Archive for Garden Maintenance

How to safeguard your rental bond

As the end of your tenancy agreement approaches, it can be a very tedious process dealing with your bond refund.

Ideally, most tenants will receive their bond money back at the end of the tenancy, once the real estate agent inspects the property against the Property Condition Report (PCR), essentially ensuring the premises is in the same condition as it was at the commencement of the lease, taking into account fair wear and tear.

However, if the state of the property does not comply with the PCR report, then the property manager or landlord has the right to claim money from the bond to cover these expenses, which could be anything from broken door handles to garden maintenance.

What you need to know about your rental bond money.

We want all tenants to be confident when it comes to getting their bond back, so to take the guesswork out of your end of lease inspection, here is some advice when it comes to getting your full bond back.

Fill out the initial condition report

Taking the time to fill out the initial PCR when first moving in can save you a lot of money and hassle when it comes to your last inspection. When moving into a new place, the last thing many tenants want to do is diligently inspect every nook and cranny of the house, but it’s these minor issues that become the very cause of disagreements between the agent and the tenant during the final inspection.

Use the initial PCR as a reference, so you and the managing agent have something to compare when it comes to the final inspection. It can be useful to take photos and be as specific as possible.

Form a good relationship with your property manager/landlord

Communication is key to being a good tenant. If there is something on the property that needs attention, make sure to tell the agent sooner rather than later. Building a good relationship with the property manager or landlord and having open honest communication will ease pressure on both parties when it comes to you vacating the property.

Know your obligations as a tenant

Stay educated with the law surrounding your tenancy. This will lower your chances of being short-sighted with any unexpected issues down the track.

You can visit The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website for more information on the laws affecting tenants.

Clean as you go

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at what the result of leaving the drain untouched or not vacuuming under the couch during the length of your tenancy could be. By regularly cleaning your house, you lower the risks of growing mould, stains or lingering smells. If you have carpets, maintaining them is also important as replacing carpet can cost a fortune if stained or damaged.

Understand the bond refund process

Again, knowing what to expect will save you from any unwanted surprises when it comes to getting your bond back. Understanding the process will make things easier for both you, the real estate agent and the landlord.

In the event of an unresolved dispute, the courts will ultimately decide the allocation of bond monies.

If you make every effort to return the property to the owner in the best possible manner at the end of the tenancy, you are in a good position to have your bond refunded in full.

If you have a query about your rental bond or tenancy agreement, speak with your REIWA property manager or call the REIWA Information Service on 9380 8200.

How to maximise your selling price

21 December 2016
Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves

Often home owners who decide to sell finally get around to completing jobs around the house they had been intending to do for years.

Fixing the paving, painting the front fence and repairing the side gate are typical examples of ‘little’ jobs that fit into the “I must get to that one day” category.

The little jobs matter
When preparing your home for sale, these ‘little’ jobs are important in achieving an expedient sale at the highest possible selling price. This is because buyers typically notice the little jobs too; an ill-fitting gate is easily and cheaply repaired, yet can loom large in the buyer’s mind as a more major problem that hints at other areas of the property being neglected.

Beware of over-capitalising
Of course, you need to be cautious about “over-capitalising” when preparing to sell. Replacing a bathroom and renovating a kitchen are expensive and, depending on the property and its location, may prove counterproductive in the effort to achieve the best price.

For example, if you were to take a quality home on a lot worth $700,000 in a suburb where the median house price was of that same value, then investing in a new kitchen and bathroom that cost, say, $80,000 may not be the best idea, as it is probably more difficult to sell that property at $800,000. This is partly because it is already above the suburb’s median house price.

Conversely, an original cottage in a well-established affluent suburb is more likely to benefit from renovations when preparing to sell due to the higher demand for “finished” properties in those sought-after areas.

How to present your home for sale
Obviously, each property and circumstance engenders a variety of options for sellers when preparing to sell, and opinions from real estate agents on the matter are, as always, subjective.

In general terms however, presenting a clean and tidy home is always going to help your cause in selling at the best price.

A client once suggested to me that you should “present it like you don’t live in it” – which is probably a fair description.

Paint out bright colours on internal walls, de-clutter by storing away trinkets and excess family photos, clear the fridge of magnets and kids’ school art and place items neatly in storage cupboards.

Small things do make a difference. Paint and gardens are two areas of focus that can make a disproportionate difference to the selling price (relative to their cost and the effort involved).

These tasks can usually be completed by the seller themselves which helps keep costs down and can make an amazing difference to the presentation of the home and therefore the price of the property.

To find a REIWA real estate agent to help sell your home, visit reiwa.com AgentFinder.

I’ve just GOT to tell you about my 3 favourite tradesmen

Gilberto is my personal “Edward Scissorhands”

He is so talented! He has 5 hedges in his front garden shaped like chairs.
It comes to him naturally as I watched him shaping my hedges and trees in my garden.
Gilberto does a lot of things in the garden, so I usually recommend him to my clients.

Bob is my favourite A to Z  Handyman.

I recommend Bob for  fixing gutters, sliding doors not running properly or broken, small touch up jobs, or for practically ANYTHING that has broken in the house.
He puts the ‘handy’ in handyman with his knack of facing things!
He is reliable, honest and reasonable.

Danilo is the best painter ever!

He is my son in law but I am not biased when I say he is the best!
He has been painting since he was 12 years old following his Dad to work. That is a lot of experience as he has continued in that trade since then, recently branching off into his own business.
He works 7 days a week and never looks at what time it is when he is doing a job.
He is professional, clean, reliable and trustworthy.

Let me know if you need their expertise!