All of our rent is paid by direct payment into our rental trust account.
Tenants are provided with a unique reference number to be used when they pay their rent so each time we receipt rent it is easily allocated to them. Our property management software has an app that tenants can download to their mobile device which enables them to track at any time where their rent is paid up to. This system minimises arrears as tenants don’t like receiving arrears notices.
We have a strict system and procedure in place for managing rental arrears which is explained and acknowledged by the tenants at the commencement of their tenancy. The procedure is a mix of text messages, telephone calls and formal letters over a 14 day period. On the 15th day of arrears a termination notice and notice to vacate the property is issued to the tenants.
Periodic Inspections & Maintenance
During the course of the tenancy, we conduct periodic inspections every 4 months. Following each inspection we will discuss with you any issues that may have arisen such any maintenance items that need to be addressed, or if there is any issue with the cleanliness or condition of the property.
General maintenance items are generally normal wear and tear or faults due to the age of the property. If we make a recommendation to attend a maintenance item it is generally so that it doesn’t become a major maintenance item or cause a hazard to the tenants, e.g. rotting timber decking or rails, loose or fallen tiles in bathrooms.
Whilst attendance to general maintenance items are at the discretion of the owner, there have been tribunal rulings whereby the tenant has successfully been awarded a rent reduction due to the failure of the landlord to rectify maintenance items. The tribunal has ruled that such a failure diminished the tenant’s right to full use and enjoyment of the property. Examples would include a rotting timber deck or a stove top with non operating hotplates.
As opposed to general maintenance items, there are circumstances that constitute an emergency repair that must be dealt with immediately such as:
- A burst water service;
- Failure of hot water to the property;
- Blocked or broken toilet facility
- Serious roof leak
- A gas leak
- Serious electrical fault
- Failure or breakdown of any facility to provide heating or cooking
- Any fault or failure that deems the property unsecure
Whilst in these circumstances the tenants first port of call is the property manager, if they are unable to contact them within a reasonable period of time, they are provided with a list of tradespeople who they are permitted to contact and call out and rectify the repair.
Outgoings and Payments
As part of our service to landlords, we pay outgoings from the rental receipts such as general council rates, water rates and strata management fees. We also undertake the payment of invoices for general and emergency repairs from rental funds.
Reporting and Disbursement
At the end of each month we provide a statement to landlords which sets out the rent received, our fees for the month and details of any payments made. The remaining funds are then disbursed into your nominated account. This disbursement is generally done on the 1st working day of the following month. This reporting ensures all of your income and outgoings for each month are summarised on one statement which saves time and reduces any omissions when preparing your tax return.
We also provide an annual statement at the end of each financial year.
Dispute and conflict negotiation and resolution is one of the most valuable skills a property manager can have. Whilst most parties enter into a contract with good intentions, circumstances may arise where a disagreement escalates into a serious dispute between the parties. This is normally a failure of one of the parties breaching their obligations under the tenancy, undertaking activity that is specifically disallowed, e.g. obtaining pets when the lease specifically stipulated that no pets were to be kept on the premises, changes or damage to the property (tenants are not even allowed to insert picture hooks into walls without permission), erection of temporary structures such as stables or sheds.
It always our aim to mediate between the parties to resolve any disputes to each parties satisfaction whilst respecting the rights of the parties.
Whilst any dispute can be referred to the NSW jurisdiction for dispute resolution – the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), we treat this action as an absolute last resort when one or both parties are unwilling to negotiate or attempt to work toward a resolution.
NCAT also see themselves as a last resort and even when a hearing is scheduled they will encourage the parties to attempt to arrive at a resolution. If the dispute is heard, the tribunal member will allow both parties to present their case and then make a ruling and issue orders which is binding.
The End of the Lease
Before the expiration of the fixed term of the lease we will make recommendations and seek landlord’s instructions. If we have been satisfied with the tenant we will recommend that a new lease be entered into. Once we have received instructions we advise the tenant – unless they have already expressed their intention to vacate or stay. If both parties wish to continue with the existing arrangements we prepare a new lease for an agreed term.
If the tenants have proved unsatisfactory we can issue a termination notice on the grounds of the end of the fixed term of the lease.
I currently have my property managed by another agency – what’s involved in switching to Gilbert Real Estate?
If you have a property managed by another agent and wish to switch to Gilbert Real Estate, we have a very simple streamlined and stress-free process. In fact, all you need to do is sign two documents, a management agency agreement with us, and a termination letter (which we prepare) for your current agent.
The steps are:
- Confirm that you wish to appoint us as your managing agent.
- Check your current agreement to confirm the notice period you are required to give (normally 30 days).
- NOTE: Some investors think that they are tied to their current property manager for the term of the tenant’s lease. This is not true. You are able to transfer the management of your property at any time provided you provide the notice set out in your management agreement.
- We forward you a managing agency agreement and a termination letter addressed to your current agent for your signature.
- We forward the termination notice letter to your agent and arrange to collect your property file and keys.
- We notify your tenants in writing and provide them with the process of transitioning across including new bank account details for rent payments.
- We arrange a property inspection as soon as possible.
- We become your new property manager as at the agreed date.
- We become your new property manager as at the agreed date.