Learn the rules or lose the game!
When playing sport if you don’t know the rules, it’s very difficult to score and you can easily get penalised and ultimately lose the game.
As Perth property investors we need to know the rights of tenants so we can comply with the residential tenancy’s act or face fines and ruin your tenants enjoyment of your property… which will ultimately see them leave at the end of their lease.
Here I look at some of the critical areas that every investor needs to know about their tenants rights, they may seem obvious but we regularly find that landlords are unknowingly breaking them. Respecting their rights will see that you keep a good tenant for as long as possible.
Timely resolution of maintenance
Regardless of age every property requires ongoing maintenance to keep it at its best ensuring the value of your asset is also maintained. It is important to know that your Tenants also have the right for maintenance to be carried out in timely manner.
Tenants are entitled to a safe premises as well. For example it is unfair if the tenants have to wait for the leaking toilet to be fixed for three weeks. If something needs to be done it doesn’t make sense to delay doing it, that is what leads to unnecessary frustration as well as additional costs of water wastage over that period.
If investors place themselves in the tenants shoes it is much easier to understand their rights and how we would expect to be treated.
Carrying out rental price reviews that are justified by the market
When carrying out 6 monthly rent reviews it is important to note that should the tenant contest the increase, any increase needs to be justified by comparable properties that have rented in the suburb. The chattels provided with the property, the state of repair of the premises are also considered.
So it goes back to the point of having your property in good repair to achieve the top market rent at any time. It should also be noted that tenants need to be given 60 days notice for any 6 monthly rental review increase, therefore notice must be given 4 months into the lease.
Access to the premises
You may be the owner but once the property is leased, it is important to realise it then becomes someone’s home. For any access to the property appropriate notice must be given to the tenants, be it for maintenance or any other purpose.
We have had a tenant wake up on a Sunday morning to see someone in the yard fixing the retic in the front garden right beside their window. Needless to say it was quite a shock to the tenant. On other occasions owners that carry out their own maintenance decide to show up unannounced early on a Saturday morning expecting the tenant who has just worked night shift to be grateful for the wake up call.
So it is important to give notification and for it to be provided with reasonable time, it is another matter if the tenant when contacted are available but it would be unreasonable to ask them to be at the property at 11am when you have asked only 9am in that same morning, as they have their work and life to schedule as well.
Tenants have the right to have the premises reasonably secure and have keys to all the locks to the property. It is may seem a simple matter but window keys are vital for security and are required to be supplied. Every week we take on many new properties that don’t have a full set of keys and we insist that a full set a cut.
Want more information on tenant rights?
When an owner ensures he is meeting the rights of his tenants he can also fully expect the tenants to meet their obligations, getting best enjoyment out of the property and continuing their lease longer. Of course there are many other aspects to the residential tenancies act, for a full guide on Everything you need to know about being a Perth landlord, click here.
Do you have any further questions about tenant rights? Leave a reply below now and I will endeavor to answer.
Read an article on: “Know your tenants’ rights & you will keep great tenants longer!”