Frequently asked questions for RENTALS

If you would like more information from one of our property managers, call Kathy Laverty on klaverty@redandco.com.au or David Laverty on dlaverty@redandco.com.au.

Landlords

Yes, we have three full-time dedicated property managers: Kathy Laverty, Ed Cassidy and Darielle Grosvenor. We provide you with their emails and mobile numbers so they are contactable at all times. We believe one of the biggest problems in the industry is the high turnover of agents and the effect this has on the agency’s relationships. We have had this same team for a long time (zero staff turnover). If you don’t want to be dealing with a new property manager every few months, talk to us!

Our key goal is to have no vacancy. This means knowing what the market rent is and understanding that it constantly changes with new supply (both up and down). We manage around 200 properties, 100 of which we own. We feel that vacancy is the one thing you shouldn’t tolerate.

Having more than one agent listing your property is not a good idea. If you’re not careful, you can end up paying double the fees. Aside from that, the agent's motivation will be affected. The first problem is that the agents will compete against each other and may compromise the value of your property. Some agents will promise tenants cheaper prices if it means they will get management of the property. This means you aren’t getting the return on your property that you are entitled to. On the other hand, if agents know that they will be sharing fees with another agent, they might not put in much effort in marketing your property, which will result in a lower rent or higher vacancy.

Your property manager will have a network of tradespeople who will carry out the maintenance of your property. Through our years of experience in property management, we have built up a reliable network of tradespeople who can carry out maintenance on your property. These tradespeople are the same tradespeople we use to maintain our own properties - so you can be sure we are using the best people we know!

Legally, routine inspections can only be carried out every three months. A good property manager will therefore inspect your property four times per year. We inspect each of our properties once per quarter.

A property manager will do the following things for you:

  • Find prospective tenants.
  • Perform background checks on prospective tenants.
  • Prepare documentation/complete administrative duties.
  • Inspections & exit/entry reports.
  • Give you advice on property management.
  • Collect & manage rental payments.
  • Provide regular updates to landlords.
  • Organise advertising.
  • Organise maintenance.
  • Represent you at tribunal should a dispute arise.
  • Keep records.

For more information please see our blog post on “What should a property manager do for you?”

Common fees that a property manager will charge include:

  • Management fee: this fee is a percentage of the rent collected. At Red & Co, the management fee we charge is 7.5% + GST. This means, for example, if we manage a property with a weekly rent of $500, the weekly management fee is $37.50 + GST.
  • Let fee: the let fee is charged when a property manager finds a new tenant to sign a lease. The amount of this fee will, again, depend on the weekly rent amount of the property. At Red & Co, the letting fee is equivalent to the first week’s rent. For example, if the weekly rent is $500, the letting fee is $500 + GST ($550).
  • Administration fee: this fee is a small monthly amount for administration, such as stationery and printing costs. At Red & Co, this monthly fee is $5 + GST ($5.50).
  • Advertising fee: this fee is for advertising, including printing of signboards and marketing on realestate.com.au. This cost is usually charged as it occurs.
  • Lease renewal fee: this fee will depend on the weekly rent amount of the property. At Red & Co, the lease renewal fee is equivalent to 50% of the weekly rent amount. For example, if the weekly rent is $500, the lease renewal fee will be $250 + GST ($275).
  • Tribunal fee: this fee is charged to the landlord if a property manager must represent you at QCAT (tribunal). At Red & Co, this fee is $55/hr + GST. This will be charged up to a maximum of 5 hours.

Any good property manager will have a system to track rental arrears. This means property managers know when to notify tenants that payment of rent is overdue.

In Queensland, once a tenant falls 7 days behind in rent, a property manager may issue a Form 11 (Notice to remedy breach). The tenant then has 7 days to pay the outstanding rent. If the tenant does not pay the outstanding rent in 7 days from the notice issue, the property manager may issue a Form 12 (Notice to leave), giving the tenant 7 days to move out of the property.

For additional information, please visit the RTA website (click here).

If you want to sell your investment property, there are certain rules that must be abided by. Firstly, you must give the tenant notice of the sale, which is done through issuing a Form 10 (Notice of lessor’s intention to sell premises). The rules regarding selling a tenanted property depend on whether the tenancy agreement is a fixed agreement or a periodic agreement. On a fixed term agreement, the tenant has the right to remain in the property for the duration of their lease term and the buyer of the property will become the new landlord. On a periodic agreement, the property manager can issue a Form 12 (Notice to leave), at which point the tenant will have 4 weeks to vacate the property.

It’s important to remember that at all times, a tenant retains his/her right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property. This means that the tenant must agree to open for inspections.

There are a two main reasons why your property may be vacant. The first is bad marketing. Given that we now live in a digital age, online marketing of your property has never been more important. Many tenants select the property based on how it looks on realestate.com.au, so it’s important you make the best first impression. You need to have professional photos taken and tweak the description text to make sure you’re attracting as many prospective tenants as possible.

The second reason is that the price is too high. Demand tends to decrease as price increases, so if your rental price is so high that there is no demand, you need to scale back the price to meet the market.

When we receive tenancy applications, we first review each application thoroughly. This is followed by a background check, which involves checking the tenant’s rental history, calling their references and conducting a TICA search (a database used in the property management community to background check tenants).

Once you have the right marketing and have done your market research to set the right price, your property should rent easily.

You can chat to one of our friendly property managers to discuss how your property should be marketed and priced.

In general, landlords will deal with body corporate issues that may arise.

TENANTS

A bond is an amount of money paid as a security deposit at the start of a tenancy. This money is lodged in a trust with RTA and stays there for the term of the tenancy. Some or all of these funds may be used at the end of tenancy to cover loss of rent or damages.

Every tenant has the right to have repairs done to his/her rental property. We believe it’s important to maintain good relationships with all tenants and ensure all of our managed properties are liveable.

Our property managers will inspect the property and complete an entry report when you move into the property. We will then conduct routine inspections once per quarter. Upon termination of the tenancy agreement, we will inspect the property again to complete the exit report.

Keys and garage remotes are the sole responsibility of the tenant. If you lose your keys, any costs incurred (including travel) in replacing the keys are to be paid by tenants. You may call your property manager to discuss the best option for you.

If you are planning to break your lease, you must inform your property manager in writing of your intention to leave. In most situations, you will need to complete a Form 13 (Notice of intention to leave). Tenants will need to continue to pay the rent until a replacement tenant is found. Tenants will also need to pay a let fee (plus GST) and an advertising cost (plus GST). At this stage, we remarket the property.

You can download a Form 13 on our website here.

This depends on the property and varies case by case. As a general rule, if the property is individually metered, the tenant is responsible for paying the water usage. If the property is not individually metered, the landlord is responsible for paying water usage.

As a rule of thumb, the water usage cost is about $90 every quarter or approximately $1 per day.

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