Managing an investment property generally means finding tenants, gathering rent and arranging maintenance and repairs. You can save yourself a bit of money if you do this yourself, or you can save a bit of time and have an agent do it for you.

If you decide to appoint an agent expect to pay around 5% of the rental income you get from the property. The upside is, once you have signed, there's little more for you to do. An agent will:

  • Find your tenants.
  • Deal with their day-to-day needs.
  • Provide you with a monthly statement that details all the income and outgoings associated with your investment.

Plus, an agent should know the system inside out – so you don't have to do a crash course in tenancy laws and requirements.

Find a tenant

Depending on what you decide, either you or the agent will have to:

  • Advertise the property, then interview and reference check the interested parties.
  • Arrange the lease agreement.
  • Lodge the rental bond with the appropriate agency in your state or territory.
  • Get a written report from the tenant confirming the condition of the property prior to the start of the lease.

Deal with the day-to-day

Either you or the agent may also have to:

  • Chase any missed rent payments.
  • Arrange repairs and maintenance.
  • Inspect and authorise any repairs and maintenance.
  • Pay all bills, for example council and water rates and strata fees.

Whether you're doing-it-yourself or with the help of an agent, take the opportunity to inspect your property regularly. A visit can reveal any potential tenancy or maintenance issues.