Congratulations! You are now a property investor! You’re probably thinking of how soon you can secure a tenant for your property, what rent will you achieve and how to make your property as attractive as possible. It’s all very exciting, but there are some important things to go over to be a good property owner.

Security

Lock down security and safety issues before you even begin to choose the paint colour for the front doors.

  1. Change locks and have spare keys made.
  2. Reset the codes for any electronic locks and doors.
  3. Test the smoke detectors and ensure they are compliant as per the legislation.
  4. Make sure all the lights are in working order.

Maintenance

An effective property manager/landlord should have a plan for all sorts of maintenance issues that could come up any time in the future.

  1. Schedule air conditioning maintenance once per year. This will make your units last longer.
  2. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year.
  3. Check what needs repairing and prioritise each item. Should you fix up loose hinges first or see to worn carpeting?
  4. Are there repairs or renovations that could be completed to increase your rental return?

Emergency preparations

Whether it’s bad weather or a leak in the basement, have a plan a ready.

  1. Note the location of the main water shut-off valve, so you know where to run to when pipes burst. Water damage is costly to fix.
  2. Also note the location of the gas shut-off valve.
  3. Label all circuit breakers in the circuit box.
  4. List emergency contacts, such as the plumber, electrician, and water, electric and gas utilities.

Documentation

  1. Store copies, digital and physical, of key and tenancy documents.
  2. Documents you want easily on hand:
    1. Lender contact information
    2. Insurance documents
    3. Tenancy contact details and lease agreements
    4. Management agreement with your Property Manager
    5. Compliance information relating to smoke alarms and pool fencing (if applicable)