Finance advice
Carolyn Parrella

Five common financial traps landlords need to avoid

By Carolyn Parrella

If you are the proud owner of an investment property, chances are you worked hard for it. As a landlord,  understanding how to protect yourself from common financial pitfalls is one of the key tools to investing with  confidence.

Blogger: Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance

Here are five common mistakes and how landlords can avoid them:

1. Setting the rent too low or too high
Before purchasing an investment property, carry out extensive research to help determine an appropriate rental price. Setting the rent too high may result in limited interest from prospective tenants, leaving you out of pocket if the property remains empty for an extended period of time.
However, setting the rent too low may place you under financial pressure, limit your rental income and has the potential to attract unsuitable tenants.

Look on real estate websites and through newspaper classifieds to find listings with similar features to your property, as this will give you a guide on the rental market in that area.

If you appoint a property manager, they should be able to provide you with information on comparable properties and advise an appropriate rent for your own investment.

2. Failing to monitor arrears
If a tenant falls behind in their rent, it can be a very long and costly process to resolve and could leave you considerably out of pocket.

Diarise the dates that your tenant’s rental payments are due and check your bank account on those days. If your tenant doesn’t pay on the due date, monitor your bank account on a daily basis. If they fall into arrears a breach notice should be sent for non-payment of rent.

The number of days in rental arrears before a termination notice can be sent, and the time between presenting the notice and requesting vacation varies around Australia, so it is important to be familiar with your local tenancy laws.

Regularly monitoring arrears and issuing tenants with appropriate notices promptly may help resolve issues sooner and mitigate any financial loss

3. Attempting to self-manage a property
Self-managing a rental property can create headaches for landlords, especially if they do not have enough time or resources to commit to such a task.

While it can be tempting to save a small percentage of rental income by self-managing your rental property, the benefits of appointing a property manager can far outweigh the costs.

Property managers are able to conduct regular property inspections to identify maintenance issues, have systems in place to find and screen prospective tenants, and have access to databases that list tenants with a history of defaulting on rental payments, damaging property and eviction.
If a dispute arises with a tenant, they are also familiar with the relevant legislation and can follow the correct procedures to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

4. Neglecting maintenance
As a landlord, once you have been alerted to maintenance issues, it is your responsibility to act on these or authorise your property manager to do so as soon as possible.

If a maintenance issue arises and you are slow to fix it, you may be legally liable if your tenant injures themselves. It is also important to ensure that all maintenance is completed properly and to appropriate standards.

5. Inadequate insurance
Specialised landlord insurance cover can protect investors from many of the risks associated with owning a rental property, provide peace of mind and ease a landlord’s concerns about receiving regular rental payments if their tenant damages the property or absconds.

Standard building and contents insurance policies usually don’t cover landlords for these risks. Landlord insurance can cover property owners for malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage, legal liability for occurrences on the property that cause death or bodily injury, and loss of rental income as a result of property damage or a tenant absconding.

Even the most careful tenant can damage a property, whether accidental or otherwise. This can be extremely costly for the landlord in terms of repairs and the loss of rental income.

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About the Blogger

Carolyn Parrella

Carolyn Parrella

Carolyn Parrella is Executive Manager of Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialists, Terri Scheer Insurance. Terri Scheer provides insurance cover for landlords, helping to protect them against the risks associated with owning a rental property. These include malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage, landlord’s legal liability and loss of rental income. 

FROM THE WEB

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

3 big property investment myths busted open
5 steps to take on low-risk property developments
Securing finance after life-changing events: ‘Cash flow is key’

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:<\/p>\r\n

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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