Quick fire questions for a Property Manager
We asked Hannah Shaw some quick questions to help broaden our knowledge of property management…
What should we consider when hiring a Property Manager (PM)?
When engaging a Property Manager, or management agency there are multiple things to consider. This is your investment, your future, you want to make sure that the person looking after it makes you feel comfortable that the will do a good job! Often when engaging a company, you won’t get to speak directly to the Property Manager directly until you have signed up. Ask to meet with them directly. Consider the PM or companies footprint in the local area, cost and experience.
How is the rent amount determined? Can we influence it?
The rent amount is determined by local knowledge and data collected online from comparable properties in your immediate or close surrounding suburbs. Make sure you do some of your own due diligence to ensure that the agent isn’t giving you a price that is un-achievable just to win the listing! Unfortunately this is common practice, so do some homework. You don’t want the property sitting vacant for a long time. You can influence the price by picking from a range provided. Best to follow the PM’s advice, that is what you are paying them for.
What’s the process for screening tenants?
The term “screening” tenants is one used to try and determine whether or not the applicant will give your house back in one piece (refer to ensuring you get your inspection reports!) Most agents will run either a TICA check (Tenancy Information Centre Australia), an Equifax check or equivalent. They will also do a rental reference check, an employment confirmation and other references. Most leading agents will also advise their thoughts on how the tenant presented themselves at the viewing. With all things, this is not fool proof - so make sure you have landlord protection insurance. Always!
So my question about landlord protection insurance is now void….
Make sure you have landlord protection insurance. Always!
How often to inspections occur? Should a landlord attend or does that make us creeps?
This will depend on the amount that is contracted on your management agreement with the agent, some will do 2 per year, some 3, others 4. My recommendation for a new tenant is to conduct a minimum of 3, but ideally 4, inspections per year. After a year or so you will be able to determine whether or not they are good tenants. As the landlord, you can request for inspections per year to be reduced if you wish. As for attending them yourself, this is entirely up to you. If you are confident that you have a tenant who is maintaining the home well, I would not normally suggest regularly attending as this may make a tenant feel uncomfortable. Once a year, or once every two years should be sufficient alongside quarterly reports from your agent. The PM’s report should come with photos so you’ll have a good understanding of what is going on without being a creep.
Contributed by Hannah Shaw
Hannah is a Local Asset Manager (Property Manager) with Propper and has over 5 year experience.
Hannah works from their QLD office however Propper are also located in NSW and VIC.