What are your landlord rights and responsibilities?
6 Keys To Preparing Your House For Sale
The term “landlord” can conjure a negative image of an old-world aristocrat surveying bountiful estates, strong and beyond reproach.
The reality is that as a landlord, you provide a specific offering and must uphold a standard to your customer – the tenant. You have a multitude of rights, but as the old saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility – and you have a myriad of responsibilities to uphold, too.
Likewise, tenants should be able to exercise their own rights within a contract without a stubborn landlord making life difficult. A property owner does not wield ultimate power – it’s a common misconception and one that quickly sours what could otherwise be friendly, mutually beneficial arrangements.
As lessor, knowing your landlord rights and responsibilities is essential in a smooth investment and happy tenants.
Why we can’t ignore landlord-tenant laws
Imagine setting sail on the vast oceans without a compass. Sounds like a recipe for getting lost, right?
Landlord-tenant laws are that compass for property owners. They’re not just a set of legal jargons scribbled in thick volumes. These laws exist to ensure a balanced relationship between landlords and tenants, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
When both sides understand and respect these regulations, the sailing becomes smooth. and you can expect benefits like:
Fewer disputes: Knowledge reduces the chances of unexpected battles at the courtroom’s gates.
Long-term tenancy: When tenants see their landlords as fair and informed, they’re more likely to stay, ensuring the kingdom thrives.
Smooth operations: Just as a well-oiled machine runs without hitches, knowledge ensures a smoother property management experience.
As a landlord, you know the thrill of seeing that rent payment notification pop up. It’s akin to that sigh of relief we all feel when our monthly salary gets credited after a month of hard work.
Just as you’ve made commitments relying on your paycheck, you’ve made business decisions based on the anticipated rent. It’s not just about the money; it’s about mutual respect and understanding the financial rhythm you set your life to.
When tenants pay on time, it’s a sign they value and respect the tenancy agreement. You deserve this consistency, and tenants are indeed bound by their contract to provide it.
You know that sinking feeling when a prized possession you lent out returns damaged? As a landlord, your property isn’t just brick and mortar; it’s an investment, a legacy, perhaps even a reflection of your hard work.
It’s natural for properties to experience fair wear and tear over time. Faded paint, a slightly worn-out carpet – these are all expected. However, you have every right to expect the property’s essential integrity to remain unchanged.
Large holes in the wall, broken fixtures, or any intentional damage? Those should be red flags, and you’re entirely justified in seeking repair or compensation. A property condition report at the start of the lease agreement to ensures you’re on top of all potential issues.
The key is insurance, and it pays to be covered.
There’s no joy in conflict, especially when it means asking someone to leave what’s been their home.
As a landlord, you hope every tenant is perfect, respects the rental agreement, and becomes a long-term resident. But reality sometimes scripts a different story. Regularly delayed rents or property damages aren’t just inconveniences; they disrupt the trust and mutual respect fundamental to the landlord-tenant relationship.
In such cases, eviction isn’t about being villainous; it’s about safeguarding your investment and ensuring you have tenants who value your partnership.
Make sure you’re well acquainted with the Residential Tenancies Act and your rights around eviction.
Inspections aren’t about prying or being intrusive. Instead, think of them as wellness checks for your valuable investment. They’re opportunities to spot potential issues before they escalate and to ensure that both you and your tenant are on the same page.
It’s your right to ensure that the property is being maintained properly. Remember, you’re not just safeguarding a building, but ensuring the continued value and legacy of your investment. Always provide due notice, approach inspections with understanding, and ensure your tenants know it’s about mutual benefit.
Let’s paint a picture: you’ve booked a weekend getaway, and you arrive at a hotel room with a damp smell and a ceiling that drips. It ruins the whole experience, doesn’t it?
Just as you’d expect quality accommodation for your hard-earned money, so do your tenants. As a landlord, your property is more than just a structure; it’s a home to someone. Ensuring it’s in a liveable, good condition isn’t just your legal responsibility, but it also speaks volumes about your commitment and integrity.
Obviously if a pipe bursts or a hot water system fails, you would expect to be urgently replacing the faulty parts and getting things back to normal. Sometimes it’s not such a blatantly essential asset that breaks, but it is still your responsibility to take steps to put it back into use.
Roller shutters, air conditioners and dryers may not be necessities in life, but if they are part of your original offering the value of your agreement depends on them. It can be frustrating to be what feels like continually approving tradies and paying their bills, but it boils down to caring for your investment and honouring your commitment. Don’t leave tenants wondering when they will have use of those inclusions again.
Prompt repairs not only uphold your property’s value but build a foundation of trust with your tenants. After all, a happy tenant often means a long-term tenant.
Tenants aren’t just renting a space; they’re renting a home—a place of comfort, privacy, and solace. As tempting as it might be to drop by unannounced or frequently check-in, it’s essential to put yourself in their shoes.
Respect their boundaries. By giving them space and privacy, you’re fostering a relationship based on mutual respect and trust, ensuring your tenants feel valued and secure.
Also, don’t sweat it over little things. Just like your own home, wear and tear accidents will happen. Milk spills, vacuum cleaners clip walls, balls hit windows. Don’t expect your tenants to be tip toeing around your property as if it’s The Louvre. Accidental damage is expected in any building as a product of living.
Parenthood offers profound lessons, even for property management. As parents child-proof their homes to prevent accidents, landlords too have a duty of care to their tenants.
Imagine a toy with sharp edges left around for a toddler. The same applies to your property. Issues like faulty wiring or wobbly railings aren’t just minor inconveniences; they can be potential hazards. Regularly checking and addressing such safety concerns is non-negotiable. It ensures the well-being of your tenants and shields you from potential liabilities.
The same goes for smoke alarms and two RCDs. Cleaning gutters is also a landlord’s responsibility.
Security Bond handling
Your tenant’s security bond isn’t just money; it’s a symbol of trust your tenant places in you. Managing these funds with utmost integrity is crucial. Be transparent about any deductions and always ensure they’re fair and justified. Timely returns of deposits not only fulfil your contractual obligations but also leave a positive lasting impression, enhancing your reputation as a trustworthy landlord.
The world of property management is akin to a dance floor. Every move, be it rent hikes or evictions, has its rhythm and steps. Legal protocols are the choreography you must adhere to.
Cutting corners or improvising can lead to missteps, potentially landing you in complicated and costly legal tangles. Staying informed and always acting within the legal framework ensures you maintain a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship and protect your interests effectively.
Remember, it’s not just about knowing the steps, but mastering them that sets you apart.
A helping hand
Assisting your renters with achieving your own property goals and making the space feel special is a great idea for everyone.
Would you like to see that lawn flourishing? Consider contributing towards the water supply that will keep it lush and green. What about a lick of paint on the walls to inspire more vigilance around damage? What about installing a dishwasher to keep everything simple and tidy in the kitchen? If your house feels bright, fresh and beautiful, it will generally be given more attention and care.
A good property manager can make all the difference
So what happens if you’re the unfortunate lessor who acquires the tenants from hell? If you’ve secured the services of professional property management in Perth, you won’t have to sweat it.
Ask for advice from your property manager and trust that the REIWA guidelines and residential tenancies act will protect you if you have done everything by the book. You absolutely have rights and they will be exercised if you’ve engaged the right real estate agents on your side.
Don’t fall into the trap of harbouring unsavoury feelings towards tenants in general after one bad experience. Maintain your optimism and the attitude that if you look after their interests, they will look after your asset.
You’ve worked hard for your investment property, don’t miss the opportunity to let it work for you.