Friday, July 19, 2013

Buying appliances for your rental property

Making the right decision to maximise your investment returns
Replacing appliances in a rental property is often a huge headache for owners, but it’s all part of your investment business. Making sure you make a decision that is right from an investment perspective is more important than your personal preference.
You need to balance quality, durability and price to provide your current residents and future renters the equipment to ensure they have working appliances.
Practicality and cost effectiveness is the key
Tenants don’t expect all the extras, but they do want a product that works consistently effectively and economically as they are paying the utility bills.
The more features an appliance offers means more things that can go wrong with that appliance. If your property is at the higher end then there is an expectation that a premium brand appliance will be used, but for most rentals go for practical and durable.
It doesn’t mean going for the cheapest however, you need to consider the warranty, availability of parts, costs to service the machine and access to contractors who fix those specific brand of appliances.
Save on energy
Looking at energy efficiency has obviously become a priority. Tenants are concerned like home owners of skyrocketing utility bills. The manufacturers are taking this into consideration and including energy star ratings on their products.
Go to to check out recommended brands.
Consider different model styles
Consider the more economical replacement types for refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens or washers/dryers. Buying an older-styled or refurbished model might save you hundreds of dollars, without sacrificing on quality. These savings can especially be found for refrigerators, where top-freezer models sell for hundreds of dollars less than the more stylish and larger side-by-side or bottom-freezer models.
Get the best price
There are a number of ways to find great prices on appliances. Start with an online search for the base price of a particular model. and Google’s product search are two smart places to check. Once you have a sense of the going price range for a certain appliance, you can begin shopping in earnest.
Look for reduced-price floor models or scratch and dent savings or run out models.
Be proactive
Replacing appliances is a necessary part of being a landlord or property manager. Shopping around early rather than waiting for the call from the tenant to say the appliance is not working will save you time and money.

There is a limited time to get a fix for a tenant, so you want to make sure you are making an informed decision and not one on the run.

At Toop&Toop we have a list of preferred models that fit the criteria and suppliers who can install and service at our fingertips.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Market Wrap Up - June Quarter 2013

In South Australia, the median weekly rent of $325 remained steady since the beginning of the year. The average turn round time on properties for the industry is 27 days. Toop&Toop’s vacancy rates have been sitting around 14-20 days well under the average.

Consumers demand A Better Industry
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about their rights and demanding in terms of their expectation on service levels.

Specialist knowledge of local areas and a depth of understanding of maintenance issues is the necessary to meet consumer needs.

Residential Tenancy Legislation Changes
The burden on owners and agencies has increased with the new legislation. New laws around hanging abandoned goods, the decreased time frames for inspections and increased privacy requirements.
One bonus is that documentation regarding a tenancy can now be emailed rather than snail mailed which will save time and prevents claims of documentation not being received.

As a private landlord it is becoming a logistical minefield adhering to these new laws and the requirement for all documentation to be submitted and processed on time.

Delays in actioning maintenance
Tenants believe that their repairs and maintenance issues are not being addressed in a timely manner once reported.

Over 47 per cent on a national survey responded that they experienced significant delays in their requests being actioned.  From an agents perspective there is always a question of balancing between what is classified as landlord or tenant responsibility.

It also depends on the rent and the age and condition of the property when it was tenanted. A $210 per week property is not going to be in the same condition as a $410 per week property. 

There is however the safety issues for example  any electrical repairs or what is considered an emergency such as blocked drains or flooding.

An agent is able to act as the broker and with their experience can successfully navigate between both parties rather then have the tenant and landlord at opposing ends in terms of view point of who should do and pay for what.

It is important that all maintenance is followed up and addressed even if it is to inform the tenant that they are responsible.

With tighter budgets landlords have become less willing to approve repairs as economic times have put a squeeze on their returns. The influx of sales properties has also meant the rents have remained the same and in some case declined. This has allowed tenants to be fussier and take preference over homes that are in a better condition or have upgraded facilities.