

  • Rent payments
  • Garden maintenance
  • Reasonable reletting costs incurred by the owner such as letting fees, carpet steam cleaning, advertising costs
  • Pool chemicals

On occasions where you choose to keep the property vacant to attend to major maintenance issues or renovations an agreement that suits both parties will be made.

Can I break lease?
If the lease is periodic you must give a tenant 60 days notice to break the lease, they must give you 21 days.
A fixed tem lease may not be broken without a tenants’ agreement. We can assist in negotiating terms under which a tenant would be willing to move out early if required.

How long is a typical lease agreement?
Most tenants are looking for lease agreements that are 12 months although they can be as short as 3 months and as long as 3 years. Unless it suits you to have a shorter lease, we recommend 12 or 24 months for continuity.

Should I increase the rent?
Not always.
There are several factors that impact a rent increase. We will conduct an appraisal of the current market whenever a lease is to be renewed and we will recommend a rent based on our findings. Sometimes with excellent long term tenants, it is in your best interests not to increase the rent, or to increase it minimally in recognition of the savings you have made in maintenance and releasing fees.

How many days notice on a periodic lease?
You must give 60 days and a tenant must give 21 days.

What is my responsibility toward maintenance?

  • Who cleans the gutters?
  • What happens if I need a plumber or an electrician?

How often are the inspections? 

Once a new tenant moves into your property we conduct an inspection after the first six weeks to make sure that everything is running smoothly. After this we inspect the property every 3 months. If you have an excellent tenant that treats your property as their own we recommend that you consider every 4 or 6 months for inspections as a token of appreciation.

How much bond is required?

Generally a bond of four weeks rent is held in a trust account. Sometimes, when a property is rented immediately after an owner moves out, six weeks bond can be asked.

Who is responsible for pest control?

You are and we recommend 12 month pest control.

Insurance

Building insurance, or home and contents insurance is required on all properties. We also recommend Landlords insurance to cover potential loss of rent due to tenants absconding or work hardship. This insurance also covers intentional damge.

What’s a PCR?

A Property Condition Report is an important document that is created at the beginning of a tenancy. It provides a legal record of the agreed condition of the property at the time of leasing and at the end of the tenancy the property should be left in a condition comparable with what the PCR shows was the condition at the beginning of the tenancy.

We strongly recommend that you check the PCR and discuss and sign with any changes you feel are valid within 14 days for your copy to be legally valid.

Why don’t I get any rent straight away with a new management?

All costs associated with a new tenancy are taken from the first few weeks rent, as opposed to invoiced to you. These include costs such as the leasing fee, electrician fees for RCDs and smoke alarms, garden maintenance and preparation, photographs and the PCR.

Why do I pay for the water consumption?

The water corporation is the only utility that does not allow the tenant to put the water in their own name. To ensure that there are no late payments, we pay the water out of the rent and then invoice the tenants for the costs.

What should I do if I’m renting out my own home for the first time?

What’s a diplomatic clause?

A diplomatic clause is often used in circumstances where the tenant has to break the lease due to their employer relocating them. This is common with the military, diplomats and the senior executives in global companies.

Am I responsible for maintenance if I leave my washing machine/fridge/dishwasher in the property?

Yes. Often owners leave older large appliances for the tenants use. They become part of the inventory for the property and therefore must be maintained by the owner. It is also possible to put a clause in the lease that states that if any of the appliances break down that they will not be replaced. This must be established at the commencement of the lease.

What if I want to sell my property and it is currently tenanted?

The lease is a legal document that is valid regardless of change of ownership. If you wish to sell your property we recommend negotiating conditions with the tenants that compensates for any inconvenience caused by ‘home opens’ or the new owners wanting to take possession.

What is the Tenancies Act?

The Residential Tenancies Act is the Statement of your Rights and Duties. You will have been given a copy by your property manager and it is also available at; www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection

What are the regulations with RCD’s and hard-wired smoke alarms?