IMPORTANT UPDATES IN TENANCY RULES
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.
|What started as a simple list of changes has morphed into a statement that common sense rarely comes into the equation where the Tenancies Branch of Consumer and Business Services are concerned.
Some of the changes involve how to deal with abandoned property. Some are now more reasonable but some more onerous. A tenant can leave owing a huge amount of rent and abandon a complete house full of belongings yet you are liable to take care of it all for at least 28 days at your expense. You can only claim your actual costs to remove and store the belongings and add this to what you might be owed.
Selling abandoned good is allowed but they must be sold for a reasonable price. We can agree with that. Property with a value less than the storage cost can be disposed of but beware the tenant who returns 6 months later saying they had been away on holidays and now claims you sold their antique rocking chair for less than the $4,000 it was worth. So you will need photographs, descriptions and maybe professional valuations before you can defend this claim. Personal documents are another matter.
If a tenant dies their lease dies with them but what if a person claiming to be a relative comes to collect their belongings. If that person is not named on the will as an executor you could be liable for missing property.
Tightened regulations related to identifying a house as abandoned are effective. A landlord can not enter a premises for the purpose of taking possession before, OR AFTER, the end of a lease unless the tenant abandonment is proven or is voluntary otherwise an order of the Tribunal is required. When utilities are still connected and belongings remain at the property abandonment can not be assumed even if rent is way overdue and no contact can be made with the tenant.
And remember you are not allow to contact relatives or anyone listed on the tenancy application to determine where a tenant is because this can be a violation of the Privacy Act and huge fines can apply.
The landlord or the tenant must give at least 28 days notice if they do not wish to renew a fixed term lease otherwise it automatically becomes a Periodic Lease. The landlord must use the prescribed form but the tenant doesn’t really have to.
When a lease becomes Periodic it becomes more of an issue for a landlord because they will need to give 60 or 90 days notice to the tenant to vacate. On the other hand the tenant only has to give 21 days notice to the landlord if they wish to move which can be a disaster if the Christmas holiday period or winter is approaching when no one is looking for rentals and this spells longer vacancies.
If every window has a lock and they are ALL KEYED ALIKE you must still provide a key for every single window!
If a landlord does not make a claim against a tenant for the portion of the SA Water bill they owe within 3 months of the SA Water bill being issued the tenant is not liable for anything. And if a tenant receives a bill for water costs but does not receive a copy of the SA Water bill within 30 days of their request they can avoid having to pay anything.
When a tenant is more than 15 days overdue a Form 2 (eviction notice) can be issued demanding payment of rent within 7 days. But if the landlord contacts the tenant more than 3 times within this period to ask for payment that can be considered harassment.
We wouldn’t even like to talk about some of the current ridiculous regulations in force such as the requirement of landlords to replace light globes during a tenancy because that might paint too bleak a picture of the state of things.
Needless to say it can all become too over whelming except to those within the industry who are used to dealing with the foolishness of government.
You can avoid having to deal with all this foolishness directly by placing management into the hands of a professional Property Manager. This will ensure that property remains a trusted and reliable form of investment for as long as people need a roof over their heads.
Speak to us. 8186 2777