Author: Hiring a property manager to oversee the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of your rental home is a wise decision.
Namely, you have the security of knowing you have employed a professional body to help mind your investment.
The popular and convenient option
Around 60 per cent of investment properties in Western Australia are professionally managed by a real estate agency and the remaining 40 per cent are self-managed by private owners.
If you work part-time or are retired, have some basic legal competencies and understand the complexities of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), then managing your own property may work for you, but for the majority of investors this isn’t the case.
Many private owners don’t understand their legal obligations under the RTA and can find themselves in difficult situations as a result.
Owners can underestimate the amount of time that goes into managing a property, or just how complex, expensive and unpleasant things can become if a dispute arises.
This is where a property manager can be invaluable.
What can you expect from a property manager?
From the start, a good property manager can arrange the public viewing of the property and then thoroughly check all applications and references from prospective tenants.
This includes scanning the National Tenancy Database to see if any applicants have a poor history with previous rentals.
Once suitable tenants are short-listed by the property manager and then chosen by you, the property manager can then;
◦arrange the lease documentation
◦take care of the rent collection
◦quarterly home inspections
◦and utility expenses, such as water and council rates.
Property managers are also skilled at understanding the market rate for the property and setting the weekly rent accordingly. Many private owners tend to misjudge this or feel uncomfortable reviewing the rent with renewed leases for existing tenants.
When it all comes down to it, the most important role of the property manager is to act as the link between the owner and tenant.
When you hire a property manager, you avoid being exposed to situations that might be uncomfortable, while at the same time ensuring the tenant can also raise issues without having to confront you directly.
If a situation arises that requires going to court, as sometimes happens, property managers are familiar with the legal process and can represent you at the hearing.
Property managers charge a percentage of the weekly rent as their fee, but this is fully tax deductible as part of your business expenses each financial year.