With so much uncertainty in the market, it is times like this you really need property management experience and the law on your side. Having someone professionally manage your property, as if it is their own; can truly save you a lot of trouble, time and money down the track. Being a Property Manager for over 25 years, I’m very aware of what can occur when there’s no management in place. So, avoid the pitfalls and be aware of the risks of DIY property management before you take the leap.
Risk 1: You could welcome bad tenants
Property Managers have strict vetting procedures for every person that signs a lease. They get references, cross-check them, and ensure credentials are valid. If you’re unaware of the procedures and best practice you could be inviting in people that ‘seem nice’ but could be quite the opposite later. Having a manager in place also means you’ll get contracts and terms drawn up that are 100% correct and that will legally protect you as an owner.
Risk 2: You could be under-selling yourself on rent-money
Property Managers are incredibly good negotiators, and First National’s are among the very best. That’s because we do it day in, day out. Securing a professional property manager means you are assured of having your rent set at a great market rate that will ensure you get the best tenants, and the best return on your investment. We don’t only focus on collecting rent, we consider ways to improve the value of your asset and improve your yield.
Risk 3: You could wind up with a property in worse shape than when you leased it
Property Managers enforce regular condition reporting procedures; so, your property is checked for maintenance, wear and tear and more serious issues before, during and after the lease is up. This protects you and makes sure that someone has eyes on your asset the moment someone is handed the keys.
Risk 4: You could wind up in court!
Human nature means we don’t always get along, and people don’t always see eye-to-eye. When disagreements arise around use of a property, or there’s neglect, rental payments in arrears or other issues, it’s best to have a professional advocate in your corner. Someone who knows the legislation and has access to the best legal assistance available. If you put a foot wrong as a landlord, the fines and sanctions can be severe.
Risk 5: You might have to directly evict someone, deliver bad news or chase them for rent
Having a manager places a buffer between you and the person in your property. Dealing directly with tenants means a lot can go wrong and the challenges of the current property management environment have never been greater. You have to deal with requests for repairs and improvements (some of which can be unusual or unnecessary), late-night emergencies, complaints (sometimes from the neighbours) or health related hardship. We’ve seen situations where tenants refuse eviction or paying of past due rental payments, and it’s important to know the law and your rights before taking appropriate action. Even a great tenant can fall on hard times. Ask yourself – are you willing to deal directly with the bad, as well as the good when it comes to dealing with your tenant?
Risk 6: You will be taking up a lot of your own time.
To self-manage also requires you to have some free time. That means time away from work, hobbies, family, friends and all that you enjoy. We see many property owners who have tried to go it alone and then come to us. This is because they often don’t realise what’s involved in property management. Having a property manager in place allows that person to smoothly run your processes, people, property and paperwork.
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.