When engaging a property manager, you may find yourself wondering what services your property manager will be providing. You will also find that property managers’ range of services can differ greatly so it is recommended that you explore your options and be aware of the services your property manager will provide.
Here we briefly outline some of the main services your property manager should be offering you – if you are a landlord.
Marketing and leasing of your property
This one is pretty self-explanatory. To list and lease your property manager will upload your property to various websites and platforms, marketing your property as widely as possible using some quality photographs, a floorplan, virtual tour, and provide detailed features of your property to prospective tenants. Your property manager will work hard to not only find you, great tenants, initially but retain them, with the goal to minimise vacancy and keep money in your pocket.
They will conduct inspections of the property with prospective tenants and screen prospective tenant applications using a variety of tools, including reference checks, income tests, tenant default databases, rental history, and references to name a few.
Once all checks are complete and you have approved a tenant the property manager will arrange for the lease to be signed and bond and rent in advance to be paid.
Lease agreements and tenancy document management
You have approved a new tenant to move into your property and agreed on the lease start date. The property manager will draw up a lease agreement (in accordance with legislation) that will include such items as agreed rental amount, length of lease, payment terms, approved pets, any costs tenants are responsible for (water consumption, etc), and all responsibilities of the landlord and tenant in general.
The lease agreement will be saved within a filing system with your property manager along with the tenant’s rental application and all other paperwork throughout the tenancy. Your property manager will have processes and systems in place to ensure you adhere to your obligations within the tenancy agreement and overall compliance and also have a system in place regarding renewing or ending a tenancy on your behalf too.
It’s important that your property be inspected at regular intervals throughout the tenancy both from a compliance point of view and your own peace of mind as an investor that everything is going okay. There are 3 main types of property inspections throughout a tenancy however other inspections can take place during a tenancy.
An Entry Condition Report inspection is a detailed report of the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy and should include plenty of photos. This report is referenced to at the end of a tenancy to identify any differences that would not be seen as fair wear and tear that the tenants might be responsible for.
Routine inspections are carried out at regular intervals and will provide information regarding the property and any maintenance required or recommended. The routine inspection is also a time that the property manager may identify any breaches to the tenancy – be it an unapproved pet or condition the property is being kept etc.
The Exit Condition Report is completed at the end of the tenancy where the property manager will detail any differences to the Entry Condition Report and is used when finalising a tenancy and the tenants bond.
Property maintenance and repairs
Maintenance and repairs are required at all properties regardless of age and your property manager will have a selection of approved, trusted service providers and tradespeople to carry out repairs at both regular intervals (smoke alarm servicing, garden maintenance etc) and irregular (urgent plumbing, electrical faults etc) and will have a process around this. They will have a maintenance schedule, suggest preventative maintenance and/or repairs to save you money in the long run and depending on what is agreed upon with you they will most likely contact you with maintenance requests and quotes for your approval and to advise of the arrangement/status per item.
Rent collection, rent arrears management and tenant invoice management
In short – your property manager will collect the rent as agreed in the tenancy agreement from your tenants and keep a rental ledger for this. When rent isn’t paid as agreed to in the tenancy agreement, your property manager will follow a process and communicate with the tenants and the landlord about updates in relation to the rent arrears. Certain tenancy documentation may be required to be issued to the tenants at specific intervals if there has been a breach of the agreement and in extreme circumstances, the property manager may seek your instruction to take steps to end the tenancy.
The property manager will also issue and manage all tenancy related invoices such as water consumption and manage any debt owed to you by the tenants.
Tenancy disputes, insurance claims and legal issues
Should there be a dispute or breach of the agreement during or at the end of a tenancy – the property manager will manage this on your behalf as instructed and keep you updated.
Your property manager will remain up to date with local, state and federal legislation regarding tenancy (from both the landlord and tenants perspective) and be your guidance and representative throughout the process handling general tenancy disputes and procedures according to the legislative requirements at the time.
With your authority to do so, your property manager can lodge insurance claims on your behalf for tenant rent default and both malicious and general property damage. As your property manager they have all relevant information and reports and a timeline of historical events and documentation, photography and other forms of media to support your claim.
Accounting and administration
There is an array of activity in the financial records of your investment property and your property manager will provide comprehensive accounting records via statement and in most instances also via online access for your reference at any time. The management of the finances in relation to your investment property can include (depending on what you have agreed upon in the Property Occupations Form 6) paying tradespeople for works completed, paying council rates, Body Corporate and other invoices as well as a detailed and accurate record of all rental payments made by the tenants or tenant invoice payments. Your property manager will also provide appropriate tax documentation for the end of financial year and will manage the tenant’s bond payments and returns.
Rental appraisals and assessments
Your property should be assessed regularly to ensure the rental amount is appropriate and in line with comparison rental properties in the area, market conditions and historical yields and your property manager will provide in-depth information of your property at regular intervals to ensure that your property is at the right price point. Additional to this, your property manager will make recommendations in the way or improvements that will increase the property’s appeal, enable a higher rental rate and provide the best possible return on your investment.
Communication and overall customer experience
Your property manager is an experienced professional that has chosen this role as their career. They will be your ongoing source of information and provide you great assistance, encouragement, recommendations and advice throughout the management of your property. Your chosen property manager will communicate heavily with your tenants and can navigate all aspects of a tenancy and take care of circumstances that can feel overwhelming to landlords and tenants. None of the above services can come together without adequate communication and an extraordinary property manager will create an excellent customer experience for all parties involved.