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3 things to know as a landlord

By Andrew Bell

The Gold Coast is a great place to think about property investment due to its hotspot status. When you've found the perfect piece of real estate in Surfers Paradise, and are looking to rent it out, here are a few things to know.

Bonds

A bond is a security deposit contributed by the tenant in the event they damage your property or don't pay their rent on time.

The bond itself is not paid to the landlord though. Instead, it is forwarded to the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority who holds the money for the duration of the tenancy. When the rental agreement is terminated, it is up to each stakeholder to get the money they are owed from the authority.

According to the Queensland residential tenancies authority, the maximum you can charge for the bond is equivalent to four weeks of rent if the rent is under $700 per week. If the rent is greater than this amount, then there is no limit on the bond.

This is particularly pertinent as the median rent for rentals in Surfers Paradise is $595 per week, according to realestate.com.au.

However, there are precautions in place to stop landlords from claiming an unfair portion of the bond at the end of the tenancy. For instance, costs that result from "fair wear and tear" cannot be deducted.

Examples of expenses that you can recoup include physical damage to your property, cleaning expenses and unpaid rent.

The little things

The landlord usually pays the water rates unless if the water is metered and the tenant has to pay for the other utilities like electricity and gas.

This being said, if the electricity and gas is not installed on your property yet, it is your duty to pay for the fitting and initial connection costs.

Other "little things" include repairs to your property – so long as these fit within the "fair wear and tear" test we mentioned in the previous section.

If the repair job is urgent, you have to respond quickly or else the tenant can have the repairs done and have the bill sent to you. Only emergency repairs up to the value of two weeks' rent are allowed to be done this way, and you have seven days to pay them back.

In the case of less time-sensitive repairs, you still need to answer the request within a reasonable time period. 

What is good to know is that tenants must continue paying their rent, regardless of the repair situation.

You can delegate the hassle

If you feel like managing a property sounds like a hassle, never fear. You can always hire a property manager in Surfers Paradisewho will take care of the day-to-day tasks for you.

Property managers can advertise your home and find tenants for you, as well as maintain the standard of your property and carry out inspections to make sure it is being treated properly.

You will still have to approve any repairs, but if you want to take more of a hands-on approach, you can choose how much the property manager does.

If you're working or enjoying retirement, hiring a property manager means you can leave all the work up to them. They're on the ground to deal with any issues. Not only this, but because they know the area intimately, they can help you find your ideal tenants.

Our Ray White Surfers Paradise team is experienced at dealing with rental properties and has access to a wide range of resources to help maximise your profit.

If you're looking to buy a rental property or for a property manager in Surfers Paradise, give our team at Ray White a call or email.

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