Brisbane

Bris-property-forecasts-Jun19

In the next six months, we forecast Brisbane house and unit prices to bottom out, with house prices expected to increase by one per cent and unit prices to be unchanged. House prices are then expected to grow by 3 to 5 per cent and units by zero to 2 per cent in 2020. Brisbane house prices fell by 2 per cent since the second half of 2018. Unit prices have fallen by about 10 per cent from their 2016 peak.

There are some signs of a turnaround in Brisbane (and south-east Queensland more broadly). The average number of attendees at open for inspections is up 15 per cent compared to before the election. But auction clearance rates remain weak and prices are still falling slowly.

The unemployment rate is expected to remain elevated in Queensland (at 6 per cent) and although the Brisbane apartment construction boom is ending, there are still a significant number of apartments coming onto the market. Relative affordability has made Brisbane and south-east Queensland attractive compared to Sydney and contributed to strong interstate migration. This is expected to continue, with annual population growth remaining at 1.75 per cent in 2020. Low interest rates and a lower Australian dollar will also boost the Queensland economy and property prices.  House prices are also likely to turnaround in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, although we expect a smaller pick-up as these coastal cities look relatively overvalued compared to Brisbane. 

Domain.com.au

Today I was asked why Castle Realty as a name by a new owner.
Well I said the reason is, every bodies home is their Castle, as its where we feel secure and loved.
We paint, garden,renovate and we nurture our Castle.

So when time comes to move on, let us take your Castle and treat it as our own, and provide the best service we can, to achieve best possible results for you. Whether it be sales or rental investment.

How often fixtures and fittings should be updated and serviced in your properties.

Make sure your property manager checks the condition of fixtures and fittings

When your property manager completes an entry condition report, exit condition report and routine inspections, make sure they check all fixtures and fittings and report their condition. This is the best way to understand if anything at your property needs replacing.

Some of the things that start to show their age quickly in a property are fixtures and fittings. While some fixtures and fittings may need to be updated due to damage or a fault in the item, knowing when to update things in your home is important. This keeps your home in excellent condition before you need to make major updates. Another major benefit of keeping your fixtures and fittings updated? A home in great condition is more likely to attract great tenants. Here’s our guide to when different fixtures and fittings should be updated in your properties.

Firstly, if you’re unsure about all of the fixtures and fittings in your property, take a look at the entry condition reports for your property or the sales contract. These documents may include notes on items you may have forgotten about. Some examples of common fixtures and fittings include electric sockets, security systems, smoke alarm systems, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances, built-in wardrobes, heating and cooling systems, carpet, mirrors, and furniture (if applicable).

For appliances

If you’ve included appliances like fridges, a washing machine, dryer and dishwasher in your property, make sure you know when the warranty ends. The life span for household appliances can vary greatly depending on the brand of appliances in your property and how often they are used. Generally speaking, most appliances will reach the end of their life span anywhere between 5 years and 15 years. For items such as electric and gas cooktops, expect to get up to 15 years of use. For other appliances like washing machines and fridges, you’re likely to get closer to 10 years of use out of the appliance.

For any older appliances that need major repairs, make sure you weigh up the cost of repairing the appliance against purchasing a replacement. The older an appliance is, the more expensive it is to repair. In these cases, it may be best to organise a replacement. You could also talk to your accountant and make sure you time your purchases smartly within the financial year.

For carpets and light fittings

The condition of carpets and light fittings in your property will largely depend on how old the property is and how well it has been looked after. If the carpet is beginning to look worn or showing other signs it needs to be replaced, investigate the cost of replacing the carpet against having it professionally cleaned (though cleaning should be completed at the end of each tenancy). Expect to get between 5 and 15 years out of your carpet depending on the quality of the carpet and how much foot traffic goes through the property.

Light fittings can last many years in a property. It’s when light fittings get broken or stop working that they need to be replaced. If possible, keep light fittings simple and easy for your tenants to reach for changing light globes. A trip to Bunnings or other home improvement stores will show you a great range of what’s available at all price points.

Heating and cooling

If your property has heating and cooling systems make sure you understand how often it needs to be serviced. Most central heating and cooling systems need to be serviced once per year. Paying this annual cost for a service could also save you more money down the track as the contractor may be able to pick up issues before they arise.

Owning an investment property comes with many tasks that need to be remembered. By keeping in regular contact with your property manager and tenants (if applicable), you’ll be able to remain proactive about keeping your property in great condition.

This article is for general informational purposes only and must not be taken as legal, financial or any other professional advice.   We recommend obtaining advice specific to your situation before making decisions relating to your investment property and financial position.


We’re in the middle of Winter now, so we wanted to share a few hacks to help you survive the colder months!

  • Reverse your ceiling fans to drive the warm air to the floor – keep them on the low speed
  • Take advantage of the warm sunlight by keeping curtains and blinds open all day, then closing them at night.
  • If you have wet shoes and boots after being outside, stuff them with newspaper to absorb the moisture and avoid mould
  • Prevent drafts under doors with door snakes or foam cut outs
  • Electric blankets are generally cheaper to run than a heater, so use an electric blanket to keep warm, rather than heating a whole room
  • Use the oven for cooking more, and as a bonus, it will help heat your kitchen!
  • Keep blankets in your living area so your family or guest can always use them to keep warm, rather than running a heater
  • Get out in the sunlight – it will improve your mood, help your body produce more vitamin D and make you feel so much more warm and vibrant in the middle of Winter!

This article is for general informational purposes only and must not be taken as legal, financial or any other professional advice.   We recommend obtaining advice specific to your situation before making decisions relating to your investment property and financial position.


During the cooler days of the year, it is important to maintain the home, both inside and outdoors. Get your home “Winter Ready” by going through the following checklist!

  1. Clean Gutters – Clogged gutters can form dams where water backs up and can seep into the roof cavity. Remove fallen leaves and debris from your gutters and give them a good rinse with a hose.
  2. Air-con Maintenance – A home with central heating can lose up to 60% of its heated air before it reaches the vents if it travels through unheated spaces or the duct work is dirty.
  3. Trim Nearby Trees – Snow and ice will weigh tree branches down causing them to break and fall, potentially resulting in costly property damage. Trim back and tree branches overhanging the roof, windows or driveway.
  4. Chimney Cleaning – Every year, thousands of house fires originate in chimneys. Remove any old combustibles or obstructions from the chimney before lighting.
  5. Run Fans in Reverse – Changing the direction of ceiling fans pushes heat pooling near the ceiling back down into the living area, saving almost 10% of your heating costs!
  6. Seal Leaks – Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency 5% – 30% per year. It pays to seal up gaps with caulking and weather stripping. Weather seal external doors or use a “door snake” as an alternative.

This article is for general informational purposes only and must not be taken as legal, financial or any other professional advice.   We recommend obtaining advice specific to your situation before making decisions relating to your investment property and financial position.

Bathrooms are one of the rooms in your home that can add value with some simple changes. Here are some great ideas for bring out the best in your bathroom.

While it’s often one of the smallest rooms in your home, that doesn’t mean bathrooms need to be bland and boring. Use the right colours together, add the right materials and that poky little bathroom space can easily become an oasis of calm.

Look to nature
Nature has always had a strong influence on choices and never more so than now. Natural, botanical schemes are trending throughout the home right now, including bathrooms.

Think crisp whites, creams, forest greens and natural, organic materials. Earthy greens would look very sophisticated in an earthy bathroom. For a daring look, try a navy or bold wallpaper.

Open up the space with glass
Back-painted glass splashbacks have become an extremely popular kitchen feature in recent years, and now they’re starting to make an appearance in bathrooms as well, particularly in soft blues and greens. Try restful pastels teamed with crisp white trims for an instantly soothing palette.This pairs well with the chalky pale mineral blue and green tiles that are a popular pick for their soothing properties.

Embrace technology
Traditionally technology isn’t something that has been associated with bathrooms, but built-in televisions and speakers are the perfect accompaniment for long luxurious soaks in the bath. New, mirrored flat TV technology can be installed anywhere – on the wall, on the ceiling, behind artwork, or embedded in a bathroom mirror. You need a waterproof version, of course, where the electronic compartments are completely sealed off from any moisture.

Keep it simple
The move towards minimalism and simplicity is becoming more popular and brings with it sophisticated concrete finishes. Walk-in showers are popular.

Banish the clutter by allowing for plenty of storage. Clean vanity tops and surfaces will make your bathroom seem more spacious.

Add colour
Paint is such an affordable way to update your space. You only need a few litres to completely transform the space.

Watery blues and greens are always popular choices for a bathroom as they feel clean and fresh and help to make a small space feel larger. Recent trends have seen more soft greys and blue greys, such as silver and duck egg blue, coming into the bathroom space also teamed with off white.

If you’re stuck with existing tiles that limit your options for decorating but you can’t afford to replace them, consider painting over them. Many tiles have a glossy surface so use a surface sealer first to give the topcoats something to grip onto.

While a well-ventilated bathroom has a lower risk of damage, it’s still important to use the correct paint. A waterborne enamel for a hard wearing and washable finish, while in kitchens and bathrooms use a mould inhibitor, which reduces the risk of mould growth.

Thank you DP for that report

General inspections – how to ensure a hassle-free experience

General inspections are a normal part of the renting experience and are generally carried out quarterly, or less frequently. These inspections give tenants an opportunity to raise any repair issues within their rental and allow the property manager/owner to ensure the property is being looked after.

At the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), feedback we receive from our customers indicates general inspections can be a source of frustration for both tenants and property managers/owners, so we’ve addressed some of the common issues below to help ensure they run smoothly.

Entering the premises
Property managers/owners must issue an Entry Notice to their tenants at least 7 days prior to undertaking a general inspection and these inspections cannot be carried out more than once every 3 months (unless the tenant agrees in writing).

Entry must be between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday, unless the tenant agrees otherwise, and the Entry Notice must specify an exact time or a two hour time period during which entry will occur. Find out more on rules around entering a rental property.

Should the tenant have good reasons to request the general inspection time be changed – for example, if a family member has fallen ill in the home – the RTA encourages property managers/owners and tenants to negotiate and consider re-scheduling the inspection time.

The property manager/owner can also enter at any time without notice if the tenant agrees, but only at the time agreed to by the tenant or if it is an emergency.

Attending general inspections
Under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act), a general inspection can occur without the tenant being present.

Some tenants may prefer to be at home for the inspection, and the tenant may wish to inform and negotiate with the property manager/owner for a time that suits everyone.

Taking photographs during inspection
While the Act does not mention the taking and use of photos during general inspections, the RTA recommends property managers/owners should inform and consult with tenants before taking photos inside their home.

For more information around property managers/owners taking photos inside a rental property home, visit the dedicated tenancy webpage from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Important reminders
General inspections can bring up a range of sensitive issues for both tenants and property managers/owners, including entering a home, privacy and lifestyle habits.

Respectful and open communication between all parties will help address any issues that arise and encourage a positive working relationship going forward in the tenancy.
Courtesy RTA Qld


New rules on claiming plant and equipment may affect you
In section two of Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017, the government has proposed changes to the depreciation of plant and equipment assets. We take a closer look at the potential impacts to those who exchange second-hand residential properties after 7:30pm on the 9th of May 2017 should this legislation pass.

On Tuesday the 9th of May 2017 the government proposed changes to the depreciation of plant and equipment assets in the federal budget.

This prompted a number of property investors to contact BMT Tax Depreciation to discuss how they might be affected. Understandably so, as the last major changes to depreciation legislation were made by the government in the mid 1980’s.

The main concerns investors had were about the impact the changes would have on their existing arrangements, future purchases and more widely on the property market.

The good news for investors is that properties purchased prior to 7:30pm on the 9th of May 2017 are unaffected, as the policy will be grandfathered. This means that any investor who exchanged contracts prior to this date can continue to claim depreciation deductions as normal.

The proposed changes outlined in draft legislation section two of Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017, remove a subsequent owner’s ability to claim a depreciation deduction for previously used plant and equipment assets (the easily removable or mechanical fixtures and fittings) in properties which exchanged contracts after the 9th of May 2017.

Properties exchanged prior to 7:30pm on budget night are unaffected.

The draft legislation also confirms that the proposed changes will only apply to second-hand residential properties. Any investor who purchases a brand new property can continue to claim depreciation for plant and equipment as normal.

The changes won’t affect an investor’s ability to claim the capital works component (deductions available for the wear and tear of the building structure and fixed items). Depreciation of plant and equipment for non-residential/commercial properties is also unaffected.

The government also advises that amendments to deductions for plant and equipment assets held in residential properties will not affect those carrying on a business, corporate tax entities, superannuation plans (other than Self-Managed Super Funds) and those who hold a property in a large unit trust.

The below scenario explains in detail how depreciation plays a role in assisting a residential property investor to improve the cash return from their property. It also compares the depreciation deductions for the first full financial year on a three year old house purchased for $600,000 before and after the 9th of May 2017.

In the example, the owner receives a rental income of $560 per week or a total income of $29,120. Expenses for the property, such as interest, council rates, property management fees, insurance and repairs and maintenance total $41,028.

Three year old house purchased for $600,000
Scenario before 9th of May 2017 with 1st year total depreciation claim of $12,397
Annual expenses
$41,028
Annual income ($560 x 52 weeks)
$29,120
Pre-tax cash flow (income – expenses)
-$11,908
Total taxation loss (pre-tax cash flow + total depreciation including plant and equipment)
$24,305
Tax refund (tax loss x tax rate of 37%*)
$8,993
Annual costs of the investment property (pre-tax cash flow + refund)
$2,915
Weekly cost of the investment property
$56
Scenario after 9th of May with 1st year capital works deduction only of $6,126
Annual expenses
$41,028
Annual income ($560 x 52 weeks)
$29,120
Pre-tax cash flow (income – expenses)
-$11,908
Total taxation loss (pre-tax cash flow + capital works deduction only)
$18,034
Tax refund (tax loss x tax rate of 37%*)
$6,673
Annual costs of the investment property (pre-tax cash flow + refund)
$5,235
Weekly cost of the investment property
$101
Difference = $45 per week

Assumptions and disclaimer

The depreciation deductions in this example have been calculated using the diminishing value method.
*Calculations for the investor’s tax refund have been completed at a standard tax rate of 37 per cent.

In the first scenario, the owner is able to claim a total depreciation claim of $12,397 from both capital works deductions and plant and equipment depreciation.

Using depreciation, this investor is experiencing a weekly cost of $56 per week to hold the property.

In the second scenario, as the owner exchanged contracts on the property after the 9th of May 2017, they are only able to claim $6,126 in capital works deductions and will be unable to claim $6,271 in plant and equipment deductions.

This reduced claim would result in the investors weekly cost of holding the investment property increasing from $56 to $101, a difference of $45 per week or $2,340 in the first full financial year.

It’s important to note that the change will have the same effect on both positive and negative cash flow scenarios.

While we believe that generally the integrity measure has merit, the proposed changes go much further than what is necessary to deliver on the government’s intention of stopping subsequent owners from claiming deductions in excess of an asset’s value. The approach proposed in the draft legislation treats residential property investors differently by extinguishing a property investor’s ability to claim a deductions based upon a transaction.

We believe this is caused by gaps in current legislation around establishing a depreciable value for second-hand plant and equipment.

The government has provided investors with the opportunity to have their say regarding the proposed changes by making a submission. Investors can take part in the public consultation here.

It is important to be aware that a tax depreciation schedule from a specialist Quantity Surveyor is still beneficial and necessary to ensure investors maximise and claim accurate deductions.

To learn more about the proposed changes outlined in the federal budget, visit bmtqs.com.au/budget-2017.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is correct as of date of publication, 8th of August 2017.

Thankyou BTM Tax Depreciation: Bradley Beer

Very rarely does it happen, but it does. What do you do? Does your Landlord insurance cover the expense of the clean up afterwards? Please check your policy carefully.

With the discovery of a Drug Lab in your property is that the Police will contact you or your property manager to discuss the situation.The cost cleaning up a drug lab can run into thousands of dollars as the property is inhabitable. Please refer to the Queensland Health for further information on how to deal with situation and what is required by law to be done so the house can be re tenanted or sold.   Disclosure is required when re renting/selling and a copy of the certificate from Queensland Health that it is now safe to lived in.

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Suicide or Death on the other hand is handled differently.

On being informed of a tenants demise, the property manager will inform the owner, and the next of kin will apply for a termination of the lease. With all parties in agreement the tenancy will end.  The property will be returned to how it was on the entry report and will then be ready for a new tenancy.

With suicide you have to disclose to prospective tenants that there was an unnatural incident at the property. One of the reasons for this is that the tenants will eventually find out and that could lead to a misrepresentation of the property and you as owner loosing tenants and incurring additional costs.

Again I would advise that you check up on these yourself, so if you happen to be placed in that position you will know what is expected of you as a landlord/Owner

 

 

 

At the start of the tenancy, the lessor must ensure that: The premises and inclusions are clean The premises are fit for the tenant to live in The premises and inclusions are in good repair The lessor is not in breach of a law dealing with issues about health and safety of persons using or…Read More→