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Investment properties

Two houses in the country, rural NSW. Same tenants for over a year and left in the hands of a property manager. One apartment in Sydney, where the people who lease the apartment lived with us for 18 months, no property manager because we knew them already.

You may remember around New Years we were told about a leak, in April/May additional works were completed to try and fix the leak. In July it reappeared even though we were told everything was repaired, re-sealed or replaced. There was a huge ordeal with that plumber as the plumber and the invoice said two completely different things and then the business owner said a third. We asked for clarification of what work was actually completed – what the plumber said or what the invoice said and the story kept changing. It appears as though the invoice was incorrect and the works listed were not actually carried out as the leak in July is associated to something we were told was fixed in April.

Anywho, the tenant in the master bedroom broke up with her boyfriend and she moved out. He stayed for a few weeks while saving a bond to move out but he has also moved out. During July and August while away from home and with a broken laptop (that didn’t turn on at all) I arranged investigations of the leak with the building manager, new tenants, a plumber to attend to all of the works the original plumber invoiced us for but didn’t actually complete, further testing and leak investigations and for my dad to check over things. We are now at the end stage and hopefully the leak has been identified properly. I am talking leak from upstairs through the ceiling below, not a dripping tap.

We only had one potential new tenant view the room, it was about 3 weeks in advance of their required move in date. They have moved in, love the apartment and seem really nice so you can’t ask for more. One of our original flat mates remains, we hope she will remain for a long time and I think she would also like to stay for a decent amount longer. It is a nice apartment, good spot, and we have it set up like a home so everything is comfortable because it is a home and it was our home. We aren’t dodgy slumlord types. We are people and our tenants are people so a little kindness and appreciation goes a long way.

There is potential that one of the bathrooms needs the tiles torn up if the waterproof membrane is no longer waterproof. That is worst case and it shouldn’t be too much longer before we find out. What we can do about it with a fully rented apartment, well, that remains to be established but we will see how it all plays out.

I am also glad for it to be mostly sorted so I don’t need to spend out next holiday trying to get things organised. It is kind of exhausting. Should we switch to a property manager for Sydney? Well, they kind of remove the human element.

Our original tenant would have had to move out, while she was visiting family in Mexico, when the other tenant moved out, if we had a property manager. Things aren’t so black and white, especially when you have a good tenant but something happens beyond their control. I would have been really upset if we got an update from a property manager that they evicted everyone in the unit because one person left.

As an owner, it could have been dealt with months before we found out, depending on the agent. We are at no financial loss and everyone ended up with a solution that worked for them. Except, maybe, for the girl who left but she also has a broken heart and we are still in contact to make sure she is safe. Her new home isn’t great but there are so many slumlords in Sydney it is hard to find something comparable to our apartment.

(Yes, that is a photo of one of our houses. Yes, the windows are boarded up. No, it isn’t in a great area and no, the windows weren’t broken. The measures were in place because they could have been though. It is that kind of area.)

This entry was posted in: Investing

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MT is an avid traveller, travel agent and lover of (almost) all food. TW is a reluctant traveller, digital marketing guy and fussy eater.

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