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Tenants a thorn in your side? Here’s how a property manager can help

Posted by Paul Wilson

In an increasingly competitive rental market, good tenants are hard to find.

With a recent spike in rental disputes over bond repayments, better ongoing communication between landlords and tenants is clearly needed.

Common tenancy disputes

The most common tenancy disputes include: 

Access to the property by the landlord Maintenance of the property Withholding security deposits

Often disputes arise where either the tenant has been responsible for damage or the landlord has not performed the appropriate property maintenance.

If damage to the property does occur, and the tenant and landlord are at odds as to whose responsibility it is, disputes can arise over bond money.

Disputes are particularly high when private landlords manage their own properties.

Private landlords often have an emotional attachment to their properties and sometimes firmer views as to what constitutes reasonable wear, tear and cleanliness.

How a property manager can help

Rather than managing the property yourself, it’s wise to enlist a property manager to limit disputes and remove some of the burden of renting your property.

All property agent fees and commissions are also tax-deductible, with the Australia Tax Office listing more than 20 possible deductions on rental properties.

Property managers look after the administration of your property ranging from collecting rent, ongoing communication with tenants through to property inspections and bond management. 

Your time is valuable and engaging a reliable property manager allows you to focus on developing your entire portfolio rather than micromanaging the day-to-day administration tasks of a property. 

Considerations

Property managers usually charge around 5 to 8 percent of the gross rent for managing your property.

But you do need to do homework on a potential property manager, as there are no nationwide regulations for the sector.

It’s worth checking the following as a bare minimum: 

The percentage of an agent’s property in arrears, and if it’s more than five percent - ask why. How often an agent’s tenants go to tribunals and why. How much of rental payments they keep for maintenance. How often rent goes into the landlord’s account. What actions do they take if tenants damage the property or fall behind in their rent. How often are rents reviewed. How easy it is to access tenant information.

A good property manager should be savvy and strategic, and up-to-date on market conditions and on tenant expectations.

They should manage your property efficiently and proactively to ensure your property is being well looked after.   

They should be your eyes and ears and have your property’s best interests in mind. They should work collaboratively with you at all times.

On your end, it’s vital to ensure that you have clear guidelines for your property manager in relation to expectations in general as well as items such as expenditure on maintenance and repairs – consider having a dollar limit for minor repairs they can authorise without seeking prior approval from you. 

You also need to ensure that you have the proper insurance for all contingencies.

General house and contents insurance policies do not protect your investment property – this asset needs to have an insurance policy specific to its purpose. 

You need to ensure you obtain a comprehensive landlord insurance policy that protects you against occurrences such as rent default, malicious and accidental damage caused by tenants.

It is my firm belief that you should manage your property manager and let them manage your property. Free up your time to focus on what you do well.

If you want to find out more about the benefits of using a property manager, please get in touch and we can talk more.

Simply call 1800 600 890 or email [email protected] // //


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