Tenant concerns

While you as a property owner may have worries when it comes to tenants, it’s also good to look at the flip side of the coin and see what fears tenants have.

Rent rises are almost always the number one fear of a tenant. While you are within your rights to increase the rent annually, and if you’ve made improvements to the property, it may be pertinent to consider whether you’ve got a good long term tenant looking after the property. An extra $10/week rise in rent may be the difference between them looking elsewhere and you having to start looking for new tenants and running the risk of the property been empty for a period of time.

The release of a survey a couple of months ago highlights just how important is for property owners to understand what fears tenants have. The Unsettled: Life in Australia’s Private Rental Market survey was conducted by consumer group Choice, the NGO National Shelter and the National Association of Tenant Organisations revealed just some of the other fears tenants have.

Knowing what your tenant fears are can go a long way to pre-empting any issues before they become a major problem.

Here are some of the findings from the study:

Rental security

The research, found 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long, and 62% feel they’re not in a position to ask for longer term rental security.

Try to give your tenant assurance security by giving them a longer lease; in our experience, tenants who have some security with a longer term lease care for your property as they make it into their home.

Discrimination

Half the tenants who took part in the study said they’ve been discriminated against. It is against the law to discriminate against a person because of the race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, homosexuality, age or transgender of their relatives, friends or associates. You should also not discriminate against a tenant just because they’ve made a legitimate complaint with a previous landlord!

Blacklisted

Half the respondents also said they were worried about being blacklisted on a ‘bad tenant’ database if they made a complaint and listed the top 10 complaints for renters. Many of these issues were maintenance issues. Remember, as a property owner, it is within your interest to keep on top of these issues to prevent further expense down the track. The problems listed were:

  • Pests (cockroaches, moths, ants, etc)
  • Doors or windows that don’t close properly
  • Peeling paint or tiles coming off
  • Leaks or flooding
  • Mould that is difficult to remove or reappears
  • No flyscreens on windows
  • It’s difficult to keep property warm
  • It’s difficult to keep property cool
  • Locks that don’t work
  • A key appliance that doesn’t work

A good professional relationship between tenant and landlord is vital if your investment property is to remain occupied with tenants caring for their home. Issues can be dealt with swiftly before they become a major problem, and trust will develop between both parties.

A good property management company will assist with this. In our experience, good relationships work both ways, with tenants been amenable to property owner requests. For instance, later down the line you may need to have open inspections if you are planning on selling the property.

We believe if you look after your tenants, they will look after you!

With over 40 years in real estate and property management, our talented team is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to ensure your property investment experience is exceptional. This is why we are one of Newcastle’s longest established property management companies. To find out more about our letting services, or if you are looking for a property to rent, we’d love to hear from you and share our experience. Give us a call on 02 4954 8833 or pop into our Cardiff office for a chat.