April 30, 2013

Real Estate Excellence May Member Update 2013

Contents - the member update has been uploaded online and will be emailed to Members on Thursday 2nd May 2013 
Member Update
Webinar training calendar April to June 2013
New training programme – licensee and senior property management forum
New training programme – vacates, bonds, disputes and QCAT training
Nominated staff details
Member forms online at sugar sync
Landlord newsletter this month
Member invoices – new system
National licensing scheme update
Real Estate Fraud prevention
Do not Call register update
Company allegedly underpaid sales staff $53 000
PME users update – new feature (regular column)
Licensee/Administration Best Practice
When a staff members needs to be registered with the OFT
Sales Best Practice
Reminder about the importance of disclosure on the PAMD Form 27c
Property Management Best Practice
Standard terms and special terms – understanding the difference
Information about the PME system (Platinum Members)
Disclaimer – on the last page
Landlord newsletter topic – May – Termite and inspections recommendation letter

April 23, 2013

Property Management Self assessment - webinar service - your office only

Property Management Self-Assessment Professional Development Workshop - Webinar service
these questions, your office only and Stacey Holt
an hour and a half online training (and more) for only $250 plus GST (one session)


If a tenant fired a shotgun of the balcony of their unit and your agency received written complaints from neighbours (and police were notified), what would your agency do?
The tenant is very unreasonable, states that it is cleaner now than when I moved in and all attempts to try and reason with them fail due to their irrational behaviour.  What are the next steps that should be taken?

The tenant is using the garage of the property. What steps should be taken by the property manager? What standard term (if any) has the tenant breached?

It is found during an inspection that the tenant is subletting the property. What should the tenant have done in order to do this and what steps should now be taken by the property manager?

It is found during the routine inspection that the tenant is not cleaning the bathroom and it is now very mouldy from poor ventilation (there is an exhaust fan that is not being used) and the grout is now black. When the matter is addressed with them verbally, they get angry and tell us to mind our own business. What steps should be taken? What standard term (if any) has the tenant breached?

You are advised by neighbours that police kicked down the door of a property last night and it is confirmed by police. The police cannot advise what the matter is about. It is known that two people who are not tenants have been arrested and taken away. What steps should now be taken by the property manager?

You drive by the property and find that there is an above ground pool at the property that is not fenced and was not requested by the tenants to install. What steps should now be taken? What standard term (if any) has the tenant breached)?

The tenant is on the arrears list at 5 days - they are phoned at this time and asked when they are going to pay the rent to prevent a breach. They get quite irate and advise that they paid yesterday. A file note is made of this. They then appear on the arrears list at 8 days and a breach is issued.

On the 9th day their rental payment is shown on the statement. What steps should and must be taken in accordance with best practice but also in accordance with the RTRA Act?

Does a tenant have to receive a trust account receipt each time they pay their rent? Explain your answer

In relation to break leases; what standard terms should a tenant be shown to explain what the requirements are under the tenancy contract for this situation?

How long does a tenant have to return an entry condition report? What standard term of the agreement states this?

Do property managers have to do an exit condition report by law? Explain your answer

How long do property managers have to carry out a final inspection once the tenant has handed over possession of the property?

If a tenant has been given a notice to leave (for any legal reason) and fail to handover possession on the required day; what is the next step that should be taken and within what time frame?

What steps can be taken if a tenant does not allow entry and is outright refusing access. There are two possible solutions to this problem.

What are the five reasons a notice to leave can be lawfully issued for?

Once the 5 are identified, what are the notice periods?

What are the seven ways to lawfully end a tenancy? What standard term of the agreement mentions this?

It is found that tenants are using the downstairs area to run a business. What steps should property managers taken in this regard? Is it lawful for the tenant to run a business under the tenancy agreement/RTRA Act?

What is the notice period for a notice to remedy breach provided to a tenant for unapproved pets?

The RTRA Act defines the meaning of significant breaches; there are 4. What are they?

If a tenant is given a significant breach, what does this allow a property manager to then do?

A landlord instructs our agency to deduct cleaning and damages from a tenants bond. We have just carried out the final inspection this morning and are yet to advise the tenant plus yet to give them an opportunity to go back to attend to the concerns. The owner is advised of this however tells us that it is their property and do what they say. What is our response to this situation?

The landlord advises our agency that they will not be attending to the routine maintenance reported by the tenant. What steps should your agency take now in relation to the landlord and the tenant?

The landlord is questioning the rent collection fee of 5% plus GST - why do you charge that much just for collecting the rent??

For more information, please email stacey.holt@realestateexcellence.com.au or phone 07 3161 1865

April 16, 2013

The importance of understanding special terms in a lease agreement - and not contracting out

Brisbane agency fined - illegal special terms

Directors of a Brisbane real estate agency have been fined $4,200 each after pleading guilty to charges of including unlawful special terms in tenancy agreements.

The series of illegal special terms used by the agency contravened the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act). 
The illegal terms included requiring the tenant agree to:
  • the agent holding open houses in the rented property
  • the agent entering the property without notice at the end of a tenancy
  • have carpets shampooed every 6 months
  • pay for repairs and maintenance which could generally be considered fair wear and tear
  • give 6 weeks notice of their intention to end the tenancy, instead of the required 2 weeks notice.
All these terms are an offence under Queensland tenancy laws.

The agency also included terms in the rental contracts which allowed rent to be increased during a fixed term tenancy at the discretion of the lessor.

They also imposed set fees on tenants for re-letting and adverting costs.

The illegal terms reduced lessors’ obligations to mitigate their loss if a tenant ended a fixed term tenancy early and they reduced the lessors’ maintenance obligations.

In 2011, the same company directors were each fined $3000 after pleading guilty to similar charges.

directly sourced from www.rta.qld.gov.au April May 2013 Open House newsletter

April 15, 2013

The management agreement - the most important document in your business

Most would agree with the statement “if the management agreement is not completed correctly, we have no business”. The importance of understanding and completing the agreement cannot be overstated.

The basic principles of completing the management agreement with the landlord client include

·        Everything should be completed with something

·        There should be no blank spaces on the form *unless the form indicates to leave the part blank if it cannot be completed

·        Blankness creates legal argument and uncertainty

·        Public liability insurance details of the landlord is a must

·        All instructions from both parties should be as clear as possible

·        Title searches are strongly recommended as a minimum duty of the agent to verify ownership

·        Identification from the landlord is strongly recommended

·        Landlord disclosure statement is recommended to form part of the management agreement (available as part of the Real Estate Excellence PME system and Platinum Membership)

·        Signatures are a must from all parties

·        For quality insurance the licensee or senior staff member should review the management agreement prior to being finalised (as another set of eyes for risk management)

·        Best practice is to have all parties initial each page of the form

·        Ensure the landlord receives a copy of the completed agreement and evidence can be provided of this

Above are just some of the best practice principles of management agreement completion. Another recommendation is to offer a sign up over the phone service for absentee landlords; an appointment over the phone or Skype for landlords who cannot come into the office. Don’t just fax, email or post the agreement with ‘sign here’ indications. Consider your agency duty of care and professionalism!

Real Estate Excellence offers a 20 minute landlord sign up CD with explanation of their obligations plus a landlord listing booklet. Mention this blog to receive a discount of the service!  To view an example visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPSg3aTpnkQ

Real Estate Excellence can also provide a consultation review service of your management agreement for $220 including GST. The service includes the following

·        Review of your agency form and recommendations in writing of best practice

·        Explanatory notes for the landlord when emailing the agreement

·        Landlord disclosure statement

Services offered above are for Queensland only. NSW landlord listing booklet service is available.

For more information please contact Stacey Holt –stacey.holt@realestateexcellence.com.au

April 3, 2013

Property Management online training service - Real Estate Excellence

Current Training Videos online .wmv file format     included in the PME System
Property Management Excellence - webinars are free! The current training videos are online now for PME system users to view anytime
Chapter 1
Property Management Overview
Chapter 3
 PAMD Form 20a quick tips
Chapter 3.1.2
Termination of management agreements
Chapter 3.3.1
Rental appraisals and the law
Chapter 5
Tenancy application forms processing
Chapter 5.8
Binding the tenant lawfully
Chapter 6.4
 Entry condition reports
Chapter 12
How to complete breach notices
Chapter 19.1
Exit condition reports – time management, risk management and the law
Using PME
Tips for use

Plus the following webinars – half an hour to 45 minutes in length

PM Development – Do you know the answer to these questions (two part webinar) half an hour each webinar ( x 2)
Rental properties for sale
5 reasons a notice to leave can be issued
PAMD Code of Conduct – What does it mean for property managers
Tips on how to be an excellent property manager
What is the role of a property manager?
7 ways to legally end a tenancy in Queensland
QCAT training webinar
Tips on growing the rent roll
Tips on how to complete routine inspections
Tips on how to use the RTRA Act
Maintenance best practice and the law
More webinars are added to the list as produced

Webinar services are also FREE to PME users as scheduled and then uploaded to PME online.

 (Uploaded to PME online is subject to the size of the file and technology provisions).