As a landlord, you want the best tenants for your properties. But invariably, even the best tenants have demands. And responding to requests, queries and maintenance issues can be time-consuming and stressful. This is where a good property manager can assist.
Property managers are a third party that act as an intermediary between the landlord and the tenants. They listen to the complaints and concerns of tenants, and resolve issues to ensure both parties are happy.
Here are five of the most common complaints and concerns for landlords:
Every investor wants rent to be paid on time. That’s why a stringent and systematic approach to managing rent payments is best. Maintaining regular and direct contact with the tenant, and monitoring rental payment and checking arrears daily, is essential.
In the event the tenant does fall into arrears, they are issued a breach notice for non-payment. If, following the first notice the tenant still doesn’t make payment, a second notice is issued to terminate the lease and vacate the property.
Our approach to managing rent payment means we can address potential issues as soon as they arise, which generally prevents an undesirable situation from occurring. However, in the event further action is required, in most cases property managers can recover from the tenant, any tribunal costs.
Good property managers should aim to keep their clients’ maintenance costs as affordable as possible. It is important, however, for the landlord to keep the property in good condition to maximise the rental potential. But repairs and maintenance are inevitable.
Routine property inspections should be carried out every six months. The property manager should also provide a report on the condition of the property and any maintenance items that need attention. No repair should be carried out without the landlord’s prior knowledge and permission, nor above the amount specified on the Management Agency Agreement.
The only exception is in the event of an emergency repair, where contact cannot be made and authority is required as a matter of urgency. In this case, the repair is authorised at the agent’s discretion. To ensure both the tenant and the landlord are satisfied, the property manager should have several trusted tradespeople at their disposal to get the job done effectively, and at a competitive price.
Generally, a tenant is responsible for keeping a property clean, but the landlord is responsible for maintaining the level of health and safety of the property. This includes pest control.
Once every year, and prior to a new tenancy, it’s a good idea to arrange to have your rental property inspected and sprayed for pests, like ants, termites and cockroaches. This is a benefit for tenants which also protects your asset.
When your property manager completes the first property condition report, they should also check the premises for cleanliness, including pests.
Landlords have a number of obligations and responsibilities to their tenants. This includes keeping all appliances in good, working order and repairing them, in a timely manner, when they break.
While the condition of the appliances depend on the age and rent of the property, the landlord is obliged to keep the property and inclusions in the same condition as when the tenant moved in. Ongoing and direct contact with tenants means maintenance and repairs of broken appliances can be addressed and resolved, as soon as the issues arises.
The most common frustration for landlords is poor communication from property managers – either not enough, or too much.
Good communication is the foundation for a successful business relationship between property managers and landlords. The property manager acts on behalf of the landlord and the tenant, to alleviate stresses for both parties. This means having an in-depth knowledge of the property and its current condition, and communicating this to the landlord.
This can be done by preparing monthly reports and maintenance logs, responding to issues, and maintaining regular contact via phone or email, with news and updates relating to the property. A good property manager will reach out to you. As the landlord, you shouldn’t be the one having to chase up or ask questions.