Over the last couple of years there have been a handful of stories reported in the media where rental properties have been destroyed by tenants. While these types of incidents are relatively uncommon, it is worth noting that in almost all of these cases, the rental property in question was privately managed.
While it can be tempting to go it alone and manage your rental by yourself – premised on the notion of saving on management fees – deciding not to use the services of a licensed real estate agent is risky and can often cost you in the long run.
The amount of work involved in managing a property and how complex it can be is often underestimated. While the majority of investors chose to use a property manager, there are still around 40% of investments in WA that are self-managed. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the risk.
Management fees are not excessive and are normally tax deductible. It is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with having a professional handle the tenancy.
A property manager will take care of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of managing a property, and they’ll be well versed on the Residential Tenancies Act. This is particularly useful if the property is damaged, maintenance is required or the tenant is being unreasonable.
As the owner of the rental, your emotional attachment to the property can be a detriment when dealing with the tenants yourself. A property manager acts as a link between the owner and the tenant, and will offer advice based on the best outcome for you.
A property manager also has access to the National Tenancy Database, so they can identify any applicants who have a poor rental history when it comes to paying rent and maintaining a property. This is priceless information and can help you select the most appropriate tenant from the start.
Although the latest reiwa.com data shows Perth’s rental market has started to improve, tenants still have plenty of rentals to choose from, which means investors need to ensure their property stands out. A property manager will assist you with a marketing campaign to give you a competitive edge.
Plus, they have access to websites like reiwa.com, which aren’t available to private landlords, so you can ensure your property is seen by as many people as possible.
When selecting a property manager, it is important you do your research. If you are negotiating with an agent about hiring a property manager, ensure you have a chance to meet them first.
You want to ensure you appoint someone who has excellent communication and people skills, is knowledgeable and experienced in the industry, pays attention to detail, and is professional and highly organised.
Finally, make sure they are a REIWA member, so you can be confident you’re receiving the best possible information and that your interests are protected.