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October 2012

What You Need to Do to Stay Safe... here and there too! Included at the end of the rear calendar are your property managers' dates.

We hope you've managed to enjoy some time out during these school holidays, especially for those of you with kids. As usual, its been busy for us, including a week away with the boys at Hervey bay and Fraser Island. Water and swimming of any sort is a hit with our kids but the absolute highlight would have to have been whale watching - so aweinspiring to see such huge creatures moving with such grace and playfulness. One of the many wonderful things about belonging to such a great team is that we all work together to ensure that everyone gets to benefit, which means that Nikki, Chelsea and Helen are all taking turns to take a few days

As we already begin to the countdown to Christmas, the rental market has inevitably slowed down. Owners will need to seriously consider reducing the rent to get a tenant more quickly or wait it out and, in some cases, have an empty property for weeks. A recent case of a fire at a rental property (not one of ours and fortunately no-one hurt!) has once again highlighted the importance of minimising the risks for our landlords. We are recommending (following the court decision and discussions) that you have your safety switches checked regularly in addition to the smoke alarms. Smoke Alarm Solutions are able to do both for you for a small additional fee. Please talk to your property manager if you would like to arrange this.

deck highlights the critical nature of maintaining our properties well. We are religious in our routine inspections and they are conducted every 17 weeks. I would encourage you to read them carefully and where possible visit your property annually. We recommend that building and pest inspections be done annually too. Obviously none of us want anyone to come to harm or contend with the possible legal claim if they do. Please also check your insurances are all up to date including your public liability and landlord protection insurance. Please forward us copies if you have not already done so. Wishing you wealth, health and prosperity Christina

Also the recent tragic death of an infant due to the collapse of a

In this edition:

The Path to the Heart of Your Home…

How long will it take for your property to rent?

11 Top Tips for DIY Electrical and Plumbing Safety!

Switched On to Safety... Like to Claim $4,852 in Less than a Month of Ownership? Keeping it Cool – Reminder about QLD Pool Safety Laws… Pipped at the Post… RTA Services No Longer Available through Australia Post Look Before You Build…

Finally You Need Never Worry About Leaving the Oven / Iron / Gas / Lights On… 10 Things You MUST Know Before Refinancing… A Selection of Properties Leased This Month Quote


How long will it take for your property to rent? That of course depends on the time of the year so here are the latest statistics for September. For RE/MAX Profile, our average days on the market were 23.3. BRISBANE STATISTICS The Market Brisbane, QLD

September 2012

Annual Change

Median Weekly Rent - House

$390

1.3%

Median Weekly Rent - Unit/ Apartment

$370

2.8%

Days on Market (Avg)

24.5

1.0

Days Vacant (Avg)

14.1

2.1

Source: rentfind.com.au

the possibility of extending the obligations to include not only the power circuit but also the lighting circuit. More information will be provided to our clients once it comes to hand.

Switched On to Safety... Since March 1st 2008 there has been a requirement in Queensland legislation for all rental properties to have a safety switch installed to the power circuit. The Queensland Government has been reviewing laws with

Section 185 of theResidential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2009 (Qld) requires lessor’s to ensure that the rental property is safe and fit to live in. This provision is broadly interpreted to include the provision of safety switches being checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are in sound working order.

mends that our lessors have their safety switches checked at least once a year to ensure that they’re in sound working order. We recommend that the safety switch in your investment property is checked at least twice a year to ensure that they are in sound working order and effective. If you’d like our agency to or-

Our agency strongly recom-

www.propertyrentalsbrisbane.com FREE Information Guide For Landlords & Tenants


ganise an electrical safety check on your investment property, please provide written instructions to our agency. Only an electrician can verify that a safety switch is installed and in sound working order. Source: September 2012 www.realestateexcellence.com.au

Like to Claim $4,852 in Less than a Month of Ownership? Boost Cash Flow Immediately Upon Purchase Even if a property is purchased towards the end of a financial year, a tax depreciation specialist can provide valuable deductions in this short time. To maximise the depreciation benefit of a newly purchased investment property, owners should obtain a property depreciation report leading up to settlement. If a property has been owned and rented for only a short period, investors often postpone obtaining a depreciation schedule until the next year. However, there are ways in

which partial year deductions can be maximised, resulting in extra cash for the owner! Usually, the total depreciation available in the first financial year is adjusted according to the portion of the year the property is owned. For example, if a property is owned for six months, then 50% of the depreciation could become available. However, specialist quantity surveyors can use legislative tools to make partial year claims beneficial to property owners, regardless of the time a property is owned and rented. Immediate write-off is one tool used. Any item added to a property, costing less than $300, can be immediately written off within the first year. This is regardless of how many days the property is owned in that year. Low-value pooling can also be used to maximise claims over a short period of time. Lowvalue pooling applies to items in an investment property that are worth less than $1,000. Placing items in a low-value pool allows the owner to accelerate the rate of depreciation, increasing deductions earlier. A high quality depreciation report should include a partial year claim based on the time

the property is rented. Example The following example shows how the partial year portion of a BMT Tax Depreciation report can maximise a property owner’s deductions. A house purchased for $550,000 is rented starting from June 2nd. The table below shows a summary of the deductions available to the owners after renting the property for only twenty-nine days of the financial year. Depreciation Claimed in 1st 29 Days Plant & equipment

$4,082

Capital works allowance $770 Total claim in 29 days

$4,852

Including the capital works allowance and all plant and equipment deductions, the owner claimed back $4,852 for the first financial year. Even though the property was only owned and rented for twentynine days, substantial deductions were found. In a BMT report, the partial year claim is listed in a separate column, making the process simple for accountants. Immediate Write-off Items (Cost less than $300) Garbage bins Garage door controls

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Bathroom accessories Heat light & exhaust unit Door closers Smoke alarms Low-Value Pooled Items (Cost less than $1,000) Rangehoods Blinds Cook tops Dishwashers

The plant and equipment deductions for the first twentynine days totalled $4,082. By using the immediate write-off allowance for items costing less than $300, BMT was able to find $1,288 for this property owner. From low-value pooled items, the owner was able to claim back $2,274. The remaining items were depreciated using their effective lives and scaled down based upon the small portion of the first financial year. They account for the remaining $520 in deductions. This example shows that even when owning and renting a property for a few weeks of the financial year, claiming depreciation makes a significant difference to the owner’s tax deductions. By utilising the legislation available through the Australian Taxation Office, depreciation claims can be truly maximised for the first partial year. Even if a property is pur-

chased just before the end of the financial year, owners should seek the services of a specialist quantity surveyor to accelerate the depreciation benefits. Article Provided by BMT Tax Depreciation. Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS) is the Managing Director of BMT Tax Depreciation. Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia wide service.

Keeping it Cool – Reminder about QLD Pool Safety Laws…

a copy of a Pool Safety Certificate if one is in effect. If there is no Certificate in effect, the owner must give the Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate—Form 36 to the person who will be the Tenant, to the body corporate and to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning before entering into the lease. A Form 36 advises that the pool may not comply and the steps that must be taken to comply. The Body Corporate has 90 days to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate for the pool. However, for leases entered into on or before 1 September 2012, a phase in period applies—the body corporate has until 30 November 2012 to obtain a pool safety certificate for the pool. Source: Property News—October 2012 Real Estate Dynamics

RENTAL PROPERTIES WITH A POOL Non-shared pools If a pool is only accessible to residents of one dwelling such as a private house or private spa on a unit balcony, it is a non-shared pool. Before entering into a new or renewed lease for a property with a non -shared pool, the owner must ensure a Pool Safety Certificate is in effect for the pool. Shared pools If residents of two or more dwellings can use a pool, such as a body corporate pool, it is a shared pool. For shared pools, the owner must give the person who will be the Tenant

Pipped at the Post… RTA Services No Longer Available through Australia Post As the RTA moves towards an online future, Australia Post outlets will no longer provide services on behalf of the RTA. From 1 November, all residen-

www.propertyrentalsbrisbane.com FREE Information Guide For Landlords & Tenants


agers to communicate these changes to their tenants by either forwarding the email message or asking tenants to visit our website.”

post the form: RTA, GPO Box 390, Brisbane, Qld 4001

Source : RTA Newsletter (6 September 2012)

What can you do now:

tial tenancy bonds will be lodged and refunded directly through the RTA. Cash bond lodgements and refunds will no longer be available at Australia Post outlets. The RTA will also no longer accept cash bond lodgements at the RTA office in Brisbane. “Our research has shown that our clients want to do more business with us online, and we are working on ways to improve the services we provide,” CEO Fergus Smith said. Clients will soon be able to lodge agreed bond refund forms online via the RTA website. These agreed bond requests will be paid by direct deposit to clients’ bank accounts. Direct deposit remains the quickest, safest and easiest method to receive a bond refund. Mr Smith said the RTA will be communicating these changes to the sector through a variety of channels. “Property managers will receive an email explaining the changes,” he said. “We are urging property man-

Rental Bond Lodgements  Lodge all rental bonds directly with the RTA (via cheque or money order) Rental Bond Refunds  At the end of a tenancy, the RTA will direct deposit agreed bond refunds into clients’ bank accounts  Clients need to provide their bank account details to the RTA on the Refund of rental bond (Form 4 or Form R4 for rooming accommodation) to get a quick bond refund How to Lodge a Completed Refund of Rental Bond (Form 4) with the RTA  coming soon – upload agreed bond refund forms via the RTA website  agents and property managers can continue to release the entire bond to tenants using eServices online bond management system

Look Before You Build… Choosing the right person to renovate or build your home is essential, so before you make a final decision, inspect the builder's past projects (old and new) to see how they look today. Are they improving with age or do they need major repairs? Ask the builder to supply references - the names and numbers of people who've used t h em bef o re and ca ll them. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions - how responsible is the builder, did they finish the job on time, how quickly did they repair any defects, did they clean up at the end of the project? You should also obtain a copy of the builder's licence to ensure it is valid, current and suitable for the work required. Source : Quartile Property Network (12 July 2012)

www.propertyrentalsbrisbane.com FREE Information Guide For Landlords & Tenants


The Path to the Heart of Your Home… Short, straight, long or winding, the path leading to your front door has an impact on both the way your house looks and how you feel about it. Next time you go for a walk around your neighbourhood, take a look at the different front paths and see how they affect you. Although it is often considered purely functional, the pathway is an important part of front yard landscaping. It is the entrance to your home, so you will probably want it to look inviting and feel good to walk on. A clean, attractive path will also enhance your home's street appeal. Whether you are designing a new path altogether, or wanting to change the existing one, the first aspect to consider will be its shape. In Feng Shui, energy enters through your front door. It can do this either as a torrent or a stream, depending on the shape of the path leading up to it. A winding path is best, as it slows the energy down and allows it to flow more gently.

If your front path is straight and can't be changed easily, add objects that slow the energy down into focal points by using round plant pots, wind chimes, benches or water features. Try planting bushes or flowers alongside and extend their borders onto the path so that they just soften the edges a little. A meandering path allows a greater opportunity to showcase your garden, however, be careful not to overdo the curves because then people will take shortcuts across the lawn. Other important aspects to consider when designing a front pathway are width and paving materials. Ideally, the path that your guests will use to reach your house should be wide enough for two people to comfortably walk side-by-side. The minimum width would be 1.2 metres; 1.5 metres is preferable. Again, this will depend on your landscape, but the wider it is the less likely you are to brush against wet branches on a rainy night! Since the front walkway is a big part of your home's street

appeal, you should select materials that complement the exterior of your home. Keep in mind that solid paving, such as concrete, stone or pavers, is easier and safer to walk on than stepping-stones or gravel. Gardeners with wheelbarrows, women in high heels or visitors dragging a suitcase will likewise appreciate a hardpacked surface. Whatever your path looks like by day, a few well-placed solar lights will always make it a delight to come home to in the dark. Source : Quartile Property Network (22 June 2012)

11 Top Tips for DIY Electrical and Plumbing Safety! 

Just because you can buy electrical and plumbing supplies does not mean you can legally use them. Plumbing and electrical work is dangerous and illegal for the home DIYer. Always use a licensed tradie. Call the “Dial before you dig” number 1100 for any work underground like digging for fence posts. Look up when carrying

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 

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ladders or other long items – power cables outside and light fittings inside are serious electrocution hazards. Never use power tools with damaged cords. Keep cords clear of where you are cutting, drilling and so on. Check for electrical wires and water pipes behind walls and so on. Electricity and water are a deadly combination. Make sure the fuses in your fuse box have not been tampered with and will cut power in the event of an accident. Make sure you have a safety switch to minimise the dangers of electrical accidents. Disconnect power and/or water if working near those services.

Red Dot Design awards could put an end to the anxiety. The Off Door Handle, created by designers Eun Ah Kim, Jinhyuk Rho, and Maria Rho, can be connected to your home's main power and gas supplies, allowing you to turn them off as you go out the front door. Using a dial on the door handle, you can choose to turn off the lights, the gas or both as you leave. Source : Quartile Property Network

10 Things You MUST Know Before Refinancing…

Source: Property News—October 2012 Real Estate Dynamics

The top 10 mistakes refinancers make: 1. 2.

Finally You Need Never Worry About Leaving the Oven / Iron / Gas / Lights On… Have you ever left home for a holiday and had someone ask (too late) if anyone turned off the iron/stove/television? A winning entry in last year's

3.

4. 5.

Automatically refinancing with your current lender without shopping around Assuming lower rates will automatically save you money without considering overall cost versus savings Procrastinating over applying for a home loan while waiting for interest rates to drop. Don't gamble on better future rates Failing to get your new rate locked in writing Not doing your sums. Decreasing your interest

rate by at least 0.75% to 1% will save you about $100 a month on a $150,000 mortgage. 6. Switching loans or lenders without clarifying whether the total costs (including establishment fees, legal fees, stamp duty fees, ongoing fees) are outweighed by the savings in interest 7. Not having a lender or broker evaluate your credit rating and regularly revise your financial position 8. Not knowing the true cost of refinancing. Make sure your lender provides you with written statements on application fees, deferred establishment fees, or break costs on fixed loans. 9. Falling prey to the lure of honeymoon rates, which ultimately revert back to their original or higher rates at the end of the introductory period 10. Taking out money to pay off credit cards with no intention of changing spending behavior, racking up further debts while drawing out more home equity. Don't turn what could be a short-term debt into a long-term debt. Source : Your Investment Property Editor (17 April 2012)

www.propertyrentalsbrisbane.com FREE Information Guide For Landlords & Tenants


A Selection of Properties Leased This Month

Quote “Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.� Kangaroo Point Apartment $400p.w.

- - Keri Russell

1 bed, 1 bath, 1 car accommodation

Calendar of Events

Salisbury House $380 p.w. 2 bed, 1 bath, 1 car accommodation

01 October Nikki on Holidays returning Monday 6th October 08 October Helen on Holiday 15 October Mid Month Accounting

West End Unit $420 p.w. 2 bed, 1 bath, 0 car accommodation

RE/MAX Profile Real Estate www.profilerealestate.com.au www.propertyrentalsbrisbane.com

141 Boundary Road Bardon QLD 4065 PO Box 388, Paddington, 4064

01 November End of Month Accounting TEL 07 3510 5221 TEL 07 3510 5227

FAX 07 3876 5544 Nikki profilerentals@remax.com.au Helen helenbryan@remax.com.au Marcia profilerentals2@remax.com.au

Errors & Omissions: These details have been prepared by us on information we have obtained and while we trust it to be correct, is not guaranteed by us and you should rely on your own enquiries.


Landlords' Newsletter October 2012