As a property investor you can choose a hands-on approach and manage the property – and the tenant, yourself. Or you can opt to use a professional property manager. It’s a decision you need to weigh up carefully because while a DIY approach can be a money saver, there are also important legal responsibilities you must meet as a landlord, and it is critical to get these right.

A professional property manager will usually charge a management fee of 7% of gross rent though this is normally negotiable. In return for this, the manager will take care of the majority of work involved in running the property.

These duties include:

  • Advising you of the appropriate rent to charge
  • Securing quality tenants which involve:
    • Advertising the property to let, organising ‘Open for inspection’ viewings, taking tenant applications, checking tenant references and interviewing tenants
    • Drafting a formal lease agreement
    • Lodging the rental bond with the appropriate agency in your state or territory
    • Organising a written report from the tenant confirming the condition of the property prior to the start of the lease
  • Collecting rent on a regular basis and chasing up late payments
  • Dealing with tenant requests for property repairs or maintenance
  • Providing monthly and annual statements for your tax return detailing the rent received and the total of associated property costs
  • Dealing with difficult tenants including attending any tenancy tribunal hearings on your behalf

The bottom line is that some investors get a great deal of satisfaction from managing their own rental property. But if you are a first-time investor or you are pressed for time, it can make sense to use a professional property manager. For the management fee that you pay, you’ll have the benefit of a hassle-free investment and you won’t have to deal directly with your tenants, which is the option many investors prefer.

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