By Sarah Barton, Terri Scheer Distribution Channel Manager The weather is warmer, gardens are blooming…
Have you been managing your investment property on your own? If you’re finding the situation stressful, don’t forget that there’s a reason property management is a full-time job!
Here’s a quick guide to figuring out if hiring a property manager is worth the investment or if you’re better off going it alone.
What does a property manager do?
Buying a property is often the easy part of the investment; it’s the property management that can feel like a slog. While you might assume that all you need to do is ask your tenant to sign a contract and let them move in, there’s actually a lot more to it.
A property manager’s job is varied, and they take care of everything ranging from maintenance to administration.
For just one rental, these are the kind of tasks and processes a property agent might need to undertake:
- Advertise the property for tenants
- Host open homes
- Carry out background checks on prospective tenants
- Ensure all paperwork is signed and in order
- Collect rent and chase overdue payments
- Liaise with tenants and respond to any queries
- Negotiate rental increases
- Organise maintenance and property repairs.
In short, managing a property can be a lot of work.
Deciding whether to manage your property yourself or hire an agency to do it for you is not easy. There are certainly pros and cons for each.
When I might need a property manager
Here are four common reasons people hire a property manager. If you can relate to most of these, it’s probably worth considering hiring someone to take care of your property.
1. You have a full-time job and not much spare time
If you have kids or a full-time job – or both – chances are you won’t have much free time. And if you do, this time is probably valuable to you. Ask yourself if you want to spend it sorting out maintenance for your tenant or chasing them about a late payment. If the answer is ‘no’, perhaps it’s best to leave this work to a third party.
2. You don’t have a solid understanding of rental laws
If your tenant asks you to spray the house for spiders, does this responsibility fall to you or them? If your tenant breaks the dishwasher, do they have to purchase a new one, or is this cost left to you? If your tenant isn’t paying the rent, what do you do?
If you aren’t across rental legislation, it can be difficult to know what steps to take when a tricky situation arises. Experienced property managers are well versed in these scenarios and should know how to manage a property in line with regulation.
3. You’re renting to someone you don’t know
If you have someone you know and trust living in your home, such as your adult child, then you probably won’t need a property manager. However, if you plan on leasing to a stranger, how are you going to screen the tenant’s background?
A property manager can carry out reference checks for you, and knows the ins and outs of legislation, as mentioned above, if something doesn’t go according to plan.
4. You want to get the best value for money
Ready to rent out your property but unsure how much rent you should be getting? Your rent will hopefully cover your mortgage, but what if this price seems too high and you’re not receiving any interested applicants?
A local property manager will have a good idea of prices in your suburb and be able to advise you on what rental price you should list the property for.
Time to hand over the reins?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it might be time to take a step back and let someone else manage your investment property. Hiring a property manager can save you time, help you find better quality tenants, and boost your investment.
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Terri Scheer. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy. The Target Market Determination is also available.
The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.