FAQs relating to property management
How do I change my property over if it is currently being managed by another agent?
Simple! And there is no change fee associated. If you currently have a property managed by another agent and you’re not satisfied with the service you are getting from your current agent and would like to change over to Benchmark all you have to do is fill out the Transfer of Management Form, send a copy of that to us and also to your current managing agent. You will need to fill out a new management agreement with Benchmark and we will take care of everything else for you.
We will organise for the tenant to be notified and for the keys to be collected from your managing agent. Everything else carries on as usual. Changing your managing agent could never be easier!
Can I choose the tenant?
Yes. We hold the viewings, take applications, do background checks (rentals references, employment references, personal references, etc.) to qualify any prospective tenant(s) of whom apply for your property. We then present all this information to you.
Beware – we’re honest! If we wouldn’t put them in our home, we will let you know so you can choose if you want to put them in yours.
How long will it take to find a tenant for my property?
This is a common one and there is no guarantee on how long it takes to rent a property however the better your property is presented, the more realistic the rental amount you are asking and the better the agent whose letting your property, the quicker it will rent out.
How should I know what my property will rent for?
If you would like to provide us with your property address, we will happily and quickly provide you with a comparative market analysis which shows what other properties with similar characteristics have rented for over a specified duration. Apart from this, market forces will determine exactly what amount of rent you achieve. If you have a very popular property you will get more interest and subsequently a higher rent. If you have a property that is less rentable, you will find it hard to command a premium rent.
Benchmark employs skilled Property Managers who accompany all prospective tenants on rental inspections to ensure that all tenants are made aware of the positive features of the property and hence are more likely to pay a higher rent.
What happens if my tenant doesn’t pay rent?
We monitor tenant arrears on a daily basis. Tenants are requested to pay rent 7 days in advance at all times to when they appear on our arrears list, we will contact them via telephone, email and SMS. If payment isn’t made promptly within 2 days, we start the appropriate action according to the Residential Tenancy Act. Notice to Remedy Breach will be issued to the tenant giving them 14 clear days to bring the rent up to date. If rent is still not paid within this time frame a Termination Notice will be issued to the tenant giving them a further 7 clear days to vacate the property if rent is not paid in full. We will communicate with you throughout this process and a Termination Notice will never be issued without discussing the situation with you first.
It is our intention at all times to minimise any loss to the owner so these actions need to be carried out promptly. It is important to have Landlords Protection Insurance in place at all times to cover loss of rent etc just in case.
Who will pay my mortgage?
You do. We pay any rental income minus our fees that we receive each fortnight into your elected bank account. This account may be used to pay your mortgage payments automatically, however you must set up this facility and assure that the account has sufficient funds at all times.
Can I inspect my property at any time?
According to the Residential Tenancies Act, the lessor/agent may enter the premises under subsection (2)(b) for the purpose of inspecting the premises not more than 4 times in any 12 month period. Notice of 7-14 days must be given to do so, and a reasonable attempt to negotiate a day and time for that entry must be made as to not unduly inconvenience the tenant.
We conduct routine inspections 6 weeks into the tenancy and every 3 months thereafter. Please let your Property Manager know if you would like to accompany them on any inspection.
How can I end the tenancy?
Termination of a tenancy depends on the type of tenancy.
Fixed Term Tenancy
In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act, a fixed term lease cannot be ended until the duration of the lease has elapsed unless 1) otherwise agreed by the landlord(s) and tenant(s) in writing, or 2) default by the tenant(s) for rent arrears or other by which the termination process can commence but must abide by the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act.
A periodical tenancy may be ended by the landlord by giving 60 clear days notice in writing, whereby the tenant must only give 21 days notice in writing.
What insurance do I need?
It is the Property Owner(s) responsibility to have the property adequately insured. We recommend:
- Building Insurance
- Landlords Protection Insurance (willful damage, loss of rent, legal costs)
- Public Liability Insurance ($5,000,000 – $10,000,000)
What general costs am I responsible for as a Landlord?
As the property owner, you are responsible for paying Council Rates, Water Rates, Land Tax, and all other corporate charges. The tenant(s) is responsible for consumption such as electricity, gas, water usage, telephone, and internet during possession dates.
The Landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in a reasonable state of repair and comply with building, health and safety laws. A few examples are:
Upkeep of fixtures and chattels provided with the property for rent
- Clearing gutters, tree lopping, and cutting back overhanging trees
- Maintenance to reticulation systems
- Repairs and maintenance to swimming pools besides cleaning and chemical balancing
- Third party or wear and tear damage (damage except neglectful or malicious damage by tenants)
- Urgent Repairs
- Locks and security
- Pest and vermin control (unless there is evidence that it was caused by the tenant(s) )
Is an agent's location important to their ability to manage my property?
One of the most common misconceptions about finding an agent to manage your property is that they need to be located in the neighbourhood.
Long gone are the days when prospective tenants went from real estate agency to real estate agency looking for homes to rent in any given area. They simply don’t have the time. Over 95% of all of our tenant enquiry now comes from the internet meaning that we can quickly and easily rent out properties in a very large geographic area. We can also very quickly assess rents in any given area to determine what the right amount of rent is for a particular property.
At Benchmark we easily manage properties in over 30 different suburbs in Perth.
What do I do if I want to sell my property?
If we currently manage your property and you are looking to sell or even if we don’t manage your property and you are looking to sell, your choice of agent is of critical importance in ensuring you get the best price in the sale.
Many of our owners live interstate or out of the area and don’t have relationships with selling agents in the area that their property is located in. We specialise in renting properties but do have a vast referral network so that we can easily put you on to the best agent to sell your home no matter what suburb it is located in.
Just call us and will put you in touch with the right people. Our goal is that you get the very best return on your investment and that extends to ensuring that the best possible price is achieved when you want to sell.
Do you have affiliations with other real estate agencies if I want to sell my property?
At Benchmark we specialise in managing investment property however we also understand that part of investing in property is buying and selling. That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to build affiliations with quality real estate agencies. When you want to buy or sell a property call us directly and we’ll put you in touch with the most suitable agent for the type of property you own, and the area it is in.
Heard enough? If you’re looking for for a Free Rental Appraisal click here, if you’re ready to get started click Manage My Property, else if you simply want to ask a few questions or get a market update for your area, contact us here