We’ve never experienced anything like COVID-19 in our lifetimes, and when faced with uncertainty, it’s easy to worry about your investment returns. So, whether you’ve been a property investor for decades, or you’ve just purchased your first investment property in the last few weeks, there are a couple of things to consider as you optimise your rental returns on your investment property during a crisis like this.
Check Your Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is something you rarely claim, but you always want to have protecting your investment property. In times of crisis, you must check your landlord insurance. Collect information on how you’re currently protected and what you’re covered for.
You also want to reach out to your landlord insurance provider to find out what action you are expected to take, if you are in a position where you need to make a claim. Follow the instruction you’re given by your insurance company to ensure that you’re able to make that claim quickly and easily, if required.
Understand Your Tenants
If you’re approached by your tenants to request a rent reduction, take a moment to understand their position. It’s important to acknowledge that your tenants are responding from a place of fear, especially if their income is being impacted by the crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that you automatically have to give this rent reduction. Speak with your property manager and landlord insurance company to obtain professional advice on how to respond to this request and act logically and respectfully.
Speak With Your Bank
If you’re financially impacted by this crisis, speak with your bank about any mortgage relief that might be available to you, in your circumstances. Remember to remain calm and patient through this process, as there many be delays in getting this information from your bank. During a crisis like this, banks are being bombarded with calls, emails and in-person requests, so wait-times are going to be much longer than usual.
Keep Leasing Your Property
If your property has become vacant during this time, speak with your property manager to obtain professional advice on how to secure a tenant in this market. Your property manager will likely be following recommendations from their local Real Estate Institute and governing bodies on best practices for showing tenants through your property and optimising your rental returns during a crisis.
In a time of crisis, remain fact-based and focused on solutions for your investment. Follow local government recommendations and stay in contact with your property manager to preserve the best outcomes for your investment property. Remember, this information is not to be considered legal advice, to be sure to obtain appropriate advice before making any financial or legal decisions.