Renting privately as a tenant and landlord has pros and cons. The reason why landlords self-manage include cost saving, availability of time and more control over the direct management of their property portfolio.
It’s important to note that some tenants prefer a property to be managed by an agent to keep the relationship at arm’s length. In my opinion engaging a property manager should be considered an investment in your property asset, not an expense.
One of the biggest reasons I see landlords engage a property manager is to have the hard conversations with the tenant. This is mainly around rental arrears and lack of maintenance or care for a property during the tenancy. The second biggest reason is time to manage and complete the routine, scheduled and daily tasks. There is also the after-hours hassle of emergency repairs and contractors.
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) Qld is a great resource online and over the phone, and they provide forms, processes and other articles to assist both tenants and landlords with their statutory obligations.
If a landlord decides to self-manage without engaging a real estate agent, the landlord needs to assume direct responsibility for and action on the following tasks:
- rent collection including arrears management
- managing paperwork in accordance with the Act and best practice requirements
- actioning repairs and maintenance
- organising compliance such as smoke alarms, blinds and safety switch checks
- attending mediation and QCAT matters if required
- advertising the property for lease, completing inspections and processing applications
- completing routine inspections, entry and exit reports
In my time as a property investor I have also self-managed my own properties. However, this is when I had time to do so. When I started full time work and university study, managing our own rental properties became more of a burden than a hobby. There is also an associated risk with self-managing your own rental property portfolio and its essential that a landlord be extremely familiar with the Act and their obligations.
An experienced property manager has the ability to pre-empt a situation and minimise risk to both the landlord and the tenant. They are also great negotiators and communicators. When you engage a qualified property manager, you’re not just paying for their time, but their experience both as an individual and a team, access to resources as well as the basic functions such as collection of rent and inspections.