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What can you expect from your property manager?

By Cameron Smits

If you own real estate in Australia, you may consider placing the responsibility of your rental in the hands of a registered property manager, employed by a licensed real estate agency.

This can help you avoid the day-to-day worries of rental properties, thus making your life easier.

In light of this, what can you expect from your property manager? Here is a guide for both landlords and tenants.

WHAT DOES A PROPERTY MANAGER DO FOR YOU AS A LANDLORD?

Their primary duties are to market your rental, choose tenants and then, as the name suggests, manage your property.

You can assign a manager to do one or more of these main responsibilities, depending on your needs and agreement – here are a few of the more specific tasks.

  • Negotiate and collect an appropriate rent
  • Prepare a tenancy agreement
  • Lodge and collect bond payments
  • Carry out regular inspections
  • Arrange for repairs and/or maintenance
  • Provide relevant notices and financial statements to the landlord
  • Pay council rates and taxes (from the rent)
  • Issue termination notices to difficult tenants

An experienced manager will have a good understanding of the local market, and how potential changes could affect your investment.

WHAT DOES A PROPERTY MANAGER DO FOR YOU AS A TENANT?

Their commission is paid for by the landlord, therefore the service is completely free for a tenant.

  • Provide a selection of houses for rent
  • Prepare a tenancy agreement
  • Collect all payments
  • Receive requests for maintenance, damages, noise complaints and the like
  • Act on these promptly
  • Respect your peace and privacy

Having a manager dedicated to your property will assist you too, as all demands should be met swiftly and effectively.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE?

The days when the management of rental properties just entailed collecting money are well and truly over. Besides being well-trained and highly skilled, one of the main things you should be looking for in a property manager is experience in the industry – particularly a deep knowledge of the area you’re looking to invest in (or have already invested in). When asked, they should be able to give you a detailed record of all the services they offer, including fees.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia recommends asking questions like: What are your processes in choosing good tenants? Can you explain your charges and how much exactly I will be paying? How will you assist in maximising my return and optimising capital growth? How much would you market the property for, and why?

Provided that the answers supplied are satisfactory, you may have found the manager for you. But just like any relationship, don’t feel the need to rush into anything.

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