Rental Property Management: Should You Do It Yourself or Use an Agency?
Congratulations, you've bought yourself an investment property. Now you can just sit back and watch the income roll in, right? Well, not so fast. Being a landlord involves a lot of different responsibilities. Depending on how many properties you own, it can end up being a full-time job in itself.
It might be tempting to choose to manage the property yourself to save money, but there is a lot of time and expertise that goes into managing such an investment. You might consider hiring a property agent to manage your investment for you. Here is some information to help make your decision easier.
Responsibilities of Being a Landlord
There are a lot of responsibilities involved in being a landlord. Many of them can be time-consuming, taking you away from your day job or from building your investment portfolio. Some of the responsibilities involved are:
Managing Routine Inspections
This is not as simple as just showing up. You need to:
- Provide tenants with adequate notice that an inspection is happening.
- Organise to have a key or for one of the tenants to be home.
- Take pictures and check any damage against the condition report.
- Follow up if there are any items the tenants need to address.
- Check to see if any repairs or items are complete.
This can often involve inspecting the property yourself. You can also enlist in the help of a trusted friend or technician to inspect the damage or broken item. They can assess whether or not the tenant is at fault, or if the damage is due to routine wear and tear. You will then need to:
- Get Estimates: Cost the repair, obtaining quotes from different repair technicians in the area and ensuring that your insurance will cover the costs, if applicable.
- Schedule the Job: Coordinate with the tenants to make sure someone is around to let in the repairman or that you yourself can let them in.
Dealing with Difficult Tenants
You hope you never have to deal with it, but there's always the possibility that one of your tenants might be unreliable, frequently late with rent or cause damage to the property. It can be a daunting prospect to deal with these kinds of tenants, particularly if this is your first investment property or you are unfamiliar with legal processes. You need to be well versed in the legalities and take proactive action in these situations to avoid losses in income and other costs.
How a Property Manager Can Help
Fortunately, these are all areas in which a property agent can assist. Not only do they take on a lot of the day to day management, they are experienced at dealing with the legalities and processes around tenancy agreements. Some of the benefits a property agent might provide are:
- Manage Inspections: A property agent can coordinate with tenants, provide the appropriate notices and perform inspections. They can also send you photos and let you know if any problems arise.
- Organise Repairs: An agent will likely know several reputable repairmen in the area and be able to quickly obtain quotes and organise repairs, without you having to be there.
- Provide Legal Experience: A Property Manager will know the Residential Tenancies Act 2017 for that area, so they can follow up with tenants who unwittingly breach these legislations.
- Deal with Difficult Tenants: An experienced property agent will be able to manage difficult tenants. If the worst were to happen and you need to evict them, a property agent is an invaluable asset. They are familiar will the legal processes and will be able to organise notice to the tenants, arrange police visits, locate locksmiths, and even represent you in housing court.
A property agent can be a great source of information and support when you are just starting out in the investment property game. They can be invaluable when you have multiple properties that need looking after.
While it might seem cheaper to manage the property yourself, the cost of your time and energy is far greater than anything you might pay to a property agent. You can gain peace of mind and sleep easy knowing you have a property manager on your side.
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