All Starr Partners Property Management Departments enjoy a reputation for being the leaders in their district, overseeing the day to day management of clients Property Investors Portfolio's.
Each department ensures that investors receive regular updates on all real estate related matters, enabling owners to make well informed decisions regarding their long term objectives. Included can be such aspects as tax management, capital growth, future investments and/or financial security.
To sustain a high level of professional service Starr Partners property management staff attend monthly training sessions for instruction on industry changes of any matter relating to attaining an enhanced level of management. This includes but is not limited to selecting the right tenant, tenant checks, and organizing repairs, on through to understanding recent legislation changes that may affect a clients return on investment.
Scheduled collective meetings of Starr Partners Business Owners discuss the results of monthly research into current market conditions; ensuring investors receive the maximum allowable rent return from their investment.
Selection of tenants
We believe one of the major keys in finding the right tenant for each investment property is to use an extensive selection process prior to recommending a renter.
Our detailed application process includes a 100 point check similar to that employed by most banks. Each prospective tenant has their references checked against the national data base of the Tenant Reference Australia (TRA). We also confirm employment details and check with previous agents with whom the applicant has rented from. In all situations, the owner has the final say, in accordance with current legislation.
Starr Partners understands that maximizing occupancy is the key to maximizing the return of your investment.
Our property management departments have developed management policies that work toward the attraction and retention of quality tenants. This works toward achieving the highest possible occupancy rate. All attempts are made to properly market a property prior to a vacancy occurring to ensure a continuity of occupancy. In the event preemptive action may not be possible we retain a file of pre-qualified prospective tenants to view the property immediately after a vacancy occurs.
To attract quality tenants each Starr Partners Property Management Department ensures that advertising is placed with the appropriate media to attract the maximum number of enquiries. Current market trends are followed using statistical data that identifies what sources best reach prospective tenants in any given area. This data is under constant review.
Advertising includes all the major web portals, includes the Starr Partners web site, and also uses local newspapers, window displays and when appropriate, letter box drops.
Every property receives both a very detailed room by room and overall premises inspection prior to the tenant moving either in or out. Photos are taken of each room, the overall property and any attached structures. Copies of the report and photo's are kept in each client's office file and copies can be forwarded upon request.
We also conduct drive-by inspections of your investment on regular occasions to check how the tenant is maintaining the exterior of the property. In additional we conduct a yearly inspection of both the external and interior condition and furnish you with a detailed report.
When we undertake the management of your Property Investment the first task is to conduct an inspection to ascertain any maintenance issues. Most of our Investors nominate a limit of expenditure that we can incur on their behalf for repairs. In instances where the expected cost of a repair exceeds this limit, the owner is advised and requested to approve the expenditure.
In instances where a repair is considered urgent due to health and safety reasons and we are unable to contact you we will arrange for one of our highly trained trades people to attend to the repair immediately.
It is important to note that if you elect to organize your own trades people that by law they must be fully qualified and licensed. They also need to have the appropriate insurances and OH&S systems in place. If you send an unqualified person to conduct a repair and someone is injured then you may be liable and without insurance cover.
In all instances maintenance requests are well documented and progress of all repairs are monitored.
Rental payments, evictions and rental reviews
Each Starr Partners office has a very strict procedure in place for the monitoring of tenant payments. In all instances where a tenant fails to meet their financial obligation they are contacted by either phone or SMS advising them that their rent has not been received. After 8 days a formal reminder letter is sent asking for payment, in addition, a member of our staff will visit the property in an attempt to resolve the matter. If they still fail to make the payment they will be issued with a notice to vacate in accordance the current legislation and you will be informed.
If the tenant fails to pay and vacate the property after receiving the termination notice and if you agree, we will make an application to the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for a hearing and formal eviction order. It could take up to three weeks to obtain a hearing. All applications are lodged electronically to obtain the quickest possible hearing date.
Rental reviews are conducted by each Starr Partners office every three months using various data available at the time to determine if an increase is justifiable at that time. If an increase is considered appropriate then we seek your approval first.
Breaking of the Lease
There are two ways a lease can be broken - one common and one not so common. The uncommon variety is when the tenant and the landlord both agree the tenant can vacate early. In this situation, a tenant is released without penalty, financial or otherwise. In the second variety of break-lease, the tenant is still allowed to vacate the property but will be responsible for the associated costs.
The tenants can be charged in one of two ways under the tenancy agreement in relation to breaking of a lease. This option must be decided on prior to the tenancy agreement being signed.
Firstly they can be charged a "break fee". If this is elected as part of the agreement then the tenant is liable to pay a penalty of 6 weeks rent if the agreement is broken within the first three months of a six month lease. If the lease is broken in the last three months of a six month lease 4 weeks rent is payable by the tenant. If this option is chosen it is non-negotiable in amount. What is charged is deemed fair and equitable and no further compensation can be sought.
The second option is "mitigation of loss". This in basic terms means we need to minimise the loss of both the landlord and the tenant. Under this the tenant will be liable for any and all rent payable until a new tenant moves in or the lease expires, whichever should occur first. They will also be responsible for the landlords re-letting costs. Importantly, finding a new tenant is not just about finding anyone who is willing to take over the lease. The landlord does have the reasonable right to choose someone they believe will make a suitable tenant.
The amount of bond that can be charged is governed by law and is currently four (4) weeks.
If the tenant fails to pay the rent and, when issued with a notice to vacate, fails to do so, a problem can arise as under current legislation it is not unusual to take 8 to 12 weeks to obtain vacant possession of a property via the Tribunal. In these cases the Bond will usually be insufficient to cover the lost rent and any costs incurred with cleaning and repairs. For this reason we strongly recommend that all Property Investors have some form of landlord insurance.
Property Investor Insurance
The type of insurance cover for any Investment Property varies depending on the type of property you have. In essence your policy should cover the following:
Contents insurance to cover carpets, blinds, light fittings, air conditioners, water heaters etc
Public liability in case of injury to the tenant
Loss of rent if the tenant defaults
Property damage if the tenant causes malicious, deliberate or accidental damage.
Building insurance if your investment is a house.
If it is a strata property then the Owners Corporation insurance policy will cover the building.
In all instances your Starr Partners Property Manager will be able to assist you in selecting a policy that suits your needs.