What are the benefits to an owner employing a professional property manager?


You will receive the following benefits when you employ a professional property manager:

  • Knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Act:
    The managing agent is aware of the implications of the Residential Tenancies Act and therefore can advise owners and tenants of their rights and obligations.
  • Rent Appraisals:
    A real estate agent (preferably local) knows the supply and demand in a given area and is therefore aware of the comparative rental of homes.
  • Rent Reviews:
    The managing agent monitors the rent and keeps the owner informed of market change.
  • Access to Tenants:
    A managing agent often has a ready supply of tenants. The agent has the means to check references and credit ratings. This enables more effective screening of tenants.
  • Inspections:
    The property manager is trained to report in detail on the condition of a home and has the expertise and experience to maintain the home at a satisfactory standard.
  • Location:
    The owner may be separated geographically from the property, eg transferred overseas or interstate.
  • Accounting:
    A professional property manager supplies accounts and details of all income and expenditure relating to a client's property.
  • Taxation Benefits:
    Properties purchased for investment purposes can attract significant taxation benefits. Property management fees are tax deductible.
  • Disputes:
    The managing agent through dealing with tenants on a daily basis has gained the experience to resolve disputes.

If the property is sold, how much notice to terminate a tenancy does the owner/agent have to give?


If you hold a periodic lease the owner must provide 42 days, normally this would be provided only when a contract has become 'unconditional'. If the lease is a fixed term, then the tenant has every right to see out the term of the lease. As with any situation there is room for negotiating a position between the current tenant and the new owner.

How often can a real estate agent carry out routine inspections?


Normally the first routine inspection would be carried out after the first six weeks, and thereafter quarterly.

How much notice must a real estate agent/owner give for inspecting the property?


Within a 28 day period of the ending or expiration of a lease, the agent/ owner must give 24 hours oral or written notice to allow access for a prospective tenant to view the property. Any other time the owner / agent must provide 7 days' notice and if the property is being sold then 24 hours' notice – written or oral – at any time must be given.

The property I am renting has now been sold. I have a fixed 12 month lease with six months remaining. What happens to my lease?


A fixed term lease stays in place when a property is sold.
As a tenant you have the right to remain in the property until the end of your lease.
The new owner takes on the same lease rights and obligations of the previous owner.

I do not agree with the final inspection report and the deductions to be made from by bond. What can I do?


At the final inspection when vacating a property, the property should be in the same condition as shown on the original property condition report. Should you not agree with the deductions to be made from your bond and you cannot resolve the issue with the owner through the managing agent, then the dispute would have to be resolved in the Tenancy Tribunal or Magistrates Court.

I have a fixed term lease. How much notice do I have to give to the owner/agent to vacate the property at the end of the lease?


Section 95 of The Residential Tenancies Act states, A tenant may terminate a fixed term tenancy that is due under the tenancy agreement to terminate on a particular day by 14 days notice to the landlord.  If a tenant with the authority of the owner remains in the premises on the termination of a fixed term lease without entering into a new fixed term lease then the lease reverts to a periodic lease. With a periodic lease the tenant must give 14 days' written notice to terminate. With a periodic lease, the owner is required to give 42 days' written notice.

I have a periodic lease. The property has been sold, how much notice does the owner/agent have to give me?


The Residential Tenancies Act requires a period of written notice to be given of not less than 42 days. The property I am renting does not have window locks and I am unable to obtain contents insurance. Does the owner have to provide window locks? The Residential Tenancies Act only requires that "the owner shall provide and maintain such locks or other devices as are necessary to ensure that the premises are reasonably secure".

The property I am renting is for sale. How much notice should the owner/agent give to me for prospective purchasers to inspect the property?


The Residential Tenancies Act states that the owner or agent may enter the property ...... "for the purpose of showing the premises to prospective purchasers, at any reasonable hour and on a reasonable number of occasions, after giving the tenant reasonable notice."

Can I withhold rent?


No. Two wrongs do not make a right, if the owner does not honour his/her obligations under the lease, the tenant is not able to withhold rent. The tenant may issue the landlord a notice to remedy breach (RT04b which can be downloaded from the department of consumer affairs website). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within the required notice period the tenant can then make an application to the commissioner of tenancies for a determination.

What happens if I do not pay the agreed rent


Tenants are obligated to pay rent. If the full rent is not paid by the agreed date the owner/agent may seek an end to the tenancy:

The breach may be remedied by two alternatives:

  • Alternative 1 If the rent has been in arrears for a period of not less than 14 days the landlord/agent may issue a notice of breach of unpaid rent (RT03) in which the tenant shall have 7 clear days to remedy the breach. If the breach is remedied and the rent is continued to be paid as per the lease agreement no further action is necessary.
  • Alternative 2 If the tenant fails to pay the full amount prior to the expiry of the 7 clear days, the landlord/agent may apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) to terminate the tenancy and possession of the premises.

Be advised that if a tenant appears before the NTCAT and the Delegate finds in favour of the landlord, it is possible that the agent may place the tenant on a national default database.

What is strata management?


Strata titled properties often have land and buildings outside the boundaries of the strata lot but contained within the external boundaries of the original parcel of land as depicted on the strata plan. This land is called common property and is owned by all lot owners in the strata development e. g. driveways and gardens.

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