Property Management: 7 Steps to Achieving Peace of Mind
Step 1: Tenant Vetting
Evictions in South Africa can be time-consuming, difficult and expensive, so great care should be given to the selection and placement of tenants. Vetting is not a simple process of collecting a payslip and running a basic credit check, especially in today’s world where the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being acutely felt.
Just Property’s tenant vetting process is comprehensive and strict. If tenants don’t meet these requirements, they will advise against placing them. This is why Just Property’s tenant default ratios consistently beat other brands.
Step 2: Comprehensive Contracts
South African law gives important rights and protections to tenants living in rented accommodation. Questions that your contracts should address include ‘what are the obligations of landlords and tenants?’ and ‘are there any rights or obligations that a lease cannot take away from tenants?’.
Just Property’s contracts comply with relevant legislation, including the Rental Housing Act, the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act. The agents at Just Property have direct access to the attorneys who wrote the contracts for real-time advice and troubleshooting.
Step 3: Rent Collection
Rent collection from defaulting tenants is a particular pain point for landlords. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help get your tenants to pay their rent on time. These include having open lines of communication and offering incentives for prompt payment. When tougher measures are required you may need a professional to handle them for you, for example charging a late payment fee or reporting the status of rent payments to a credit check bureau.
RENTSECURE is an insurance product for landlords designed to cover your rental income if your tenants are unable to pay their rent. Available exclusively to Just Property clients.
Step 4: Dealing with Delinquency Promptly
Landlords sometimes resort to evicting undesirable tenants themselves just to find themselves in a far worse predicament than before. Lock-outs, power-cuts and other such tactics are unlawful. The longer a tenant is in arrears, the lower the chance of recovery is.
With legal advice on hand, extensive experience in the market, and tried-and-tested systems and documentation, Just Property agents are well-positioned to help you manage the risk of tenant delinquency.
Step 5: Effective Maintenance & Management
Managing a rental property involves a shortlist of responsibilities that can take up much more of your time than you may anticipate:
incoming, interim and outgoing inspections, explanation of House Rules, deposit collection
payment and reconciliation of accounts on a monthly basis, management of deposits (and interest earned in accordance with industry regulations) and monthly rental payments
property faults, insurance claims and complaints
Professional property managers have systems and resources in place to manage these effectively.
Step 6: Quality Assurance
Clear processes, established routines, standardised documentation and regularly soliciting feedback all help to provide quality assurance.
The rental industry is supported by the Rental Housing Tribunal, which moderates tenant and landlord disputes that cannot be resolved internally.
But navigating the Tribunal can be tricky. Just Property’s portfolio managers have the experience that allows them to prepare for hearings and anticipate outcomes.
Step 7: Outsourcing to Experts
There is a lot more to managing rental property than what meets the eye. The download below outlines what Just Property offers for both Procurement Leases (where a tenant is sourced and you do the rest) and Management Leases (where everything is handled by your agent).