Tempted to ‘Do It Yourself’?

Here are 10 useful tips we have put together for DIY landlords.

This list has been compiled from pitfalls some of our clients have encountered when managing their property privately.


  1. Don’t do it yourself, if the reason is to ‘save money’. In our experience it could end up costing you significantly more than what you might potentially save.

Real estate agents have access to a wide range of resources when it comes to conducting proper tenancy screenings. Screening out the bad tenants could save you a lot more money than a management fee if something was to go wrong. If you are looking to manage it yourself perhaps consider a ‘leasing only’ agreement to ensure an excellent tenant is selected, to help with a stress free management.

  1. Value your time that is, set an hourly rate for the time you will need to dedicate to the management of your property. Sometimes your hourly rate will exceed the cost of the weekly management fee.

Most management fees can be as low as approx. $3.00 a day, that’s less than a cup of coffee. If you are managing your property yourself ensure it is worth your time.

  1. Complete the Lease, Condition Report & photography accurately. This will protect you in a worst case scenario.

Remembering to complete a detailed ingoing report is important. This report is used when your tenant vacates and it begins the standard of how it should be returned (fair wear and tear considered) good photography during this time is also a high recommendation to prove what you are writing on your report is accurate. Knowing your rights is also very important, we recommend reading a lease and familiarising yourself with its clauses.

  1. Issue receipts for tenants rent & give the tenant a copy. Maintain a tenant ledger to avoid any possible dispute with the tenant.

This is very important. Keeping accurate records of all rent monies is a must. Putting it into some form of spread sheet may assist you in keeping records.

  1. Keep up to date with any changes to legislation. Eg Water efficiency, smoke alarms, material facts, blind cords etc

Over the years regulations change. Keeping up to date with these is important for all owners and agents alike.

  1. Don’t forget to do regular inspections. Tenants don’t always report maintenance. Make sure your maintenance is kept up to date.

Keeping on top of your maintenance is very important. Sometimes tenants won’t report certain items until it’s at a disrepair state, this could cost you more that it would have if it was repaired earlier. It’s also good to inspect the property to ensure your tenants are keeping it clean in tidy, remembering to give the required notice for access.

  1. Make sure you have Landlord protection Insurance which includes insuring yourself if you are doing your own maintenance.

Landlord insurance is highly recommended. This can also help you for loss of rent & property damage caused by tenants, if required.

  1. Don’t forget to regularly review the rent even if the tenant is good. Your outgoings will increase every year.

Reviewing the rent annually is a good idea. This isn’t to say the rent should be increased every year, but knowing your current market is beneficial to you.

  1. Build up a ‘sinking funds’ to cover unforeseen expenses such as stoves & HWS failure

We recommend you set aside funds for those unforeseen issues so you are not out of pocket, as most trades will request payment within 7 days from an owner as they will not have a 30 day account like most agencies.

  1. Don’t forget to collect your water usage

If your property is separately metered don’t forget you can claim the water usage component. Remembering to keep up to date with the current rate to charge per KL.


We wish you all the best with your investment, should you need assistance in lease only or property management in Newcastle don’t hesitate to contact our office.