With the Financial Year End soon upon us tax matters may be the foremost concern for landlords. However, there are also a number of practical property management issues that landlords should be made aware of or reminded about to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Notice to tenants when selling your investment property with vacant possession
If you are a landlord who owns a tenanted investment property which you would like to sell with vacant possession it is necessary to make an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a Tribunal Hearing. There is a nominal application fee for the Tribunal Hearing.
If the Tribunal approves your application the tenants will be given three months to vacate. As all situations are different it is highly advisable, especially where the tenants have been in residence for a number of years, to discuss the matter with your property manager/ real estate agent first. K.G. Hurst are always available to provide helpful advice.
A recent fire in a managed property is a timely reminder for landlords to ensure that you have sufficient and appropriate insurance cover. The fire in the Macquarie Park unit completely destroyed the kitchen which had to be replaced along with paint, carpet, blinds and light fittings.
In this instance the Strata insurance covered the cost of replacing the kitchen and damage to the common area. The landlord’s insurance covered the cost for all other replacements. The Strata insurance also reimbursed the property owner with six weeks rent.
However, the tenant thought the landlord should reimburse him for damage to his property. The tenant was advised that his possessions would be covered by his own contents insurance – to which he said he did not have any insurance.
K.G. Hurst provides all of its tenants with information regarding their need for contents insurance. Unfortunately not all tenants heed this advice.
Following this recent fire it is useful for all landlords to review how their insurance cover would have reimbursed them in this situation. If the answer is unsatisfactory, it is time to revise your insurance cover.
Are landlords required to provide internet connections?
When a tenant completes a Tenancy Application it is clearly stated that the tenant must make their own arrangements regarding phone lines etc.
Recently a tenant asked for particular cabling so that she can have a high speed internet connection. Property owners do not have any responsibility in this area.
Swimming pool compliance certificates
The Office of Fair Trading have delayed the introduction for swimming pool and/spa owners to have a valid Certificate of Compliance until 29 April, 2015.
The postponement is due to local councils not having the resources to undertake the necessary number of inspections.
K.G. Hurst have lodged the appropriate paper work for the various swimming pools under our management and will ensure compliance come 29 April 2015.
Blind cords safety
There has been publicity regarding children being strangled by blind cords. This is not a problem when new blinds are installed – particularly vertical blinds. Most manufacturers of vertical blinds are no longer putting plastic chains between the blades.
However, with older window coverings many cords are not attached firmly to window frames and with vertical blinds there are chains linking the blades. For safety K.G. Hurst property managers have been instructed to remove any chains linking vertical blades.
Tax deductions for maintenance work
It is impossible to completely avoid tax related issues. With the financial year end fast approaching there isn’t much time left to get maintenance work done in order to claim a tax deduction in the 2014 tax year. Given a lot of trades are busy at this time of year it is essential to contact your property manager to arrange work as soon as possible. Use your property’s Inspection Report, as provided by your property manager, to identify the maintenance work required.
Contact K.G. Hurst today for expert advice on property investment, management and leasing in Sydney’s northwest.