Why you need a rental agent
Category Expert Insight
It may seem easy enough to invest in a property with the objective of capitalising on rental income, but as any property owners will tell you, it can be fraught with challenges.
Legislation around rentals is difficult to navigate and it is not easy to deal with a delinquent tenant, especially if you need to evict them. While there is high demand for rental property, not all tenants are in good standing.
There is no investment without risk and a rental property is no different. Using a skilled rental agent to manage your rental property helps to mitigate some of that risk so that you can maximise your returns on your property investment.
If you are not in the business of rentals, then you really need to do your homework before investing in a rental property. Increasingly, property owners are realising that the services of a skilled rental agent are vital to manage their investment. Here's just some of what a rental agent offers:
Market insight and rental rates – a skilled rental agent will provide you with the right guidance about the market to ensure your rental is set at a level which is aligned to current market trends to avoid unnecessary vacant periods due to an asking rate which is too high.
Sourcing and tenant vetting – a thorough vetting process aims to ensure that a tenant of good standing is placed in your property. Two aspects are important. Firstly, a good credit record and history of paying debt on time, and secondly, that they can afford the rental and have a regular income.
Preparing the property – the property needs to be in a good state of repair. Your agent will let you know if any repairs or maintenance needs to be undertaken to ensure the property meets the requirements for a rental.
Lease agreement and paperwork – vital to the process, is ensuring you have a watertight rental agreement with your tenant which manages some of the risk associated with a rental. It should be up to date on the latest legislation and deal with aspects such as the rental deposit and maintenance.
Ingoing and outgoing inspections – your agent will also assist with the incoming and outgoing inspections with the tenants to ensure that the property is handed over in a good state and will manage any issues which may need to be attended to.
Management and maintenance – increasingly landlords opt to contract the services of a rental agent to also manage their rental properties. Aspects such as the monthly rent collection, tenant management and maintenance can all be handled by the agent.
Difficult or defaulting tenants – your agent will monitor the payments closely to immediately identify if a problem arises with the rent payments and will alert you if legal intervention is required.
A final point to note, is that all rental agents must be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and be in possession of a valid (current) Fidelity Fund certificate.
Visit www.seeff.com to find your nearest rental agent.
Author: Gina Meintjes