Friday, February 19, 2010

Q and A: My real estate agent is trying to increase the rent. Can they do this?

This all depends on your agreement (aka. your lease). If you have a fixed term agreement (current lease) the rent cannot be increased unless a 'special term' in your agreement states. This special term will include the amount of the increase or how the increase is to be worked out. In this case your lessor/agent/owner must give you notice in writing before increasing the rent. Usually around one month - depending on the laws in your state.

Although, if you do not have a current lease you will most likely be on a periodic agreement. In this situation the rent can be increased at anytime. The lessor/agent/owner must give notice in writing before increasing the rent. Usually around 2 months - depending on the laws in your state.

If your lease expires and is not renewed your rent can be increased at anytime. Moral of the story - make sure your lease is current!

If you think your rent increase is excessive you should contact your State Authority for advice.

Image Credit: Veender

Monday, February 15, 2010

Q and A: The real estate agent has advised me that I am not obiding by the body corporate by-laws. What are by-laws?

Body Corporate By-laws are rules in relation to the presentation of the property, noise, parking, visitors, keeping pets etc. The by-laws form apart of your Tenancy Agreement.

The owner/lessor/real estate agent must provide you with a copy of the by-laws when you sign the Tenancy Agreement at the beginning of the tenancy.

If you moved into an existing share house and where not living at the property at the beginning of the current lease talk to your housemate or contact your real estate agent to get a copy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

RP Data Gives Thumbs up to Investing in Student Accommodation near Universities

Posted in late November 2009, RP Data released an interesting article outlining the pros and cons of investing in student housing. Some of the important points covered include:

  • Investors can benefit from good yields and steady demand.
  • Unemployment rises in tough economic times. Student housing is a rental sector where it is impossible for the tenant to loose their job and demand usually remains steady.
  • International students enrollments increased an average of 20.7% from last year. Some universities are reporting an increase of undergraduate acceptances by 13% this year. International education is Australia's third largest export.
  • Statistics from Brisbane alone show student accommodation consists of: 47% share accommodation, 18% living at home, 15% living on campus, 13% living with friends and relatives and 7% purchasing their own property.
  • Share accommodation provides a great alternative at a more affordable price range - this is reflected in the market share.
  • No matter the location, yields for student accommodation are almost always higher to renting to non-students.
  • Conflicts can arise having several people living under the one roof. Many of these hassles can be solved by hiring a good property manager.
  • Location is the key to student housing. It is vital for the property to be close to the university or near public transport. As 10% of the market own cars.
  • Marketing costs are higher compared to normal single residence accommodations.
At only $45, Ziggie offers an affordable advertising medium for marketing student and share accommodation.

Read article in full click here: Getting a Top Mark - investing Near Universities
Source: RPData

Image Credit: Jeff Werner

Friday, January 1, 2010

Considering Renting Your Investment Property Out By the Room?

This article by Chris Rolls from Rental Express provides great advice for renting your investment property out by the room.

Important factors to consider include:
  • Security modifications
  • furnishings
  • electricity and water
  • cleaning and maintenance
  • wear and tear
  • vacancy
  • associated costs
Recommendations to make your investment work:
  • proximity to public transport, CBD and university
  • multiple living areas in relation to number of bedrooms
  • installing hard wearing fixtures and fittings to reduce maintenance costs
  • keep the end in mind.
Read article in full click here: Renting By the Room
Source: Your Investment Property

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Need Help to Find a Flatmate?

Need help to find a flatmate? At Ziggie we have designed a system that is not only affordable but is also a dedicated site to connect people from all over Australia who are seeking a flatmate or a room to rent. So how can we help you? Read on to find out what makes us different.

One off fee:
I'm not sure about you, but when I pay for something I generally like to get what I paid for. We believe it should be no different when it comes to advertising. This is why at ziggie you only pay one fee to place your ad. Your ad runs until you find a flatmate. There are no limited terms, ongoing subscription fees and no hidden costs.

Searching: We have designed the site so listings are only one click away. All major Australian cities are listed in the Quick Links box. Trying to find a flatmate that is a non-smoker, between 25-30, with no pets? Use the advanced search filter. Want to view listings posted today? Use the sort filter at the top of the search listings page to organise the listings.

Email Alerts: Don't have time to keep logging in to find a flatmate? Simple, create an account (register here) and then create an email alert. Add your criteria and your done. You will be emailed new listings matching your criteria and only your criteria. You can be guaranteed that you will not receive listings for Wagga Wagga if you are seeking a room in Sydney.

Advertising: Abbreviations begone! If you have ever tried to decipher: f/f hse, a/c lrg b/rm d/w s/srns, b/ins, emp prof fem, n/s, dlug, cls t'port - you will know what I am talking about. With a 2,500 word limit you can be as descriptive as you like.

With Ziggie you have the added ability of uploading photos and a video to your Ad. The location of your property will also be displayed using Google Maps. This provides the viewer with more information about the property and what amenities are in the area.

If you are concerned about your privacy we recommend that you omit the street number and just put in the street name. Also be selective over the types of photos you upload to our site. It is best to leave out the photos displaying the front of the property and the gigantic plasma tele. If you do not want strangers getting a hold of your email address and phone number, just check the "Prefer email only" box when placing an ad. All applications will be emailed via our site to your inbox, without having to display your email address.

As it is our business to help you find a flatmate we do not believe in hiding your Ad away to be viewed by "Subscribers Only." Anybody can view your Ad, not just the people that register with our site.

Premium Listings: need to find a flatmate or rent out a room urgently? No worries simply choose our Premium Listings option and your Ad will be highlighted and featured first above the standard listings.

Advice and Information: Need advice about how to find a flatmate? Go to our Help Centre page and our Blog. We are constantly updating it with checklists, news, advice and links.

Social Media: Keep up to date with all new listings, news and competitions by following us on twitter or becoming a fan on facebook. To make it easier for you to find a flatmate we have also have dedicated Twitter City Channels for the major cities within Australia (this fantastic idea comes from the lovely Zoe Freeman at zfweb). Trying to find a flatmate in Brisbane? Simply sign up to our Twitter Brisbane channel - @ZiggieBrisVegas and you will receive new listings for Brisbane only.

We are always interested in improving our service, so if you have any suggestions go to our feedback page, we would love to hear from you!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Interview with Nett Mag!

Here is the interview for the article about Ziggie in Nett magazine. I thought, maybe your interested in it. Have a fantastic weekend. See you!

Mackay-based Clare McFadyen wanted a website that listed shared accommodation for regional centres and couldn't find one - so she built her own. Our panel gives her some ideas to build up buzz and momentum.

Up for a challenge? Try finding shared accommodation for a 20-something in a regional centre or country town. Clare McFadyen got tired of the struggle, so she decided to launch, a shared accommodation directory that covers the whole of Australia, not just Sydney and Melbourne.

"I usually advertise through the local newspaper, but it's quite expensive and there's no guarantee you'll get a response," she says.

"I found that the major websites really didn't have any ads for regional centres like Mackay in Queensland, where I live. So I wanted to start a website that I wished existed."

After three years of research, preparation and building the site, Clare is ready to launch. "It took me a long time because I was working full-time and just doing it on the weekends," she says.

Clare needs to get a critical mass of people visiting and advertising on the site so all her hard work and research can start paying off. She needs a hook to get people in - and our expert panel has just the thing....

Read the rest here.