Being a landlord, owners of residential or commercial property entails heavy responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. This ensures that the tenants are satisfied with the money they are paying to rent the place. One of the responsibilities of a landlord is making sure that the property being rented is in excellent condition. Otherwise, the tenants would complain non-stop or perhaps move to another place, which is obviously not good because it would mean the loss of income. It is nice to think that tenants would treat their apartments as their own, but any landlord knows that this is not the case.
Although maintaining the property’s condition is very important for the tenant’s satisfaction and safety, it can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming for the landlord or property owner. With the rising cost of almost all commodities, it is very important to spend every single cent of money wisely, as well as be very wise in managing the business overall. As such, here are a few tips for landlords or property owner on how to save money and how to manage an investment property efficiently.
Some things which a property owner (landlord) can take note of when renting out property:
- Get a good “feel” of each other
Landlord-tenant relationships can either be smooth-sailing or extremely rocky. Some tenants may not be familiar with local culture, common market practices or may sometimes have over-expectations in service quality standards. It’s important for both parties to be more understanding, learn a bit about each other’s positions and differences and hopefully, as they say, “lives happily ever after”.
- Check tenant’s particulars
By Burbank law, the landlord is supposed to check and ensure the tenants are not illegally staying in the Country. This can be easily done by verifying:
(1) With the HR of the company that the tenant is working in,
(2) Through ICA,
(3) Through MOM.
- Have a contact list of maintenance personnel ready
Prepare a contact list of regular contractors (or ask for some recommendations from friends), and take note of the brands of appliances in the house and write out a contact list of the companies acting as service agents for these appliances.
- Be flexible when handling lease proposals and requests
Some tenants may offer higher rental in exchange for additional requirements to the lease package. For instance, giving higher rental, but landlord takes full charge of all repairs and maintenance of the property (instead of implementing a “repair clause”).
- Do not disturb the tenant
Within the contract (Tenancy Agreement), there’s a specific covenant which clearly states the tenant having full right to the use of the property during the term of lease and landlord shouldn’t “check up” on the tenants, or constantly pop by to inspect the condition of the property.
- Attend to urgent repairs with urgency
It’s only fair, when urgent repairs are needed, that the tenant (who pays rent promptly) receives assistance as quickly as possible. Some landlords are really busy and the matter may have slipped their mind. One suggestion is to allow your representative agent to handle all the repair matters on your behalf, trusting that as a professional, he will be able to source a fair deal for you. Sometimes, the item may really be beyond economic repair and the only way is to discard and buy new.
- Take stock of inventory and maintain the property in good condition
During the vacancy period, it is advisable to take stock of the items in the house which might need changing soon. So, you can instruct your representative agent to simply proceed if those items break down during the term of the lease – don’t even need to worry about getting quotes for repair, save hassle, save money (inspection quotes may sometimes need to pay for transport charges). Keeping the items in the property in good condition will help to entice tenant to renew the lease with you later.
- Accept the market rate
Although it will be nice to get “above market rate” rental, do work the sums and think of the vacancy period (loss of income) whilst waiting for the offer to come to you. If your property IS higher floor, better view, more well-kept, in a better condition and more newly furnished than other rental units, you should, of course, ask for a higher rental.
- Keep proper accounts
Always a good practice to keep proper accounts so that you can report to IRAS promptly when they ask you to and ask them for “discounts” when you can.
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