Are you a first-time landlord who has just secured your first rental property? Congratulations!
Before you start looking for a tenant though, there are a few things to consider. Understanding your obligations and responsibilities will ensure both you and your new tenant are happy.
Property manager vs. private rental
First, you’ll need to decide whether to rent your property privately or enlist the help of a property manager. If you don’t mind paying a percentage of your rental income from the property, a property management company will act as a broker between you and your tenant.
A property manager will show the property, collect rent, liaise with the tenant, handle annual maintenance and be on-call for emergencies, enabling you to take a ‘hands-off’ approach. If choosing to rent your property privately, you will keep the full rent, however, you’ll need to handle all of these aspects yourself.
Protect your property with landlord’s insurance
Even if you secure the best tenants you could possibly hope for, accidents do happen. Landlord’s insurance will generally protect against financial loss from unpaid rent or breaking of lease, damage to the investment property and emergencies. Some landlord insurance policies cover the building insurance as well.
Understanding the owners corporation
If you purchased a townhouse or unit, it’s likely you’ll have an owners corporation that manages the complex. This corporation regulates duties as well as managing the property. It lays out the landlord’s expectations when it comes to shared areas like driveways, mail room, stairwells, gardens, and fences. Any landlord will automatically have financial and legal responsibilities to the corporation if their investment property meets the criteria.
Maintenance and repair responsibilities
Both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the investment property. A landlord has an obligation to make sure the property is in a safe and reasonable state to inhabit. The landlord is also responsible for building repairs, gas leaks, electrical problems, broken or blocked plumbing, storm damage, and burst water mains.
The tenant is responsible for day-to-day maintenance responsibilities. This includes keeping the property tidy and fixing any issues that may cause rot or damage, or which might attract pests and insects.