One of the bi-products of property investment is that by default, you will become a landlord
Being a landlord means that you will need to be mentally prepared for not only the upside of holding a good investment, but also having to deal with possible problem tenants, extra costs, vacancy periods, legal risks and an unknown time commitment to take care of these events. Add this to the demands of our everyday lives and this can seem pretty daunting.
Many of us also buy our first investment property while we’re renting ourselves. This is often termed as, ‘rentvesting’, which is becoming a common way of getting a first step on the property ladder
It’s an interesting phenomenon, as it provides some perspective to what it’s like to be a landlord, while you’re paying rent to a landlord yourself.
Or if you look at it another way, you’re a tenant who likes to be treated in a certain way, and you have tenants who probably feel the same way. Regardless of how you get started as a landlord, there are ways of approaching this responsibility that we would recommend, and ways that would be best avoided.
So, here is a shortlist of behaviours to avoid if you want to be an effective landlord:
- The Micro-manager. This breed of landlord cannot escape their, ‘control-freak’ nature, and treat their investment property as a major obsession. They insist on finding out every historic detail of the tenants in the property (even requesting police checks) and cannot resist driving past on a regular basis to check up on the condition of the property. They constantly request internal property inspections and rarely agree to the tenants having pets of any description.
- The Repair Challenger. This landlord can never accept that repairs and maintenance are a legitimate expense and constantly challenge the tenants’ requests for repairs (if they respond at all). Typically they will blame the tenant for any damage and try to avoid spending any money on the property. The only times this landlord can be coerced into doing repairs is when they are threatened with legal action.
- The Greedy Pig. This landlord will push the boundaries and increase the rent above and beyond what most tenants will pay for a similar property every time the lease comes around for renewal. The attitude is often, “I can do whatever I want”. When the tenants eventually leave the property this landlord will do whatever it takes to withhold the bond money for perceived damage.
A common thread with these landlord types is that the tenants’ position is neither respected nor appreciated in any way. If you feel that you have any of these traits lurking around in your personality, fear not, there is an easy way to avoid any of this unpleasantness. The answer: you hire a good property manager to look after your investment properties. This means you can stay compliant and leave the tenant hassles to a professional – while you get on with the important things in your life.
As always, please get in touch with us on 1300 077 766 or email email@example.com if you’d like to discuss this topic or if we can help with anything else.