If you have an investment property, you would like to have good tenants for obvious reasons.
Good tenants will take care of your property, keep you up to date with any maintenance issues and provide a reliable source of income. Bad tenants can disrupt your cash flow, prematurely age your property and will end up costing you more in property management fees.
Don’t underestimate the value of tenant retention. Each time you lose a tenant, you’re losing valuable cash while your property sits vacant.
Try these five tips for attracting and retaining good tenants.
- DON’T SET RENTS TOO HIGH
While slugging tenants with the highest possible rental rates might seem like the best way to squeeze cash from your investment, the practice may actually harm your tenant retention rate, costing you more money in the long run.
If tenants are too pressed for cash or see something more affordable pop up on the market, they may move on, leaving your property empty while you search for new renters. Just because one tenant can afford to pay extra for now, that doesn’t mean that others will do the same once that renter moves on.
To attract and retain a good tenant, it may be a good idea to keep rents slightly below the market rate.
For example:if your rent is set at $590 per week rather than $600, it will cost you (and save your tenant) $520 a year – this is less than one week on the market will cost you, if they decide to vacate.
Setting your rents too high will also scare off good tenants. Beware of prospective renters that are willing to pay well above and beyond market prices – they may be desperate because they have poor rental histories.
- DON’T SET RENTS TOO LOW
Setting rents too low may leave you vulnerable when you decide it’s time make an increase, with a big jump in the rent likely to scare away your tenants. Gradual adjustments to market value over a long period of time are more likely to go down well with your tenants than a leap at the six month mark. Be cautious about setting your rent too low to attract tenants. If your tenant is living in your property only because it is affordable, rather than desirable, they may not take good care of the property.
Remember, you probably won’t hold your investment property forever. When it comes time to sell, buyers will enquire about your rental yield – and will be turned off if it is well below market value.
- KEEP UP WITH MAINTENANCE
Although rental markets in certain capital cities are tight, don’t underestimate your tenants’ need for quality housing.
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide safe, clean and well maintained housing to your tenant. Don’t be fooled into thinking you hold on the cards because you are the property’s owner – they are paying you money in exchange for the provision of a service. If you want to maintain a good relationship with your tenants and your source of income, maintain your property. Don’t dodge calls from your property manager, don’t be stingy when it comes to required repairs and if you’re choosing to maintain the property yourself, make sure you show up on time.
Properties all see inevitable wear and tear, regardless of the tenant. But when renters see that you are on top of the necessary repairs, they will be more likely to take good care of your property.
- HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER
Property managers are there for every step of the tenancy process, from sourcing good tenants to keeping them happy and finally guiding them out of the home when the time comes.
Your property manager should be on good terms with your tenants and work hard to keep them happy. They should be on top of any necessary maintenance issues and quick to let you know if any issues arise. Don’t have unrealistic expectations of your property manager, but do make sure that you are in regular contact.
Unfortunately, not all property managers were created equal. Some will be easier to get into contact with than others, who never seem to be within answering distance of a phone. Make sure you choose a good property manager when you purchase your investment property, and don’t be afraid to change property managers if you need to.
- LET THE BAD ONES GO
Don’t think that you have to put up with bad tenants. If your tenant is failing to pay rent or causes damage to your property, you are able to take action.
Depending on the state, you may be able to immediately evict a tenant if they are causing malicious damage to your property or after two weeks if they are late on rental payments. You may also be able to evict a tenant before the end of their lease if they are using your property for illegal activities, putting their neighbours in danger or keeping other tenants in the property without your knowledge.
Being a good landlord isn’t just the right thing to do, but will end up making you more money in the long run. If you are a reliable landlord who takes care of your property, you can retain reliable tenants who do the same.
Original article published on www.propertyobserver.com.au by Jessie Richardson 20/5/ 2014
How good an investment is south-east Queensland
Why do we believe we’ll see increasing investor interest in this market? Strong population growth, a diversified and growing economy, and substantial investment in infrastructure should combine to boost demand.
We expect that these factors will swell the number of white-collar jobs – increasing demand for office space, which in turn will push down vacancy rates and raise rental incomes. This should be good news for office property investors – especially those like Centuria Metropolitan REIT (CMA) that are already well-positioned in the market.
A significant and growing population
South East Queensland (SEQ) stretches from the Gold Coast up to the Sunshine Coast and across to Toowoomba in the west. As Australia’s third-largest population zone, the region has been growing significantly, particularly Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Interstate migration figures show a pattern of steady net migration, with Queensland the only Australian state with consistent net inflows of people from other states. In the five years prior to the 2016 Census, over 220,000 people moved to the Sunshine State – mainly to SEQ where nearly 90% of population growth occurred. This is important for property investors because of its implications for demand, but the trend is interconnected with other favourable factors.
A diversified economy poised for growth
Queensland’s economy is diversified across a range of industries including agriculture, resources, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and services. Over the past two decades, its economic growth has consistently exceeded the national average – and in our view this is likely to continue.
The resources sector is gaining momentum, and a significant pipeline of major infrastructure and development projects is helping propel economic and jobs growth, in turn increasing interstate migration and driving demand for both residential and commercial property.
Investment in infrastructure
A strong infrastructure program delivers more than business and consumer amenity – it generates jobs, drives investment, and facilitates population growth. The pipeline of infrastructure and development projects announced in the past few years is likely to have a material impact on the region – substantially improving its accessibility and amenity – most notably, Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross River Rail.
Queen’s Wharf, touted as a “world-class entertainment precinct”, is an integrated resort development costing $3.6 billion and covering over 26 hectares with retail, dining, hotel and entertainment spaces. As Queensland’s biggest ever tourism project it will be a game-changer for Brisbane, attracting overseas as well as local visitors. Estimated to contribute $1.69 billion annually to the economy, it will employ more than 2,000 people during construction and an estimated 10,000 once operational.
The Queensland Government’s number one infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, comprises a new 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which includes a 5.9km tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. It’s the first major rail infrastructure investment in the inner city since 1986 and is set to generate urban renewal, economic development and the revitalisation of inner-city precincts.
Outlook for commercial office property investment
These factors indicate a region poised for growth – and for growing commercial property demand. CMA’s portfolio has a significant exposure to the area in general (six SEQ assets with a combined book value of over $480 million), with many of the individual assets located in those parts of Brisbane set to benefit most from these developments.
Our view is that Brisbane office markets, where five of CMA’s assets sit, are continuing to improve, with vacancies hitting a five-year low – indicating increasing tenant demand – and continued yield compression, demonstrating strong investment demand. Office sales hit the highest level in a decade during 2018 (at $2.35 billion), increasing 60% from 2017.
With the strong outlook for SEQ, we expect the region will continue to attract tenants and investors alike.
Queensland’s 100,000-property public housing shortfall revealed
Queensland has a severe shortage of social and affordable housing, an issue that is projected to get worse by 2036 according to new research.
More than 102,000 additional social houses are currently needed across the state, and 54,700 affordable houses are also needed with nearly 13 per cent of Queenslanders spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.
By 2036, Queensland is projected to need 254,300 more social and affordable houses – the second-highest unmet need behind NSW, the report found.
The new figures come from a UNSW City Futures Research Centre report on social housing shortfall across Australia.
Regional social housing shortfalls are higher than in Brisbane, the data shows, but Brisbane residents are slightly more likely to be spending more of their income on rent.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said housing affordability was a “big issue” for Queensland.
“Through the Palaszczuk government’s $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy, Labor is driving key reforms and targeted investment across the housing continuum,” he said.
“The Strategy commits us to build more than 1000 affordable homes for Queenslanders, as well as a further 4522 new social homes to help ensure everyone has a safe, secure and stable place to live.”
Lead researcher Laurence Troy said 22.5 per cent of Australia’s entire housing growth must go to social housing to meet demand into the future.
“Our analysis shows that the sheer number of households in rental stress across the country means that if we’re going to meet the need, at least 12 per cent of all our housing by 2036 will need to be social and affordable housing – which is a very reasonable ambition in global terms,” Mr Troy said.
“To cover the backlog of unmet need and future need in Australia two in 10 new homes will need to be for social housing over the next 20 years, and a further one in ten for below-market affordable rental housing.”
Mr Troy said the research’s financial modelling found the “best and cheapest way” for governments to meet the need for social housing was to fund it through upfront grants and low-interest government financing.
“Delivering below market rental housing through the not-for-profit sector, as opposed to the private equity model, will save $3 billion a year by removing developer mark-ups and shareholder returns,” he said.
The financial modelling was commissioned by the NSW community housing sector.
Mr de Brenni said the state government was “listening” through its recent public consultation on rental reform and was committed to investing in affordable housing in partnership with community housing, to provide more subsidied homes for low income earners.
“We heard Queenslanders are struggling to afford rental properties in the suburbs close to where they work,” he said.
“Through our Build-to-Rent pilot project, we are seeking to work with the private sector to increase the number of long-term, affordable rental properties for low to moderate income earners, including key workers in health, early childhood and hospitality.
“Internationally, the Build-to-Rent model is delivering fantastic outcomes and facilities for tenants and we’re looking to see what the market is open to delivering here.
“The pilot, if it proceeds, will see $70 million invested towards delivery of hundreds of affordable rental properties for key workers in inner-city areas where affordability has been identified.”
Mr de Brenni said the registrations of interest for that pilot had seen strong market interest, and the department was considering the responses before calling for expressions of interest.
Treasury: Negative Gearing Reforms Will Have ‘Little to No Effect’ on House Prices
Federal Treasury has delivered a serious rebuke to the Coalition for exaggerating the impact of Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains changes.
In emails released under freedom of information, acting treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer requested the department fact check the Coalition’s claims that Labor’s policies would cause house prices to fall.
In response, Treasury issued a correction: “The [s]tatement is not consistent with our advice.”
“We did not say that the proposed policies ‘will’ reduce house prices,” the email reads.
“We said that they ‘could’ put downward pressure on house prices in the short-term depending on what else was going on in the market at the time.
“But in the long-term they were unlikely to have much impact.”
Labor has jumped on the release, with shadow treasurer Chris Bowen saying that the government had been “caught red-handed” misrepresenting Treasury’s advice.
For his part, treasurer Josh Frydenberg denied that the government was misrepresenting Treasury, pointing to the Financial Review’s take on the release that changes “could” put downward pressure on house prices in the short term.
Frydenberg quoted building industry group the Masters Builders Association figures.
“If Labor’s policy is in place you’ll see 32,000 fewer jobs and 42,000 fewer homes being built.”
House prices hit spending
It has been a difficult week in economic policy, with GDP figures released on Wednesday revealing that the economy has slowed significantly, entering a “per capita recession” for the first time in 13 years.
Retail trade figures for the March quarter were also sluggish, with falling house prices impacting wealth and spending.
RBA governor Philip Lowe highlighted the link between the two at the AFR annual business summit on Wednesday.
“The evidence is that a tightening in credit supply has contributed to the slowdown in credit growth,” Lowe said.
“The main story, though, is one of reduced demand for credit, rather than reduced supply.
“When housing prices are falling, investors are less likely to enter the market and to borrow. So too are owner-occupiers for a while.”