Thinking about property investing or have recently invested? We’ve been in the Wellington rental property market for a long time and have seen many self-managing landlords make these same preventable mistakes time and time again, so we’ve created a list of solutions to help you create and maintain a successful property investment.
1. Thinking The Property Will Always Be Rented
Even with the current market the way it is, there are still properties in Wellington struggling to get tenants. Vacancy periods aren’t unusual, especially in the winter market, so before investing ensure you have a plan on how to pay the mortgage in the event the property is vacant for several weeks.
2. Underestimating The Costs of Repairs & On-going Maintenance
Neglecting property maintenance will likely create unhappy tenants and increase tenant turnover. With that said, properties out of repair are usually harder to rent, not only because people prefer living in well-maintained properties, but also because a property in disrepair can imply the landlord doesn’t care too much about the quality of their investment and may be difficult and slow when answering tenant enquires about repairs. Repair costs can be unexpectedly expensive so ensure you’re charging enough rent to help cover the cost of repairs and on-going maintenance like insulation, roof repairs, and painting.
3. Not Encouraging Tenants To Inform You About Repairs
Most tenants are tentative about calling landlords for small repairs, but when those repairs are left uncompleted expensive damage can occur to the property. Ensure you encourage tenants to inform you when repairs are needed at the property. A roof or plumbing repair may seem expensive now, but it’ll be far worse down the line if you have to pay for the repair AND the water damage throughout the interior.
4. Neglecting Tenants During The Tenancy
Not conducting regular property inspections every few months is a common mistake made by both inexperienced and experienced self-managing landlords. Regularly checking in on your property’s condition helps you keep an eye out for possible repairs required, verify the tenants aren’t breaching the agreement in any way, and can encourage tenants to take better care of your property.
5. Unknowingly Breaching Tenant Rights
Unknowingly breaching tenant rights or allowing their own rights to be breached is a common error inexperienced landlords make. Take the time to search the Tenancy Services website. They have great summaries of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and highlight sections of the act frequently referred to by landlords and tenants.
6. Not Keeping A Spreadsheet
Too often we hear about landlords who let rent arrears get out of control with thousands owed because they didn't keep an updated spreadsheet on their investment. A simple spreadsheet can help you keep on top of rent arrears, maintenance costs, endings of tenancies, help you measure the financial success of the property, and remind you when the rent value can next be increased, creating a less stressful investment and a more confident investor.
Of course, our professional property management service can take care of this for you, helping create a passive, reliable successful income from your rental property.
If you have a question about other ways you can more efficiently manage your property email Paula or call her on 027 559 7888.