Frequently Asked Questions?

We are thinking of putting our property on the market. Is it really necessary to have a signboard erected out the front?
The buyers who are most likely to pay the highest price will specifically want your location.
No sign can mean no sale.
There could be people in your area that had admired your home for years that aren't actively looking to buy in the current market place.
Many people tell family and friends 'if that place ever came up for sale, I would buy that'!
Yes buyers can come from sources of marketing but the perfect buyer that would have paid the most could be driving through your area, on the way to a friends for a BBQ, or walking past... not even knowing it was for sale because of no sign.
So, having a sign on the property is having all forms of marketing activated and it could very well achieve you the highest price available.

We have been thinking of selling our property ourselves so we don't have to pay commission. We thought we might try this for the first month then employ an agent after if we don't sell.
Absolutely you can sell privately. At the end of the day it is your property and you can do whatever you feel is appropriate or within the best interest of yourself. My personal opinion is that its definitely possible but not always recommended. Don't get me wrong - some people are comfortable in negotiation and have done their homework when it comes to selling. However, the vast amount don't... and it usually comes down to not having the time! This is where you engage an agent. An agent that can do things that you are unable to do.
Also, be mindful that most buyers normally like a 3rd party (agent)... Some buyers don't like dealing with an owner directly in a 1 on 1 transaction.
It's important that you get full exposure in the market place and not have circumstances like this work against you.

Where can I search for a property to buy?
You can register your details for our Priority Buyer Alerts on our website under the 'buy' tab. You can then enter as many specifics you wish (for example: price range, how many bedrooms you require) and you will be notified of new listings that match your criteria.
You will also find that the main websites for finding a property to purchase are www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au

What are the costs in buying a property?
Purchasing a property can be one of the largest purchases you will make in your life and its important to factor in all the costs involved. These costs include the deposit (usually 5-20% of the purchase price), stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance if you are borrowing more than 80% of the purchase price, building insurance, legal fees, inspections such as a building and pest inspection, strata report, rates and removalist costs.

How much is stamp duty if I purchase a property in NSW?
You can find a stamp duty calculator on our website under the ‘buy’ tab. This section of our website also provides other useful calculators such as, borrowing capacity calculator, repayment calculator, rental yield calculator, how many boxes do I need calculator and a budget planner.

I'm a landlord and quiet frustrated at how unavailable my current property manager is. If i choose you how do I get in contact with my property manager who will manage my property?
At Peter Fitzgerald Real Estate you have ONE allocated property manager who handles everything to do with your property from start to finish.
Our landlords have our property managers direct mobile numbers who are available 24/7 to assist you with any of your needs. We know how hard it is to try and fit things in your daily 9-5 schedules which is why we are available when you are, even weekends.

I'm thinking of renting my property out. When is the best time of the year to rent my property out?
This depends on the property. Generally the warmer months usually see more quality tenants around looking for rental properties.
If your property is in the Wollongong inner city areas then January is the best time to lease it out. We usually experience a high volume of people relocating to the area and the demand is high.
However, our team are always able to lease properties throughout the year, even throughout the Christmas period.

Tenant Applications - How can I be sure that prospective tenants are screened correctly by your agency?
Screening your tenants correctly at the start is one of the most important steps in leasing your property out. If we do the correct checks now, there is far less problems later. If any...
All tenants that are applying for a property through Peter Fitzgerald Real Estate must provide the following information:
- 3 Forms of personal Identification
- Employment payslips
- Employment references
- Current and previous rental references
- Lease documents and rental ledgers
- Bank statements and Centrelink statements
- Personal references
Once this information is received and checked by our property management team, the tenant is then screened through the following two Australia wide tenancy databases.
National Tenancy Database
This residential tenancy check screens the following information:
- Identity Verification: Checks details against government data sources to verify your applicants identity to help protect against identity fraud
- Individual Public Record Search: This reviews details of any bankruptcies, court writs or court judgements your applicant may have
- Tenancy Blacklist Check: Details of blacklisted tenants and tenancy history held on National Tenancy Database
- VISA Verification: Verifies the prospective tenants eligibility to work and live in Australia by validating the authenticity and duration of their VISA
TICA
- TICA provides the tenancy history checks when tenants apply for rental properties
- TICA has an Australia wide database that defaulting tenants are listed on, we then have the ability to contact the real estate involved and seek further information if a tenant is found to be listed

How often can I increase my tenants rent?
If your tenant is inside a lease or on a fixed term agreement then it can only be increased once that expires.
You need to give your tenant 60 days notice to do this. However, you can start this notice period prior to the lease expiring, so it becomes immediately effective on the lease expiry.
If your tenant is not on a lease then you are able to increase it at any time. Providing you give the correct 60 days notice.
Your rent increase only has to be related to the current market. Depending on the property our most common recommendation is that you look at a $10-20 increase each time to ensure a smooth tenancy process.

How many routine inspections can I do? How many do you do? and can i come?
Legally, you are able to do 4 inspections in 12 months.
At Peter Fitzgerald Real Estate we carry out the first routine inspection after 8 weeks and then every 6 months after that.
All of our landlords are most welcome to come, we encourage it!

Can I be contacted before any repairs are authorised and can I do it myself?
Yes, all of our landlords have the option of either being contacted prior to ANY repair authorisation or having a repair limit we can authorise to (i.e. $200 and under) and being notified of the outcome.
If you are a licensed/ qualified trades person you are more than welcome to carry out your own repairs. We are always able to assist you with access to the property.

As an owner of an investment property that your office manages. How often do you pay me the tenants rental funds?
We process owner's payments twice a month. This is when we pay you all the rent we have collected from your tenant.
Our owners can choose between an End of Month payment, Mid-Month payment or both. Most owners elect to be paid at the end of each month – This payment occurs on the last day of each month, but if the last day falls on a Saturday or Sunday we process the payment on the Friday prior to the weekend. Our mid-month payment is processed on the 15th of each month, if the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday then we process the payment on the Friday prior to the weekend.
Our banking software is with the NAB and the funds process overnight and transfer into your nominated bank account.

Are you able to pay expenses and rates notices out of my rental funds?
Yes we can! As part of our management services we can pay any invoices out of your rental funds that relate to your Investment property. We redirect the Council Rates, Water Rates, Strata Levies and any repair invoices to our office and we enter these invoices and pay them when there is enough owner funds to make payment. The benefit of allowing us to do this on your behalf is that when you receive your monthly statement it has all your expenses and income listed with a copy of all invoices paid. It makes tax time a breeze!

Am I able to get an End of Financial year summary to give to my accountant?
Yes! We send you an End of Financial year summary that is emailed to you at the end of each financial year. There is absolutely no charge for this, many agencies charge upward of $30 for this statement but we provide this statement as part of our management of your investment property. This statement lists all your rental income received for the financial year and all expenses paid by our agency. Simply hand it over to your accountant and tax time is stress free!

How do I receive my monthly owner statement?
We email you your monthly owner statement and a copy of any invoices paid during that month. This means that you have instant access to your statement as soon as we process the owner payment run. For those that require a paper copy we can send it in the mail but we find that most owners like the convenience of instantly accessing their statement from email.

Should I have a landlord insurance policy on my investment property?
Yes! This is an essential insurance policy that all landlords should have.
An investment property needs to be protected. Insurance can give you peace of mind and confidence that your property will be looked after should something go wrong. The cost of your insurance policy is fully tax deductible.

How can I arrange to view a rental property?
You can either fill out your details on our website, realestate.com.au or domain.com.au property page to be notified of the inspection times or call our office to arrange an inspection of the property. If the property is still tenanted, arranging access may take a while longer than a vacant property.

How do I apply for a rental property?
Upon inspection you will receive an application. From here you will fill out the application with the required details. There is a supporting documents checklist on the back page to help show what is required. All details need to be filled out so we can start the processing.

After applying. How long is the application process?
We usually have an answer between 24-48 hours providing we can get all the references and checks done.

Do we need to fill out an application each?
Yes. We require each person over the age of 18 to be on the lease and to fill out an application form.

Can I apply for a rental property prior to the inspection?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept any tenancy application forms prior to the inspection. However, you can download our tenancy application under the ‘rent’ tab on our website to download the application form before the inspection.
This means once you have inspected the property and found it suitable for you then you have your application and all supporting documents ready to submit to our office.

How can I submit my application?
Applications can be submitted via the below methods. We also request that applications are submitted in full with all supporting documents.
In person at the office: Shop 1, 313-323 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500
Emailed: [email protected]
Faxed: 02 4226 3575

How soon do I need to move into the property once being approved?
Depending on the available date of the property. If the property is vacant we usually allow 1-2 weeks from approval to move into the property.

How much is the bond?
The bond in NSW for unfurnished and furnished properties is the equivalent of four weeks rent. For example, if the rent is $500.00 per week then the bond would be $2,000.00. This is lodged with the Department of Fair Trading and not held by our office.

What utilities are included when renting a property?
Most rental properties (unless specified) will require the tenant to set up their own electricity and gas account with their own provider. Internet and phone line is also the responsibility of the tenant to organise. However, the tenant will only be charged for water usage if the property has water saving devices and a separate water meter.

If you have a question that you would like answered please feel free to email [email protected]