Knowledge is good but a lot of patience with people goes a long way.
How your Property Manager manages all the people involved in everything that goes on behind the scenes at your home will determine if your investment becomes a success.
Zero Tolerance for Rent Arrears
Late payment of rent is a very serious matter and constitutes a breach of the Lease conditions.
We insist that rent is paid on time. At Adelaide South Property we work to ensure rent is kept up to date through early intervention strategies which involve personally contacting tenants who are in arrears instead of only sending standard reminder letters which are commonly ignored.
Once the matter proceeds beyond reminder texts, phone calls and home visits we strictly follow the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act in taking this matter before the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). We will seek immediate repayment of the debt or eviction, release of the bond and reimbursement of all additional costs if it’s serious enough.
Most often through mediation and if necessary a Tribunal hearing a strict payment plan will be enough. These payment plans will be enforced by the Tribunal if your Property Manager is diligent. It is at this time that we also seek your input as to how you wish to proceed.
Extreme Debt Recovery
If your tenant were to continue to avoid the direction of the Tribunal, even following eviction, they will be at risk of having their details entered on the TICA Tenancy Database and the National Tenancy Database which could seriously affect their chances of getting future quality rental properties.
An action can be pursued against the tenant in SACAT seeking a judgement against them for any outstanding debt.
This judgement can then be registered in the nearest Magistrates Court which means the Sheriff of the Court will issue an ‘Investigation of Summons’ upon the tenant requiring them to attend a hearing. They will be required to bring proof of income so that the Court can make an order of payment.
If there is a breach of this order a ‘Warrant of Sale’ can be sort which empowers the Sheriff to seize goods, either personal or real property to the value of the order plus Court costs.
If any refusal to follow the direction of the Magistrates Court continues the tenant can be sentenced for up to 40 days prison for contempt of court and a default will be registered on the tenant’s credit file which can seriously affect their ability to obtain future credit.
We believe it is critical to protect your investment by insuring the buildings and your legal liability to the public and your tenants.
However, people often forget about what is called ‘Landlord Insurance’ which covers any period of loss of rent or malicious damage to your property caused by the tenant.
Although we are not insurance agents we can make suggestions to you for companies that we have dealt with for a number of years.
None of these companies have an excess for loss of claims for rent and they will allow you to use the bond for any uninsured losses.
You should nevertheless make your own enquiries and we recommend that whichever insurance company or broker you contact that you should first read the Policy Disclosure Statements that accompany their products before making a decision to purchase.
To ensure your property is continuing to be cared for our Property Managers will inspect your property four times a year. At this time a written room-by-room inspection report, with photos, where practicable, will be forwarded to you so that you are kept informed of the condition of your property and of any ongoing maintenance concerns.
Each inspection is carried out after notifying the tenant in writing of the proposed inspection when we supply them with a check list of what will most likely need attention and the standard we expect.
Repairs and Maintenance
When your tenant reports a maintenance issue or a problem is noticed during an inspection your Property Manager will notify you and seek approval for repairs.
We have a large range of repairers and trades people, many of who have been working with our company for many years, and have given us very loyal, quality and cost effective service.
To view these go to OUR PARTNERS
After Hours Problems
Ideally, maintenance will be dealt with quickly during working hours, but emergencies do sometimes happen outside normal office hours.
After hours and late night problems are dealt with “in house”. Whenever possible we will contact the landlord (or their nominated authorised representative) to discuss the problem and agree the most appropriate resolution process. However, if we cannot make contact and the issue is critical, we will initiate short-term actions to minimise damage to your asset and to protect your legal liability.
Ideally we will always strive to deal with these matters on the next working day unless it is an unavoidable emergency.
Legislation requires us to take action at anytime but we always use our best endeavours to find a balance between your tenant’s problem and the mitigation of your loss.
Please remember that most of our staff are also Landlords.
Generally the landlord will pay SA Water invoices and we will then seek reimbursement from the tenant for the portion they owe.
If you receive the SA Water invoice you will need to forward us a copy (both sides) so that we can charge the tenant, but ideally we can arrange for SA Water invoices to be sent to us direct.
Water payment arrangements are documented in the Property Management Agreement that you originally signed with us and will be written into the tenant’s lease.
From 1st March 2014 the Residential Tenancies Act permitted Landlords to recover from the Tenant the SA Water quarterly supply charge plus all usage charged on a daily basis where there is a single water meter. If more than one residence is serviced by a single meter that proportion of the total charge may be recovered from each resident.
Please speak to one of our Property Managers for specific information on your circumstances.
Landlord Rights & Responsibilities
Landlord rights and responsibilities are explained in detail in the Residential Tenancies Act but as a basic summary they are as follows:-
1. Provide the premises in a clean and reasonable state
2. Maintain and repair the premises at the lease start and during the lease.
3. Ensure that the tenant is given reasonable peace, comfort and privacy whilst living in the premises.
4. Pay council rates and taxes
5. Provide and maintain locks to ensure the premises are secure
You also have the right to inspect the property provided the appropriate notice is given to the tenant first. The amount of notice required is spelled out in the Act. Please consult your Property Manager for details.
Selling During a Lease
You are quite at liberty to sell your rental property at any time but remember, the tenant’s lease cannot be changed or cancelled, and the property will need to be sold with the lease (and tenant) intact, unless we can negotiate a compromise with the tenant on your behalf.
Between our Property Managers and our Sales Consultants WE WILL BE ABLE to find a workable solution.
We will also be able to appraise your home and advise you of the best method of sale. Yes, there will be inconveniences to the tenant but because we are also the Property Managers we are in the very best position to get the best result for everyone in the circumstances.
When Your Tenant Vacates
When a tenant vacates, the Adelaide South Property team follow step by step guidelines to facilitate the re-letting of your property.
It is a requirement of the Act that if the tenant does not wish to renew their lease they must give a minimum of 28 days notice before their lease expires. This will give us ample time to advertise and show your home to new prospective tenants.
We will send a copy of the property’s original First Inspection Report to your outgoing tenant along with the photos that we took on the day we handed over. This report and photos will emphasise again the original condition of the property.
We will also send them a Final Inspection Guide that outlines our expectations regarding the condition the property should be left in once vacated. This is an extensive checklist and it provides a number of preferred contacts for professional cleaners and gardeners that we trust.
Following this process can ensure a much smoother Final Inspection.
Once the tenant has vacated we will conduct the Final Inspection and do a thorough item-by-item, room-by-room report.. All cleaning and maintenance issues are addressed and resolved prior to the bond being refunded.
The team at Adelaide South Property aims to make the transition from tenant to tenant as smooth as possible, and looks to get a new tenant immediately thus minimising any loss of rental income.