Although we don’t normally comment much on interstate trends the article with this same heading above that appeared in the 5/1/17 issue of ABC News online was worth special attention because it affects real estate agents and vendors everywhere.
It said, “Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has launched legal action in the Federal Court against two real estate agencies over allegations of underquoting in Melbourne.”
They were not minor charges nor were they just an odd one or two offenses. One agency was charged with offences relating to 25 properties it marketed in 2015, and another had 9 breaches involving nine properties in 2014 and 2015 which resulted in as much as $330,000 in fines and $80,000 legal costs for one of them. Continue reading
There are no shortage of insurance policies that cover losses caused by tenants but the level of cover offered can vary drastically. Choosing the right policy is more than just comparing price and amount of excess.
We are not an insurance agent so we are not permitted to make direct recommendations on types of cover or policies. In our opinion some of the worst policies are offered by banks. You should always enquire with companies that specialise in this type of cover or consult insurance brokers whose business it is to weigh up all the variables for you.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking. Continue reading
On December 23rd 2016 we talked about what we saw as the failings of the Tribunal in adjudicating residential tenancy disputes. We cited an example of how it would judge wear and tear in a long tenancy and one person made a comment that the example we gave was lame.
I find it instructive to talk about the more ‘lame’ examples because they highlighted how the Tribunal appears not able to make judgements in even the more ‘run of the mill’ cases like those involving wear and tear without injecting its own bias. I think every landlord would consider a tenant should not be responsible for a fair amount of wear and tear on things like carpets, painting, fixtures and fittings but at some Tribunal hearings it’s not hard to soon start feeling ripped off.
Here is a more extreme example; Continue reading
The day of the US election result stock markets around the world crashed. The Australian stock market lost $34billion but then something very surprising happened.
The Australian stock market soon rallied to recover about half of these loses and amazingly on Thursday 10 November it had its BIGGEST RISE in a single day since 2011!?
Greg Canavan from Port Phillip Publishing said on 11/11/2016,
The fear of Trump has turned to hope. The Dow rose to a new all-time high overnight as the market digested the results of a Trump presidency. More spending on infrastructure, less regulation and the prospect of lower corporate taxes means ‘buy, buy, buy’! As far as Australia is concerned, the big winners from Trump are resources. The iron ore price has exploded. Whether that’s because of the steel required to build Trump’s insane ‘Great Wall of Mexico’, or something else, I don’t know.
The Daily Mail published an article on 10 November, “The Kremlin says a victory for Clinton would have sparked World War Three and electing Trump saved the world from Armageddon”
Rob Stokes the NSW Planning Minister broke ranks with the Government’s policy of supporting Negative Gearing in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development on 24 November. He said the government should not be giving such big tax concessions to a small part of the market but instead should focus on the housing affordability crisis in Sydney.
These same arguments come up at regular intervals only to get knocked down until next time so this latest attack is nothing new. Mr Stokes, however, was concentrating particularly on the Sydney housing market which everyone knows has a huge affordability crisis for new home owners.
It would be very unusual to find a landlord or a Property Manager that has been through the Tribunal process to seek compensation from a tenant who would think this process is fair and reasonable. And on the flip-side many tenants who have also been through this same process similarly recognise it to be bias even though they may well thank the system for being on their side.
The whole concept of a Tribunal process is to make a legal system that binds all parties to its decision but that is quick and simple and can make decisions at minimal cost compared to the normal court system.
Tribunals are obviously the way to go but being so accessible and cheap it gives an opportunity to so many more people to see how inadequate and biased the application of the Residential Tenancies Act really is.
What can make property management such a minefield is the continual moving of the goal posts as seen with all the changes in regulations. Either you dedicate yourself to keeping up to date with all this stuff to self-manage your properties or hire a professional Property Manager like Adelaide South Property.
I started to write about these recent updates concerning the way we deal with tenancies when it dawned on me that managing property has become so over regulated and so filled with pitfalls and traps for landlords that it really starts to detract from the attraction of rentals as investments. I’m sure most people think property management should be a matter of common sense but in fact you really need a professional education in this field to fully come to terms with the fact that so many of the rules and regulations are stupid and are enforced by fools.
The Real Estate Institute of South Australia recently hosted a meeting attended by about 70 Property Managers who work in the south of Adelaide. Their comments about the state of the industry were very telling and worth repeating.
They all repeated what we have said previously that vacancy rates have increased but they also emphasised that lease breaks are now so much more common.
Today spelt the end of a long saga for a questionable property that we have managed. It was sad for us but also very instructive. A Property Manager’s opinion of a property should never affect the way the agency deals with that property; they should always do their very best for it. In the case of this property in question we agreed with the owner and liked the property but in the end the market said, NO!
In property management we naturally set out to get quality tenants and to mazimise the return on a property for a landlord but for this property there were too many obstacles.
Every house has pluses and minuses but the cemetery across the road added to all the other minuses to become the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Every election is preceded by uncertainty during the campaigning of the parties then life gradually settles down again to a slightly adjusted status quo. Real estate is one of those things in life that thrives in certainty.
During one of the longest election campaigns Australia has experience we at Adelaide South Property genuinely found it difficult to comment on all of the toing and froing on the different policies of the parties. There were daily changes on some policies that made it too complicated to explain only to find they might be reversed within the next 24 hours news cycle.
There was so much talk about changing the rules behind Capital Gains Tax concessions, Negative Gearing and Superannuation such that it would be surprising if the average person knew where they stood now. At the risk of being over simplistic basically nothing changed except for Superannuation.
Superannuation is one of those policies close to the heart of any investor which can only now be commented on with any confidence.