With the quality of property managers out there in the field, it’s no wonder property owners ponder the question on whether they self-manage their own property. There’s nothing wrong with saving a few dollars and taking on the gruelling job of keeping your tenant happy, but you must weigh up the costs. What is your time worth?
Not only do you have to ensure that you keep your tenant happy, but you must be up to speed with all the legislation that safeguards both you and your tenant. Bear in mind, it is ever changing, so keeping your finger on the pulse will keep you out of trouble in the future.
There’s paperwork, oh yeah, plenty of that. Make sure you have signed leases that have standard regulations, but also, it’s worth having a lawyer draft something up for you to make sure you’re protected. Bond lodgement with the RTBA (Residential Tenancies Bond Authority), condition reports to protect you in case of any disputes that need to be heard at VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal).
Be on top of repairs and have tradies at hand. If you have been working with them for a while, you will usually get a better rate, either way, you need to have a list of standard and emergency contacts if anything goes wrong. Any maintenance or repairs need to be attended too. Depending on the severity of the issue, will depend on how quickly you need to respond. Make sure you’re up to date with what’s an emergency and what’s not.
The list goes on when it comes to managing property. Many people self-manage their properties, but for a small fee every month, you can give yourself piece of mind and get on with your life. If you choose to self-manage, communication is key. Be sure you let the tenant know if you’re taking some time out and who to contact as well as have all the above ready to go and at arm’s length. As this involves people, their lives and shelter, it’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re not up for the task, then hire a property manager. Just keep searching until you find the right one.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.