Thursday, September 21, 2017

Landlord ‘blacklists’ – could this be a thing?

We live in an interesting time where online 
peer-to-peer rating systems are becoming the norm - from cafes to taxi rides, no industry appears to be immune, even ours.

Tenants across the globe who are living in 
sub-standard conditions are using digital means to find a voice... and they are being heard.

Websites are popping up where tenants warn fellow renters about certain landlords, and some aggrieved tenants are questioning why there are not landlord databases or 'blacklists' for them to draw upon.

It seems that with the surge of property prices, many landlords have stretched themselves to enter the market - often without a contingency plan or sinking fund. Particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, rents have not kept up with the growth of house prices... and tenants are on 
the receiving end of things.

We've recently heard stories of tenants 
putting up with mould growing on the carpet, ceilings collapsing and living without hot 
water - unfortunately these stories are not 
too uncommon in the industry.

So as a landlord, how can you get ahead of this emerging trend so that your rental property stands out for tenants?

Having a good understanding of the tenancy legislation is key. For example in South Australia, it is a requirement for a rental property to be in a 'reasonable state of repair' and there are also strict requirements for the tenants to be given at least 48 hours notice to enter the property. If not followed, hefty fines can apply, even if you are 

And if you have an agent, it is their role to know the legislation inside and out and do the legwork for you. At Toop&Toop we are looking at new ways to support our landlords, and provide a greater level of service to our tenants. ToopFIX, our national award winning maintenance app is one example of how we're looking to tackle this industry problem.

With one third of the Australian population renting, tenants are looking for quality of service. We feel our role is to provide this to both landlords and tenants, whilst navigating through the legal framework. Creating an environment where quality tenants want to stay in your home for longer, and look after it, will be a win-win for all parties.

If you would like more information or advice, please feel free to give our Property Management team a call. We'd love to chat with you! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stand out this spring!

Spring is now here so if you're planning on selling your property during this busy time of year, here are some simple planning tips on how to better prepare your home for sale, and ultimately maximise your result! 

Presentation of your property is a critical factor in achieving the highest possible price. Even the most astute buyer will be encouraged by a well-presented property. People are emotional beings and will be stimulated by what they see, feel and hear. You don't need to renovate or invest a fortune, just simply make the most of what you already have.

1. Make the property feel inviting.

Buyers like to imagine that they'd enjoy living in a property, so make it easy for them to feel good about your home. Gentle music, a fragrant candle and a few scattered cushions can make 
all the difference on inspection day. The power 
of emotion is amazing!

2. Less is more. 
Clear the clutter. It will make it easier to keep the property tidy for inspections and rooms will feel more spacious to buyers.

3. Let the sun in.

Everyone loves sunshine when they are looking to buy, so open up blinds and curtains for inspections - and make sure windows are clean both inside and out. 

4. Fix outstanding repairs. 
Especially visible ones. Even the smallest of problems can make buyers wary about other less obvious issues. So it's best to fix what buyers will see and make the property appear well cared for.

5. Clean up lawns, gardens and rubbish.
This may seem self explanatory, yet it's often the garden that is last on the list of things to do. If you've spent time and money with your property's presentation, a small investment in finishing off gardens can be extremely worthwhile.

6. The kitchen.

A good kitchen can help sell a property. Not only is it an essential part of the house, it can be the most expensive and inconvenient room to refurbish, so its condition will influence the value of your property. If your kitchen is a little dated, you don't need to replace it, simply:

- Change cupboard handles to something 
more contemporary

- Put appliances out of sight and keep bench space clean and clear

- Pay special attention to the cleanliness of sinks, stoves and ovens

Wipe marks from cupboard doors and 
splash backs.

7. Kid's bedrooms.

Make it easier on the kids by packing up some of their toys and worldly possessions before you offer the property for sale. It will clear the space and help them to keep their room a little tidier during the sale. And if your children are distinctive in their decorating style, you may need to neutralise a little to appeal to a broader market.

8. Master bedroom. 
The master bedroom is another very important room for purchasers. Make it as inviting and relaxing as possible with candles, beautiful bed linen, cushions and throw rugs. And if the room is large enough, include a comfy chair, coffee table and a few magazines or books.

9. Pets and smells.

Many buyers do not appreciate pets and by not considering these purchasers, you can unnecessarily limit your market. Here are a few simple steps to consider if you're a pet owner:

Take your pets to visit family or friends 
during inspections

Move bowls, toys and bedding outside the house and make sure they are clean

Air the property before inspections and pick up any 'surprises' in the garden. 

It's an exciting time for real estate, so if you'd like to find out more about selling in spring, give Team Toop a call today. We'd love to chat to you! 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

New Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH)… What’s the Prognosis?

The new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH as they call it) has officially opened! Years in the making, it's been a very exciting week and one that will go down in the history books.

The impact of the move has been hotly anticipated for some time. Not only does it mean that 7,000 hospital staff and volunteers will be migrating to 
the north west end of the city, but there is also now an immediate demand for resources to sustain the hospital's 24/7 eco-system.

Hospital staff will be looking for cafes, restaurants and retail stores, all within walking distance from the hospital... and at all hours of the day, seven days a week.

However the impact is likely to be more broadly felt than just the restaurant and retail industries. History tells us that the property market will also be coming along for the ride. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast recorded market growth between 6.6% and 7.3% in response to the development of the new Gold Coast University Hospital, and Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The proximity of nRAH to the CBD and amenities puts the inner western suburbs at the top of a buyer's shopping list. Sellers have experienced a surge in activity in the past 18 months, and new records have been set. With the median house price in Thebarton and Mile End growing by a staggering 26% and 24% respectively in the past two years, both areas have cemented themselves as million dollar suburbs in our state.

For landlords, there is even more positive news for the inner western suburbs. Looking to other capital cities and the role hospitals have played, it's interesting to see the correlation between these facilities and rents in the surrounding suburbs. Amid Perth's falling rental market in April 2016, Murddoch (home to the recently upgraded Fiona Stanley Hospital) was one of the only two postcodes to record significant rental growth over the 12-month period. Research shows that health infrastructure is a key driver of where Australians choose to live, ahead of employment as the most essential consideration. 

The new RAH is here, and the prognosis is good. 

With the injection of foot traffic, and cafe and 
restaurants being added to the area, we anticipate 
the north west end of the CBD to be a hot spot for some time. It's an exciting time to be investing in Adelaide.