We often hear stories from people who have had a terrible experience with their Property Manager. Stories include:
The Property Manager who released a tenants bond before checking the property they had vacated, costing the Landlord thousands of dollars.
The Property Manager who paid a tradesman for extensive work at a property that hadn’t been completed.
A bad experience is never forgotten, yet a good experience often goes unappreciated.
How do you know if you have a Good Property Manager?
Firstly, you will rarely hear from them. A good Property Manager will deal with the day to day runnings of your property and the communication from your tenant without bothering you unnecessarily.
A good Property Manager will be monitoring the local rental market constantly and will suggest appropriate rent increases to you at regular intervals if the market conditions are favourable.
A good Property Manager will foster friendly, professional relationships with your tenant and keep the lines of communication open with them. Although they work for you, it is in your best interests for your tenant to feel that your Property Manager is approachable. If there is ever a problem at the property a tenant is far more likely to discuss it with a friendly Property Manager.
A good Property Manager will be in touch with you when your tenant’s lease is due to expire. They will discuss your options for either re-signing a good tenant or giving Notice to a troublesome tenant. If you do have a troublesome tenant you can Terminate your agreement with them with 30 days Notice prior to the end of the lease. If the lease expires you are obligated to give them at least 90 days Notice ... and often they stop paying rent in that time.
A good Property Manager will be monitoring your lease expiry in relation to the season too. Traditionally here, Winter vacancies achieve less rent and are vacant for longer. If your tenant’s lease would expire in Winter a good Property Manager will be suggesting that you lock your tenant in with an offer of a new lease before the cold weather hits.
You will hear regularly from a Good Property Manager when your property is vacant. That’s when you need them most. Your Property Manager should be showing your property regularly and be in regular touch with feedback.
How can you be a good Landlord?
Return phone calls promptly. If you are lucky enough to have a good Property Manager, you know if they’re calling you it’s important. Return their calls promptly.
A lot of communication these days is through email. Although this may seem a little impersonal to you, your Property Manager needs certain instructions in writing. If you receive an email from your Property Manager, return it. You may have received a perfect “Routine Inspection” Report with no requests for maintenance - just say “thank you”. It lets your property manager know that the report has been received.
Maybe you’ve been contacted about some work that is needed at your property. You may want to discuss this with the Property Manager, which is fine, but then return the email with an outline of your phone conversations. In 2 years time, when the conversation has faded from memory, your email can be referred to.
Understand that your Property Manager is working for you, by explaining what the tenant has requested. Sometimes Landlords feel that their Property Manager is “on the tenant’s side”. If you have a good Property Manager, that is not the case. Work with your Property Manager in these situations, there will be a reason for the request .
If you have a vacant rental and your Property Manager is contacting you with feedback, listen to it. If you’re not in a position to fix the issue, then discuss other options, like dropping the rent slightly to attract the best tenant from a lower rental bracket.
Lastly, listen to their advice, particularly regarding a new tenants. If your Property Manager is advising against accepting someone as a tenant, heed their warning... they deal with difficult tenants every day and can spot the tell-tale signs a mile off! If they’re suggesting a tenant will be problematic, they’re usually right!