How do I change my property management contract to GOW Property?
If your property is under contract with another property management company and you would like to change, we can provide you with a letter to send to them terminating your arrangement. Be aware though that if the contract is still in a fixed term, they can charge you liquidated damages. If you are on a periodic agreement with them, typically there is a 28 day notice period involved. We can advise you what the best strategy to follow is.
Once the notice has been given, you will need to sign a property Management Authority with GOW Property so we can then work on your behalf. We will then make all the necessary arrangements to have the necessary documents, keys, reports, etc. picked up from them, and we will notify the tenants of the changeover to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
We will make every effort to make your transition as smooth as possible
How often will you be in touch with me?
It is your choice how often you would like to be called? You decide whether you would like to hear from your property manager every time something occurs or you would prefer them to take care of the situation. The property management team will discuss your expectations with you early in your business dealings to avoid confusion.
What is Landlord protection insurance?
Landlord insurance will cover you for things such as lost rent, malicious damage and some will cover accidental damage. There are many companies that offer this protection for you and we recommend that you shop around to select the policy that is right for you. We are able to provide details of several companies and policies you may consider.
Do I need landlord insurance?
It's not compulsory to have insurance. Gow Property have had the experience to know that the landlords that have insurance are glad they did, and those that don’t have it are sorry they didn’t, especially when faced with unforseen circumstances when landlord insurance would have “saved the day”. Gow Property strongly recommends that every investment property owner has landlord insurance, and since it typically is less than one week’s rent and is tax deductible, it is seen to be money well spent. We also recommend that building and public liability insurance be taken out (Banks will require these if there is a mortgage loan)
What is a PCR?
The PCR, or Property Condition Report, is a report that is created at the beginning of a tenancy and prior to the tenant taking possession. The report details the specifics of the condition of the property such as dents, scratches, chips, stains, and overall condition. When the tenant vacates, this report is used to compare the property at the start of the tenancy to the end of the tenancy, and will form the basis from which deductions from the bond and or further damage has occurred. It allows us to gauge the whether the property has been returned in the same state as it was provided, less fair wear and tear of course. This is done after the keys have been returned and this is also when any items that need to be rectified by the tenant are identified and communicated to the tenant.
What is a Routine Inspection and how often are they performed?
Routine inspections are conducted shortly after a lease starts and then performed quarterly. These inspections help us to ensure the property is being maintained to an acceptable standard and it also assists us in identifying maintenance issues that may be required. A copy of the routine inspection will be forwarded to you after completion. Should there be items that need to be discussed a member of the Property Management Team will contact you as soon as possible.
What is an identity or database check?
When an application has made it through our pre-screening, and we feel the applicants are acceptable to present to you as prospective tenants, we will submit a query to two National databases (NTD & TICA) that the real estate industry has standardised on to hold information about defaulting tenants. These are critical checks that will inform us if/when there have been situations in the tenants past which make the tenants an unacceptable proposition. Finding out about the applicants before they are given possession of your property is an essential part of the qualification process.
An identity check is undertaken by viewing (and taking a copy) of passports and driver licences and any other documentation available.
Only when the applicant is acceptable will we then present them to you for selection. You as the owner of the property will always make the final decision.
The rent has not been paid on time, what happens now?
Gow Property has a zero tolerance to late rent (arrears) policy. Our process to ensure rent is paid on time is to SMS or email the tenant if rent is late on the first day it is late. If the tenant has not rectified the situation within a couple of days from that notice they are served with a 14 day breach notice which gives them 14 days to bring the rent up to date and be in advance. We do not hesitate to follow through with termination proceedings to recover the rent owed and remove tenants that do not pay rent on time.
There are a number of different processes for this and your property manager will be fully conversant with the timings and implications of the different procedures.
The property owner is kept advised if termination is required or the tenant is becoming difficult.
Who is responsible for water usage?
Water usage is generally the responsibility of the tenant. Water Rates in residential tenanted properties remain the responsibility of the owner. As the Water Corporation only holds the owners details, we recommend that when payment of the water usage is likely to be late the owner pays the bill and we recover the fees from the tenant. This will prevent extra charges and late fees from being charged.
If you wish to make allowances for tenants who use the mains water to keep your gardens and lawns green and healthy, your property management team member can discuss how this can be accomplished.
In some Strata complexes, water usage and charging can be complex, and there are many different ways this can occur. Your Strata Management Company or Strata Executive Committee can inform you how this occurs.
Can I ask for a larger bond?
The Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and subsequent regulations, restrict the amount of bond to four weeks rent, except; 1) when the weekly rent is above $500 2) if the property was the owners principal place of residence for at least the previous six months.
If you allow the tenants to have a pet, an additional “Pet Bond” can be charged. This is limited to $260 and be only used for fumigation purposes.
How and when do I receive the rental income?
Gow Property Management will electronically transfer your rental income directly to your nominated account on or about the 25th of every month. If it is possible, we would recommend that you keep your mortgage payments in advance by at least a couple of months for those unforseen times when rent payments cease because of maintenance costs or vacancy.
Can you guarantee the rent will be paid on time and nothing will happen to my property?
The only guarantee in life is taxes and death. Unfortunately the guarantee doesn’t stretch to property management. Life is a constant set of changes, and tenants are no different. Circumstance such as marital status, employment and a list of others factors that affect us all, also affect tenant’s ability to pay rent and indeed to care for a property. Another reason why Gow Property strongly recommends Landlord Insurance.
Are maintenance and repairs automatically handled by the property management team?
Repairs and maintenance can be as automated as you request. We agree on an expenditure limit, and the degree of communication our property management team has with you in regards to maintenance and repairs and follow through. We can even make notes of your nominated trades or workers to use if you have specific requirements to use them. If you wish, all expenditure can be authorised with you, and the expenditure limit can be limited to emergency repairs only. The choice is yours. There are some repairs that must be acted on urgently, such as sewerage issues, hot water issues , electrical issues, and structural damage issues to name a few, and these will be acted on by the property management team regardless of whether we’ve been able to reach you. This is done to protect your interests in the event of an accident and injury to the tenant or their property.
Should I be using a “Local” Property Management Company?
There was a time when tenants used to go to a Real Estate Office and get a list of properties available for rent in the areas they are interested. Now with tenants having less time to drive around searching and with the internet being widely available it is not essential. A tenant can search online through multiple suburbs in a matter of minutes and very quickly short list the properties they would like to see.
The internet has also given us the tools required to make informed assessments of rent values in any suburb in Western Australia. This means we are able to equally manage your property regardless of where it is in the Metropolitan area.
What is more important is to use a professional property management company with integrity and a good reputation.