Why Use a Professional Inventory Company?

An inventory is a concise and detailed list of the contents, fittings and fixtures of a house, flat or office that is being let. This includes everything from the carpets and curtains to all the furnishings (if furnished). An Inventory provides a clear concise snapshot of the property at the time of the inventory completion with digital photographs provided to support the report. The inventory should be carried out by a third party, independent inventory specialist otherwise it will be considered bias and will not stand up in a court of law when needed to be relied upon.

“With approximately 50% of all of end of tenancy issues going into dispute, and the Landlord being awarded 100% of the deposit in only 18% of those cases.”

There is no legal requirement for an independent company to carry out inspections on a property. However, an Inventory and Schedule of Condition of a property at check-in is a vital piece of evidence in showing the condition and cleanliness of the property at the start of a tenancy. When the tenancy ends, it is this document against which the check out report is compared. Therefore it is very important that both documents are as accurate as possible and their content is clear for all to see.
Some landlords do produce very comprehensive reports which are impartial and accurate. However, our experience from our work with dealing with disputes shows that many are not. It is very hard sometimes for landlords who probably have an emotional attachment to the property to be objective about either condition or cleanliness.
Sometimes agents take on this role, but again whilst their clients are both landlords and tenants, in practice, it is not always easy to be impartial. It is also not a cost-effective option when having to send staff out for time-consuming Inventories when their time could be better spent elsewhere in the business.
Using an independent and professional inventory company cuts out any risk that things are not reported correctly. It is therefore in the best interests of the landlord, the tenant(s) and the agents to engage a professional independent inventory company.

Are you renting out your property?

Have you collected a deposit from your tenant which you will in case of damages or unpaid rent?

In this case, it is wise to have an inventory done on your property before anybody moves in.

An Independent, Impartial Property Inventory clerk or expert can provide you with a professionally compiled service including check-in report, inventory, check out report or interim inspection, which will mean you should be covered when it comes to making any deductions from the deposit at the end of the Tenancy.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.

10 Quick Tips On Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the first impression of your home especially when you are trying to sell it. Make it count and woo in buyers to come inside. I know you are probably thinking curb appeal is the last thing on your mind. Why should you spend any time on the outside when the inside is good enough?

Because the first impression people make is the one they will stick with. Buyers make an opinion within 8-10 seconds of seeing the home. When they pull up to the home, the curb appeal is the first thing they see.

And if the outside isn’t taken care of, then what makes the buyer think the inside is well maintained? So here are 10 tips on how you can make a great first impression with your curb appeal

1. Mow the lawn – Tall grass is an indication that you no longer live there or don’t care. Either one is bad. If you had to move out before selling your home, have a lawn service come over weekly to keep the grounds maintained.

2. Mulch beds – If you have flower beds in the front of your home, rake up the mulch so it looks fresh. Make sure the mulch has not receded to the point of showing bare ground. Add more if needed.

3. Get rid of weeds – Weeding can be an almost weekly chore, but it makes such a difference if you have a beautiful garden. Weeds are like clutter in a garden. Pick them out to show off the plants and shrubs.

4. Power wash sidewalks/house – Hire out or rent a power washer to get your sidewalks and siding cleaned. It is the easiest way to freshen up the outside without painting. Just like you scrubbed those kitchen counters and stove, the sidewalk and siding need that same elbow grease.

5. Cut shrubs back away from the house – I’ve seen many houses where the shrubs are planted right next to the house and they seem to swallow up the home! Cut them back so that you can actually see the house. If you have tall trees in front of the house, lift the tree canopy by cutting the lower limbs so you can see the home as well.

6. Remove cobwebs and insect homes (wasp nests) – Walk around your home and sweep away the cobwebs. If you power wash your home, you may have already gotten them. Pay particular attention to any potential wasp nests under the eaves and remove them. Not only will it help clean up the house, but you don’t have to worry about getting stung later. If you have an infestation, call a professional to remove them right away.

7. Sweep/wash the porch – If you have a porch or an alcove to the front door, dirt and dust can accumulate here too. Make the front door area welcoming by adding a plant holder with a potted plant or a colorful chair.

8. House numbers need to be visible – Nothing is more frustrating than looking for house numbers. Be sure to put the numbers on the door or just beside it. Make sure your mailbox has numbers on it too. If there is no mailbox and your house is hidden behind some trees, add a post at the end of the driveway and screw numbers to the post. That way, there is no confusion on the address.

9. Front door stands out – You would be amazed at how many homes have multiple doors on the front of the house. Make sure there is a clear path to the front door and nothing hides it like bushes or potted plants. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint if it needs it.

10. Fix broken items (solar lights, steps, screen) – I see this all the time. Solar lights installed along the walkway but they are missing tops, fell over or have been stepped on by the dog. Fix them or remove them.

Again we are trying to woo the buyer into coming into the home. If they have to walk through a jungle to get to the front, it could scare them away. Polish up that curb appeal and you will be on your way to moving out quickly.