Top reasons to change your property manager
“Property management is so much more than simply collecting your rent each week and sending the landlord a statement” says Amy Sanderson, Head of Property Management at LJ Hooker.
They are in integral part of your investment team. They are responsible for:
- Advertising your property for rent
- Opening your rental property for viewings
- Screening tenants including reference checks and conducting a rental history review
- Managing the condition report process
- Managing the tenancy agreement signing process and handling questions
- Managing your financial accounts for the investment property and providing regular reports
- Inspecting the property on a regular basis
- Organising tradespeople for repairs and maintenance
- Advising you on the appropriate rent rates to maximize your returns
- Ensuring rental payments are received on time and in full
With over 90 years’ experience and over 140,000 properties under management we know what makes a good property manager and the signs to look out for when it is time to consider changing management teams.
Here are seven signs it may be time to change property managers:
1. Limited service offering
Some property management companies provide a limited range of services and whilst they may charge less this isn’t the best service model. Some management companies only manage rental payments and certain maintenance tasks and leave the advertising, tenant screening, inspections and rental appraisals up to the landlord.
Best of breed property management includes the full list of responsibilities detailed above and considering their expenses are often tax deductible, if your current property manager isn’t providing these services it may be time to make a switch.
2. Breach of contract
The agency agreement you enter into with your property manager is a legal document and therefore they are legally responsible for the management of your property. They must act ethically and in good faith and always act in the best interest of you, the property owner. If your property manager doesn’t comply with this, it may be time to consider a change.
3. Poor maintenance performance
Management of any maintenance issues is an important element of a property manager’s role. Keeping your investment in good condition is critical to maintaining good tenants, attracting new tenants and preserving your investment.
As a starting point if they are failing to address maintenance requirements as detailed in your rental agreement, or if the property is not maintained to ensure a safe and healthy environment, your tenants may have the right to break the lease without penalty, leaving you out of pocket and in search of new tenants.
Secondly if they fail to address urgent maintenance issues as directed by yourself you could lose thousands of dollars in repair costs because of their lack of action.
If your property manager doesn’t have the experience or tradespeople required to effectively manage the maintenance issues of your property or your finding they are not addressing issues in a timely manner, it may be time to change.
4. Lack of property management expertise
Does your property manager have the experience to attract and screen potential tenants, do thorough reference checks and review potential tenants’ rental history?
Experienced property managers, like the ones working at LJ Hooker, see hundreds of rental applications and are experienced at attracting and identifying the best tenants. Whilst you have the final say as to who rents your property, if your property manager lacks these important skills and your finding the quality of tenants put forward to you for consideration aren’t appropriate, it may be time to look for a more experienced management team.
5. Consistently late rental payments
Good property managers work to ensure your tenants pay their rent on time. Consistent rent collection is key to receiving regular rent payments and this directly effects your cash flow and in most cases loan repayments.
Is your current property manager effectively managing this each month? Are they enforcing lease policies if payments aren’t received? If not, then it may be time to find another property manager. LJ Hooker has an excellent track record in ensuring rent is received in full and on time as we know how important this is to our clients.
6. Unsure of legislative requirements
Is your property manager up to date with the constantly changing legal requirements? Are they attending training and education programs to stay across any legal changes and advising you as to how this may affect you and your property? If they are not up-skilling themselves and communicating with you regularly it may be time to change teams.
7. Additional reasons to look at changing your property manager
• Not conducting annual inspections
• Not collecting a bond when the tenants move in
• Not reviewing and adjusting rent
Interview questions to ask a property manager
If you are considering changing your property manager here are 11 interview questions to help ensure you find the right one for you.
Are you the property manager who will be managing my property? If not who will it be?
- How many properties do you and your company manager?
- How would you market my property and attract the best tenants?
- How do you screen tenants?
- How many tenants on your books currently are in a arrears with their rent?
- What action is taken if a tenant is behind on rent?
- What happens if my property needs urgent repairs / maintenance?
- How many inspections do you do each year and what is the cost for these?
- How do you communicate with landlords and how regularly?
- What is the full cost of management? Please detail all costs and fees and show where GST is payable?
- What training and education programs do you participate in to ensure you are across the legalities of investing
With over 90 years’ experience, more than 140,000 properties under management and a national education and training program to ensure all our property managers are highly skilled and across the ever changing national and local legal requirements, LJ Hooker is your best or breed property management team and we would love to talk to you about your individual needs.