For busy residential rental providers (RRPs), the duties of tenanting and maintaining a property can be time-consuming and stress-inducing.
By law, Victorian RRPs are required to guarantee that their rental properties meet standards around amenity, safety, and privacy. Recently introduced legislation means that they are also required to conduct gas and electrical safety tests every two years.
Fortunately, there are qualified professionals with varied expertise within the property industry who can help to tackle these requirements.
From property managers to licensed inspectors and solicitors, we outline the professionals every RRP needs to have in their corner to ask them what they offer to make their life just that little bit easier.
- Property Manager
General Manager at Release Property Management, Lachlan McCraw, believes the role of a property manager is to simplify the investment journey as much as possible.
“The first vital step is finding an acceptable renter for the property” explains Lachlan.
“Property managers screen potential renters comprehensively to make sure they are suitable. It’s very important to get this right, as a good renter creates a smooth experience for all parties”.
Additional resources property managers can offer RRPs are easy to read inspection reports, monthly rental statements and day-to-day operations, for example ensuring that rental payments are monitored and paid on time.
- Licensed Gasfitter
In March 2021, the Victorian government introduced statutory changes requiring all rental properties to not only meet the general minimum standards, but also to have new gas and electrical safety inspections every two years.
It is essential for an RRP to have regular access to the services of a licensed inspector from a respected company. The described change confirms the property is safe and allows renters to request urgent repairs or terminate a lease if an RRP cannot provide evidence that they have been completed.
- Electrical Safety Inspector
It is a legal requirement for RRPs to ensure an electrical safety check is conducted on their property by a licensed or registered electrician every two years.
The checks need to be performed by an electrician who is licensed by Energy Safe Victoria and employed by a Registered Electrical Contractor.
The safety check will cover all electrical installations and fittings at the property and if any repairs are required. An Electrical Safety certificate must also be completed.
Even the most experienced property investors can get themselves into trouble when they purchase a property without realising the legal rights and obligations that come with it.
“RRPs who don’t understand the intricacies of apartment living are often surprised by the additional time, effort and cost they find themselves dealing with” says Strata solicitor Amanda Farmer.
Amanda says the three most common things RRPs find they’re not aware of when investing in a strata property are:
- You don’t own the entire property – the body corporate owns the ‘common property’.
- You can’t renovate without first obtaining the approval of the body corporate.
- Your renter must comply with the building by-laws, and you may be held responsible for their bad behaviour.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, an RRP needs reputable and trustworthy tradespeople on standby in case anything goes wrong with the property.
These may include professionals such as locksmiths, painters, interior decorators, fire safety professionals and builders for minor upgrades or renovations.