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Unlocking the Full Potential of your property

Property investment involves more than just owning a property. It means pursuing particular goals while foreseeing the potential for an increase in value over the duration of your ownership.

Capitalise on the land you already own with no extra stamp duty

This might entail adopting a completely new mindset and embracing innovation to optimise your return on investment.

Delving into the unexplored possibilities of your property and its underlying land has the potential to yield highly profitable results.

Have you ever considered subdividing your property’s land to construct an apartment, a townhouse, or even a secondary dwelling?

If you’re curious about your property’s investment potential and want to see the bigger picture, reach out to our Investment Services team for a personalised Property Health Check.

CASE STUDY: A Property Development Journey

The transformation of a Warners Bay house into three unique properties

In this case study, we delve into the transformation of an original property located in Warners Bay. What was once a modest 3-bedroom house generating a rent of $355 per week has evolved into a property development venture. Highlighting the challenges, decisions, and strategies undertaken by the owners, Nicole, and Mark, with guidance and support of Pippa at Leah Jay Investment Services.


Nicole and Mark recognised the potential of their rundown property in Warners Bay, envisioning a development opportunity that could reshape the house’s future. Their initial plan involved demolishing the existing house and erecting two new homes. However, Lake Macquarie City Council, had different ideas, pushing for higher density development, and insisting on the creation of three dwellings.


This unexpected turn pushed Nicole and Mark to completely rethink their strategy. They had to return to the drawing board and re-evaluate their financial landscape, which involved revisiting the bank for reassessment of their loan potential. With much perseverance, they amended their vision to construct not just two, but three properties on the lot. This included a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2-garage house, as well as two 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, single garage houses.


This projects challenge was working through the significant time delays. Council approval took 11 months, longer than expected. Construction, initially projected to take 32 weeks, stretched to 52 weeks due to disruptions including the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays not only tested the owners’ patience but also led to increased construction costs, impacting the project’s net result.


Due to the change in the scope of the project from 2 properties to 3, the budget increased from $970k to 1.1million. This took time to work alongside the bank to refinance. 

“We purchased this property in 2010 for $349,000 with the vision to develop sometime in the future to expand our portfolio. We began the redevelopment project in 2018 by engaging a builder and drawing up plans and submission to council for approval. This process took a year and we then put the project on hold for 2 years while we moved to South Australia.” commented Nicole.

Despite these escalating costs, the outcome was transformative with the new properties now commanding a combined rental income of $2,270 per week. This translates to an impressive 8% return on investment. The market value of the properties has soared to approximately $2.5 million.


Throughout this difficult journey, Pippa from Leah Jay Investment Services played a pivotal role as a steadfast guide. Providing unwavering support, they facilitated sales valuations and conducted rental appraisals every six months to aid in financing decisions. Leah Jay Investment Services also played a vital role in mitigating strained relations between the frustrated owners, in part due from project managing from interstate, and the builder by fostering a constructive, working environment.


Nicole’s hands-on approach to decision-making became a hallmark of this project. Every detail, from the selection of inclusions to the integration of solar panels on the standalone property, was thought through to enhance the properties’ appeal and functionality.


The evolution of this development in Warners Bay from a rundown house to a trio of modern dwellings is a real success story. It illustrates the power of adaptability, perseverance, and strategic decision-making. With a valuable partnership between Nicole, Mark, and Pippa from Leah Jay Investment Services, overcoming challenges, sharing triumphs, and the ultimate realisation of a wonderful investment project was achieved.

client testimonial

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“The build was completed in August 2022, and we were relieved to finally see the much-awaited end result of 3 new properties that we feel have been a great investment. We plan to hold onto the properties long term and continue to build our portfolio with similar plans to 2 other investment properties”

– Nicole

You have the idea but don’t know if you have the finances to follow through?

Leah Jay has partnered with Castle finance to give you access to an online calculator, giving you an immediate estimate of your borrowing power.


Answers to the crucial questions asked by investment property owners.


Leasing Your Property

We can work with you to maximise your investment and ongoing yield through targeted improvements to your property. This can be done with regular maintenance, freshening up the property and maximising the presentation through painting, pruning of trees etc.

The underlying aim is to help maximise the benefit from your investment right through the investment lifecycle, from acquisition to divesting.

Our Investment Services team can assist you with guidance about the local rental market, what is in demand and what rent can be achieved.

A lot of real estate agents add ‘property management’ onto their standard buying and selling of homes. Often these companies will charge lower fees because their core focus is on the income they make from sales commissions. We focus 100% on property management, have managed properties for over 27 years and have a strong team, which together give you the service you deserve.

We strongly recommend that you have landlord insurance in addition to building insurance. This covers you for tenant-related risks, including loss of rental income and loss or damage to your contents and building by the tenant. 

Routine inspections of the property are carried out eight weeks after the tenancy has commenced and then every six months thereafter. Owners receive a copy of all reports and your property manager will communicate any concerns they may have with you. We encourage owners to view their property at least once a year – this should be arranged with your property manager.

Approximately 63% of Australian households own pets. The majority of pet owners are responsible and ensure no damage is caused to the property or grounds. It’s certainly worth considering when you are looking for a good tenant that you consider tenants with pets.

Here’s some more information about pets in rental properties.

The owner is responsible for the supply and installation of Australian Standard approved smoke alarms, ensuring there is the correct number in the right location in accordance with Regulations. If preferred, Leah Jay can arrange a professional inspection by a smoke alarm provider for an annual fee.

If your property has a swimming pool or spa then a copy of a valid Certificate of Compliance issued in the past three years is required.  This must be done prior to any lease or renewal being signed; without this your property cannot be leased.

For more information about swimming pools in rental properties, take a look at our article: Is Your Pool Compliant?

Your property manager can arrange all maintenance and repairs to be carried out on your behalf should you prefer. General repairs and maintenance are included in our management fee. However, there is a fee applicable for insurance claims and larger projects.

Due to the recent COVID-19 legislation introduction the notice period to terminate a tenancy agreement has changed when providing notice to a tenant. You are now required to provide  90 days’ written notice when in a fixed term agreement. The notice may be given at any time up until the fixed term expires but this cannot take effect until the agreement term ends. You as the owner must give 90 days’ notice and the tenant must give you 14 days’ notice.

If the lease agreement has expired, it may be ended by the landlord or the tenant by giving written notice of termination. The notice may be given at any time. The owner is required to give 90 days’ written notice and the tenant must give you 21 days’ notice.

If the property has sold and the lease agreement has expired, the owner may terminate the agreement by giving 30 days’ written notice, on the exchange of contracts for sale. The tenant is not required to give counter-notice during this time if on an expired lease.

If you decide to sell your investment property, talk with our Investment Services team about the process. We have preferred real estate agents who share our values that we can put you in touch with.

If the property has sold and the lease agreement has expired, the owner may terminate the agreement by giving 30 days’ written notice, on the exchange of contracts for sale. The tenant is not required to give counter-notice during this time if on an expired lease.

We process funds on the 10th and 25th of each month. If these dates fall on a weekend or public holiday we will process the business day beforehand.

It’s vital to have high-quality photos. Yes, you or your property manager can probably take passable shots yourself – but ‘passable’ shouldn’t be what you’re aiming for! There’s a noticeable difference between a photo taken on a phone or amateur camera, and one taken by a professional photographer with top equipment.

Professional photos can help you highlight the best features of your property and make them the focus of your listing. A photographer knows exactly how to frame and present photos to show a property in its best possible light (both literally and figuratively).

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When it comes to property investment, without knowing what you’re trying to achieve, how will you ever know how to get there?⁠ Opportunities are everywhere, let us show you where to look.