MGM Properties - Information to Owner

What do I need to tell you to get things started?
We like to find out your long term aims as well as other requests and guidelines you may like to set in place for your rental property. We'd love you to contact us and we can organise a time to discuss your situation and any aspect of our services.

How will I know what my property will rent for?
You will get the best idea of your property's value in the current market by comparing it to other properties similar to yours. The market plays a large role in determining what amount of rent you will achieve , we can assist in advising what the demand for a property such as yours is, in a particular area.

How long will it take to find a tenant for my property?
In our experience properties that are better presented, professionally marketed using digital photography, priced according to market conditions and represented by a professional agent, will stand out from the crowd and therefore will attract the right tenant faster.

How will you find me a tenant?
We will canvas our extensive tenant database, utilise relationships with corporate and relocation agents, install on site for lease signage, and deploy our internet and social media strategies.

How do you qualify tenants?
There are two main criteria to consider when selecting a suitable tenant for your property; their ability to pay the rent and their ability to maintain your property in its current condition. We check all references including current and previous employment, current and previous tenancy history along with requesting written proof of their income and rental payment history. 

What is the average length of tenancy?
Most tenancies are initially six or twelve months for unfurnished properties, or three to six months for furnished properties. We always stay in contact with the tenant to be ready to renegotiate a lease renewal usually equivalent or greater than their initial period.

How can I guarantee that my property will be well looked after?
Every tenant's application is screened very carefully and clear expectations are set right from the start. Our experienced team will conduct a thorough ingoing, outgoing and regular routine inspection reports, all with photographs to minimise any problems that may arise during the tenancy. All repairs and maintenance are communicated to you and addressed in a timely manner for approval.

Do I need landlord's insurance?
We highly recommend that every owner has an insurance policy in place for their property. It will protect you in the event of a tenant not paying rent, damage to the property (over and above the bond), public liability & limited cover for contents.

What costs do I need to pay?
We are able to offer a simple all inclusive package to cover the leasing fees, management rates, renewal fees, advertising costs and statement charges, or alternatively we can tailor a fee structure to suit you.

How do I change my managing agent?
It's easy. All you need to do is contact us and we will make the change over for you. We'll organise for the tenant to be notified and for the keys to be collected from your old managing agent. Everything else carries on as usual.

What if I want to sell my property?
You are still entitled to sell your property even with a tenancy in place. Our strong relationships between the sales team and the tenants enable us to seamlessly market and gain access in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act.

Why use a professional property manager?
Our experienced team are able to effectively manage the tenancy through rent collection, repairs and upkeep, renegotiation and compliance in order maximise your return on investment. This means your valuable time can be spent elsewhere while we take care of the complicated things. A good property manager will make you money on your investment, not cost you money

What if I want a rent amount that is higher than your recommendation?
You may place your property on the market at whatever rental amount you wish. However, keep in mind that it is market demand that sets the rent, and if the market (i.e. prospective tenants looking for a rental property) think that the asking rent is too high, your property may stay vacant longer than necessary. With this in mind, be aware your annual rental return will be reduced by 2% for every week it is vacant!

Do you guarantee the tenant?
We can never guarantee the performance of the tenant for your property. We can only use our professional skills and experience to verify that the tenant can afford to pay the rent and to form an opinion on whether the tenant will maintain the property to an acceptable standard.
As the paying of rent and the maintaining of the property is purely voluntary on the tenant`s part, we cannot guarantee any tenancy outcome. This is a landlord risk that comes with owning an investment property. We recommend that you take out landlord protection insurance if the risk greatly concerns you. Our responsibility is to minimise any potential problems by carrying out our services to you, drawing on our many years of experience and continued training and education.

If I allow a pet at my property, what expectations will be given to the tenant regarding the pet?
If a pet is permitted we will provide the tenant with strict written conditions.
The major conditions would be that:
1. The pet must be removed from the property if it becomes annoying or bothersome to neighbours (after reasonable warning has been given in writing).
2. The tenant must be responsible for any damage caused by their pet, and clean up any mess left by the pet.
3. The tenant must have the carpet professionally cleaned and the property professionally fumigated upon vacating the property.

What happens when the Tenancy Agreement expires?
The Agreement continues on a continuation (or holding over) basis. Each party will then be required to give the following notice period to terminate the Agreement:
- Tenant: 21 days
- Owner: 90 days
It is not necessary to renew a Tenancy Agreement when the fixed term period ends. In fact, in Sydney, most landlords and tenants choose not to enter into a renewal agreement once the initial fixed term expires.
While we can request that a tenant renew their Tenancy Agreement for a further fixed term, we cannot insist that they do so. Any renewal agreement must be mutually agreed between the parties.

Can a tenant break the Tenancy Agreement?
Residential Tenancy Agreements are legally binding contracts. However, if a tenant wishes to break the Agreement and vacate the property before the fixed term expires, the tenant is responsible for the following:
- rent until the date a new tenant takes over the property, or until the fixed term expires (whichever happens first)
- any agreed advertising costs
- the owner's costs of a letting fee.
It is important to note that the owner/agent must make reasonable efforts to minimise any potential losses the tenant may suffer in this situation.

How can I terminate the tenancy?
There are 3 main ways that a tenancy can be terminated.
1. To end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term
- Either party can give at least 30 days notice to end a tenancy when the fixed term of the agreement is due to expire.
2. To end a tenancy after the fixed term has expired (i.e. a continuing tenancy)
- A tenant is required to give at least 21 days notice and the owner must give at least 90 days notice to terminate the agreement any time after the fixed term has ended.
3. To end a tenancy due to a breach
- A 14 day termination notice may be given at anytime if either party breaches a term of the agreement, or if the tenant is more than 14 days in arrears of rent.

What tenancy documentation is required?
All tenancies are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act.
The tenancy documentation includes:
1. A statutory Tenancy Agreement
2. A statutory Premises Condition Report
3. A Rental Bond Lodgement Form.
4. A New Tenant Checklist from the NSW Office of Fair Trading.

Who signs the tenancy documentation?
This is your choice. However, it is usual practice for us to sign these documents on your behalf. We will, of course, send you copies of any documents signed on your behalf.

May I give you some special instructions?
Yes. You may give us some special instructions in relation to the property and the way it is managed, provided the instructions are lawful. These special instructions will need to be either specified in the Management Agency Agreement or provided in writing to us.

Can I inspect the property whenever I like?
You can, however, the tenant needs to be given 7 days notice. The Owner/Agent are limited to a maximum of 4 inspections in any 12 months period.

What keys must be supplied to the tenant?
All tenants listed on the Tenancy Agreement must be given a full set of keys. This includes keys to all external doors, windows, garage or letterbox locks. We retain a full master set of keys at the office.
This may necessitate having keys cut at your expense.

If the tenant has a pet, can I ask for an extra bond (a pet bond)?
Unfortunately no! Charging a bond in excess of the tenant`s normal rental bond is illegal in NSW.

How secure must the property be?
The law requires that an owner must provide and maintain locks and other security devices to the property in order for the property to be "reasonably secure".
It is recommended that key operated deadlocks be fitted to all external doors and windows.

What if the tenant wants the locks changed?
If the tenant wishes to alter the existing locks or add other security devices to make the property more secure, the tenant must obtain the owner's prior consent and pay all costs. The tenant must provide the owner/agent with a copy of any new keys.

What about smoke alarms, light globes and tap washers?
It is the landlord's legal responsibility in NSW to provide working smoke alarms and light globes, and to fix any leaking taps prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
During the tenancy, the tenant is responsible for replacing any smoke alarm batteries and light globes.
We are not legally qualified to check the functionality and suitability of certain types of smoke alarms and as such recommend the use of qualified professionals for that purpose.

Who pays for water usage?
If there is no individual meter for the rented premises, as in the case of blocks of older style units, a tenant cannot be changed for water usage.
However, the tenant is responsible for any cost of water used during the tenancy if the property has an individual water meter and has legally prescribed water efficiency devices.
It should be noted though that Sydney Water requires that water availability and usage accounts must be paid in full by the owner of the property. We then request reimbursement from the tenant for the water usage component of the account.

The property is a house, who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens?
Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant is responsible to maintain the lawns and gardens to the standard they were given at the start of the tenancy.
If the property is provided with watering systems these need to be working and kept maintained during the tenancy.

Who pays for damage by the tenant?
The question of what constitutes damage and what is considered acceptable "wear and tear" is always an issue in property management.
In cases of damage to a property attributable to a tenant that is not considered normal wear and tear, normally the bond will provide sufficient protection to remedy the damage.
If not, the owner can take action in the Tribunal against the tenant. Also, landlord protection insurance may cover this type of situation.

What about someone to contact in emergencies?
If it may be difficult to contact you on a routine basis, we suggest that you nominate someone locally to act as your representative in case of an emergency and that this person is advised of the extent of their authority.
That person's name and contact details should be recorded in the Management Agency Agreement or alternatively, provided to us in writing.

What should I do if I change my address, bank account, phone numbers, email address, etc?
Please notify us in writing as soon as possible.

What happens to any mail that comes addressed to me at the property?
we ask the tenants to forward to us any mail addressed to you, however, they are not always as diligent with this as we would like.
It is strongly recommended that you request Australia Post to redirect your mail to you.

If I want to sell my property, can MGM Properties help?
Yes, we have our own real estate sales team to service the needs of our property management clients.
For information on how we can help you sell your property or assist you in buying another property, contact your personal senior property manager.