Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Condition Report?
This is the report we compile at the commencement of a tenancy, prior to your tenant moving into the property. This report outlines the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy and is used when the tenant vacates to ensure that the property is left in the same condition. We also supplement this report with several hundred photos, depending on the size of your property. The photos can be used to reference any damages or as evidence at Tribunal if needed.
The Vacate Inspection is carried out as soon as possible after the end of a tenancy, when the tenants have returned all keys and remotes. The Property Condition Report is used at this Inspection to check off each item and make certain that the property is in the same condition as when the tenant took possession. It is at this Inspection that any items that need rectification by the tenant or landlord are identified.
What is a Routine Inspection?
Routine inspections are conducted after a tenant takes possession of the property and are conducted every six months. These inspections are essential to ensure that your property is being maintained to an acceptable standard and to identify any maintenance that may be required. A full Routine Inspection Report with photos is completed by your Property Manager and emailed or posted to you after each inspection. You are also welcome to attend the inspection with you Property Manager.
What happens when a tenant stops paying rent?
When a tenant falls behind in their rental payments they will be contacted by our office from three days in arrears until payment is received. We also contact our owners to advise and update them of the situation.
Should the arrears reach 14 days, we take immediate action and issue the Notice to Vacate and subsequently make the application to Tribunal (VCAT) for resolution. Should the tenant make payment of the rent after this time, we can withdraw the Notice to Vacate and discuss future plans to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
We keep our owners fully informed during this process, seeking their instruction and so they understand the procedure and how it works.
How do tenants pay their rent?
Tenants must pay their rent via Internet Banking through their chosen financial institution. A direct deposit into the Outlook Property Group Rental Trust Account from their nominated bank account is ordinarily done once a month as per the requirements under the signed Tenancy Agreement. We supply the tenant/s with our account details and provide a reference for their payment transfer via an email receipt.
When does the rent money get paid into my account?
Once the tenant’s rental funds have cleared in our Trust Account we will disburse the funds into your nominated bank account. A statement is issued and emailed at the same time outlining the debits and credits for that month.
We suggest our owners allow one week, at worst, after payment is due to then receive payment into their nominated account. This allows for payment being made on the due date by the tenant, then taking one to two days to reach our account and clear, and then one to two days to be deposited into your account.
How and when do rent increases occur?
We recommend reviewing the rental annually and advising whether to give the tenants a Notice of Rent Increase in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. We ordinarily increase the rent annually unless there are exceptional circumstances which don’t warrant an increase and may be detrimental to your rental income. As an example, if there is an oversupply of rental property or if there is neighbouring construction site. An increase in rent may encourage the tenants to seek other alternatives.
What are urgent repairs?
According to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, an urgent repair is an essential service such as, electricity, cooking appliances, hot water, water supply or anything which is deemed potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of the tenants. These must be repaired as soon as possible. Under the legislation, if a landlord or agent does not remedy any urgent repair within a reasonable time frame, the tenant is entitled to organised their own repairs and seek reimbursement from the landlord or agent. We at Outlook Property Group will ensure that every request for an urgent repair will be inspected and repaired accordingly. Please note that this does not relate to normal maintenance items, only urgent repairs under the RTA 1997.
How do we comply with the law regarding smoke alarms?
Smoke alarms must be checked and batteries replaced every year in order to ascertain the integrity of the detector. Outlook Property Group prefers to use a third party service provider who will inspect, change the battery and replace the whole unit should it be necessary annually for a small fee of $99.00 per property.
Where is the tenant’s security bond held?
In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, all security bonds must be lodged with the bond authority for residential properties. Commercial bonds may be kept in either the landlords or agents trust account.
What happens in the event of a tenancy lease break?
In the event of a lease break, the tenant assumes all responsibility for the remaining lease period. The tenants would be liable for the re-letting fee which is calculated on a pro rata basis, all the advertising costs and any other costs related to sourcing a replacement tenancy.
What is the process to renew a lease with an existing tenant?
Once the initial lease period has lapsed, you have two basic options. Keep the current tenant on a month to month tenancy or renew with a new Tenancy Agreement. If you as the landlord and the tenants are keen to renew the lease we simply draft a new Tenancy Agreement and have all parties sign.
Do I need landlords insurance?
We recommend landlords insurance cover be taken as soon as possible. The cover should include, loss of rent, damage caused by either the tenants or burglary and liability if a tenants or anyone within the property has a personal injury.