It’s very important to us to be as accurate as possible when advising a landlord about rental prices. If a property is priced too high or too low it can mean loss of income.
At Matthews, when you list your property with us the first step is a thorough appraisal of your property’s market rental price. We look at location, features, demand, desirability, local prices achieved and suburb averages. We draw direct comparisons to similar properties that we have recently rented for our most accurate guide.
Rental prices are investigated again each time the property is re-let, or each time a tenancy renewal is being negotiated. A close watch on the market and price trends means we can remain competitive for you and have your property leased in the shortest possible time.
If the market has fallen, we will probably advise you to lower the rent in order to secure a tenant. While this may not be what you want to do, it’s always better in the long term to have a tenant paying something rather than have your property sitting vacant for too long.
If your tenants are on a fixed term tenancy the rent cannot be increased except if each and every one of the following occurs:
– A rental increase is noted in the agreement
– The agreement says the dollar amount for the increase (or how it will be worked out)
– The tenant is given 2 months’ notice in writing
– It’s been more than 6 months since the start of the tenancy and since a previous increase.
At the end of a fixed term agreement, the rent can be increased by entering into a new agreement. Again, it must be at least 6 months from the previous increase. Notice periods are not required.
For periodic agreements, rent can be increased with 2 months’ written notice if it hasn’t had an increase in at least 6 months and it’s at least 6 months since the tenancy started.
A rental increase can sometimes mean an increase in the bond that is held by the RTA. We take care of all necessary notices to tenants and lodgement of the required amount.
It’s also good to know that tenants have the right to dispute a rent increase. We always encourage open communication about rent increases with room for negotiation. Raising the rent excessively could cause a tenant to leave.
The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) doesn’t specify amounts as such, just the manner in which the increase occurs.
Market changes will govern the amount; to bring your property in line with comparable properties and/or “supply and demand”. Your Property Manager or Leasing Agent will advise you based on your specific property’s circumstances.
The factors that can influence are usually the following:
– Property appeal
– Owner prerequisites
– Perceived value
Changes to either supply or demand can lead to falling rents in the area. If your Property Manager does recommend a rent decrease, it is always done with research to back it up. No-one wants to see a property vacant for too long.
Matthews staff will always provide an honest opinion about your property’s appeal before we take it to the market for rent. Easy and low-cost Improvements are always best made in between tenants and can greatly improve its appeal. Inspections provide valuable feedback from prospective tenants about the condition, look, feel, smell, practicality and liveability of your property compared with others they are looking at. Our Inspect Real Estate software will provide you with this type of feedback report after every inspection so that you can make a quick decision about improvements that might need to be made.
Too many strict requirements can really put tenants off and narrow your market. Rigidity around tenancy lengths and unwillingness to accept pets can make your property slower to rent. If your prerequisites are firm, then it’s a good idea to adjust your time expectations accordingly. Any concessions you can make, particularly with regard to pets open up your market considerably, improve your competitiveness and shorten your vacancy period.
In a slow rental market there’s always something you can do to increase the value of your place for tenants. Could you include pool cleaning in the rent, or garden maintenance so they don’t have to mow? Can you install automatic garage door openers, air conditioning or ceiling fans? Are you able to supply solar power savings for the tenant? Would you be willing to accept pets? Maybe a week’s free rent will get their attention? Whatever it is, a one off sacrifice can sometimes be better than dropping the rent over the whole tenancy.
First impressions are made online. If you don’t have professional photography, get it done. It’s one of the single most effective and affordable changes you can make. Photography is tax deductible and can be used each time we advertise for you. Options for Highlight advertising on property portals are also available and your Property Manager can provide a quote.