PRW – 8th June 2012 Breaking up with your property manager

Breaking up with your property manager

Inessa Kabaker

PROPERTY is one of the most discussed topics at dinner parties and outings amongst family and friends, and one of the most common issues among investors is bad property management. Common complaints include having your property sitting vacant for long periods of time without any proactive contact made by the property manager (particularly irritating in the current tight rental market); rental reviews not being done on time; being given inaccurate or out-of-date advice; routine inspections not being organised; and rental arrears are going through the roof. But landlords often stick with property managers that they aren’t happy with, thinking that switching is too complicated.

Changing over the management of your property is actually very easy and straightforward. In fact, you don’t even have to contact your current agent, just sign a new leasing and management authority. The new agent will then inform your current agency in writing of the changeover of management and provides 24-48 hours to prepare the file for collection. The tenants are contacted by the new agent and given information regarding the new rental payment method and information such as maintenance requests, etc.

So, why put up with bad service? Find the right manager for your property. A good place to start is family, friends and colleagues; ask them if they know of any professional and experienced property managers. Sometimes it is worth asking your accountant, broker, finance adviser or your bank manager who deal with developers and investors on a daily basis. Word of mouth is the best way to find the right person to manage your investment property or to stay away from the wrong one. In fact we find that tenants can be the best referrers, as they have experienced all types of property managers.

It is worth noting that the agency does not have to be in the same suburb as your investment property; it is much more important for you to find the most experienced and knowledgeable person to look after your investment property. Most real estate agents will use the same forms of advertising rental properties for prospective tenants to find, view and apply for. As rental payments are paid electronically (preferred by real estate agencies), this alleviates tenants having to come into the rental office to pay their rental.

Myth number 1: It’s best to change property managers at the end of a lease or when the property is vacant. So, once you know that it is time to change property managers – when is the best time to take action? Many owners believe they should wait until the end of a lease or when a property next becomes vacant to change agents. There are a couple of reasons for this belief.  One is that it is somehow simpler in terms of administration. As we saw above – the paperwork is almost the same whether there is a tenant in place or not. And changing managers does not affect existing leases or tenancies. That’s right; your tenants lease will remain valid even if you change agents’ midterm.

 

Inessa Kabaker is a Licensed Estate Agent and the owner of Kabaker Property Group. Visit www.kabakerpropertygroup.com.au for more information.

 

 

 

Kabaker Property Group