I was reading an article recently that was actually about someone who had purchased a rent roll believing that the sole charge property manager was managing the properties well, ensuring the properties complied with legislation and taking great care of the landlords and tenants, however upon delving deeper this was far from the truth.
This got me thinking about how much an active supervisory role in a property management business is imperative to ensuring shortcuts are not being taken and that the landlords assets and funds are protected.
As much as I would like to be confident in saying that all property managers are created equally, that is not in fact the case, and until regulation is re-introduced to our industry once again, inferior property management will continue to be out there destroying the name of our profession. (Yes – this gets me hot under the collar!)
So, what should you be looking for? Firstly if you have yet to be asked to supply a healthy homes report, smoke alarm expiry dates and insurance information, this may mean that your property is not compliant with current legislation. Even if in your opinion the property complies, we are required to have written evidence, and all new tenancy agreements and renewals must have these details recorded, so why haven’t you been asked? Although we sometimes feel like we are harping on, and we know we have to deliver news landlords often don’t like hearing, at the end of the day it is our responsibility to educate and ensure our landlords are protected from any potential fines, whilst ensuring our tenants are living in healthy, safe and compliant homes.
Secondly, does the company have an externally audited trust account? If they don’t who is ensuring that everything is above board, that bonds are being lodged on time, and of course that the tenant rent money is being paid to you on time and in full. You would be surprised how many landlords don’t check their accounts regularly.
Thirdly are you receiving full and thorough inspection reports on time to ensure you comply with your insurance policy? Have you never had any maintenance requested, or a suggestion for pro-active maintenance been pointed out by your property manager?
And finally who is keeping their eye on things, doing internal audits, keeping up with new legislation, implementing new training and systems and the laws changes and of course keeping the team accountable if something is not up to standard?
Anyway I thought it was food for thought, and as a property investor myself I see these things as the absolute minimum for choosing a property manager to take care of your rental properties, after all they are a massive investment.