Financial arrangements

Q: What will I pay to SSI as commission for managing my rental property?

A: SSI will charge a flat management fee that is capped and will include no hidden costs. There are no extra charges related to the recruitment of new tenants, administration of leases, handling disputes or even Tribunal attendance.

Q: How often will SSI pass on rental income and rent statements?

A: We will transfer the rent to your account monthly and will send statements to you at the same time.

Q: What system will SSI use to charge me for maintenance and other costs?

A: Because of our flat fee there are usually no costs except maintenance and we will take these expenses from the monthly rent payment. These costs will be detailed on rent statements.

Regulations

Q: What sort of responsibilities do I have as a landlord?

A: Your basic responsibility as landlord is to ensure that  your property is safe and is fit for human habitation. SSI staff are familiar with the Residential Tenancy Act 2010 and will answer any questions and point out relevant clauses in the act as situations arise.

Q: How often should the landlord or agent check that the property is being looked after and what is the procedure for doing this?

A: An SSI housing officer will inspect the property every six months and check off every detail that was entered on the initial Condition Report. If there have been maintenance issues or there are concerns over a tenant’s ability to properly care for the property, inspections will be done every three months as part of our strategy to rectify the problem.

Here is a link to a tenant’s factsheet, “Access to a property” that details the reasons, timeframes and notice periods for a range of circumstances where access is required. This information is obtained from the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

Access to a Property Factsheet

Repairs and maintenance

Q: What types of repairs are my responsibility as landlord?

A: Maintenance as a result of wear and tear on the property; any damage to the building which is not the direct fault of the tenant, other inhabitants of the premises or guests; breakdown of essential services; breakdown of systems for hot water delivery, cooking, heating, cooling or laundering; fire, storm, flood or other natural disaster.

Q: What is the procedure for approval of repairs?

A: We will work this out with you when we sign the management agreement. With repairs that fit into the categories above as being your responsibility we can send them all to you for approval or you can authorise us to approve repairs on your behalf up to $500.

Some emergency repairs might have to be approved by us if we can’t get through to you. The Act allows tenants to organise repairs in a genuine emergency although we request them to contact us first, including after-hours.

Q: How is a decision made on which repairer to use?

A: SSI has arrangements with appropriately certified tradespeople in most areas of Western and South-Western Sydney. If you have a preferred plumber or electrician we will use them and will make sure the tenant knows to use them in the unlikely event of an emergency.

This tenant factsheet outlines the regulations and processes around degrees of damage and assigned responsibility.

Repairs and Maintenance Factsheet

Alterations to a Property

Q: What happens if the tenant wants to make alterations, such as removing curtains, putting up picture hooks or attaching things to the walls?

A: We advise tenants to use removable adhesive hooks. Other small alterations, like the examples above, have to be approved by the landlord as outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. Included in the request must be an indication of how any alterations will be reversed at the end of the tenancy. If small alterations are not approved, the tenant can take the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 

Q: Can the tenant go to the Tribunal if they want to make major changes?

A: No they can’t. Major changes are not so easily reversed and place you at unfair financial risk.

Some major alterations such as landscaping, painting or installing cupboards can improve the property so we would discuss with you any requests from tenants that had potential merit.