Top tips for first time property investors

The purchase of your first investment property marks an exciting new financial phase in your life. It may also cause some butterflies as you venture into this unfamiliar territory.

Planning, research and good management will help you to enjoy your investment.  As with any first-term venture you may well encounter some problems but here are some tips that should help you to avoid, or at least reduce, some of the issues associated with being a landlord.

Screen tenants

Check their details carefully and contact their referees and former property managers. It takes time but it helps to ensure your property is in good hands.

Watch the money

Don’t let tenants get behind with payments or you’ll set an unfortunate precedent and find yourself out of pocket. If payments are late, take immediate action to show you mean business.

Insure yourself

A landlord insurance policy can cover you against potentially expensive payouts and loss of rental income. Among its benefits is the protection it can provide if tenants damage your property.

Do your sums

Rental income yields are below home loan interest rates, so make sure you can cover the interest cost differential. Other expenses could include council, land and water rates, and maintenance.

Plan for a rainy day

As well as planning financially for the expected, you need to anticipate and provide for the unexpected, such as an unplanned vacancy or a sudden interest rate rise.

Put things right

Failure to attend to maintenance issues could prove a legal liability risk for you if tenants are injured. Have repairs done as quickly as possible, and keep an eye on general maintenance.

Keep your distance

Resist any temptation to become your tenant’s new best friend; otherwise it could be difficult to take action if issues arise. This is a business relationship and should stay that way.

Inspect regularly

A minor maintenance problem now could become a costly repair job in the future. Regular inspections by you or your property manager can save a lot of time and trouble.

Don’t be greedy

If you try to squeeze every last dollar of rental income from your tenants, you might lose them. This could result in a vacancy that can be more expensive than taking less in rent.

Consider delegating

Many people dream of owning investment properties but don’t want the work of managing them. In that case, for a small percentage of the rental income, it’s worth appointing a property manager with time and expertise to look after your investment.

→ We have an experienced friendly property management team readily available to assist with your queries, so do not hesitate to contact our office.