If you don’t fancy the role of managing your investment property yourself then employing a Property Manager can make life much easier for you. Not only are Property Managers responsible for searching and interviewing potential rental tenants, but they will also collect rent, conduct any maintenance as well as carry out inspections for you.
Many property investors choose to employ a Property Manager in order to save tax, reduce their time spent looking after the property as well as keep stress to a minimum, especially when owning more than one investment property.
However, to ensure your property is as successful as possible it’s essential that you do your thorough research and use a reputable Property Manager who will look after you and your property.
Sometimes though, what might have seemed like a well-chosen Property Manager, could turn out to become problematic. And, if they’re not doing the job they’re supposed to be doing, then it’s costing you valuable money.
So how do you know whether your Property Manager is a waste of time and not looking after you and your property effectively? Here are 7 signs to watch out for:
1. Lack of communication – If you’re finding that there is a lack of communication between yourself and your Property Manager or that you are the one always chasing them for a response, then you should start to have your doubts about using your Property Manager. Your Property Manager should be updating you regularly whether it be by phone, email or in person and you definitely should not be the one asking for property updates or chasing jobs to be done.
A lack of communication could mean they have too many properties to manage and don’t have enough time to manage yours, or that they simply don’t care. If you are using a Property Management company then you can always see if there is another Property Manager you could change to instead which could make a difference.
2. No property inspections – It’s important that your Property Manager carries out regular inspections on your property, at least once a year or more frequently depending on your lease. Property inspections will report on any maintenance or repairs required and will ensure your property stays in good condition. It also gives you a chance to know if something is wrong, such as any high-level damage or even the tenants owning pets when they’re not allowed to.
3. Bad tenants – Another sign that your Property Manager is a waste of time and not looking after your best interests is that if you’re repeatedly getting bad tenants or you cannot rent the property out. If you’re not getting quality tenants then it’s likely that your Property Manager is not screening tenants properly. This will cost you money through constantly having to find new tenants, loss of rent due to vacancy and more wear and tear with constant moving in and out of tenants.
4. No monthly report – When you use a Property Manager to manage your rental property for you, they should send you a monthly report detailing your property income and expenses. It should include items such as how much rent was collected, your property management fees and any expenses for maintenance etc. This report should generally be the same amount each month depending on any repairs required, so any inconsistencies should set off alarm bells. If you don’t receive a report, then get in touch with your Property Manager and ask them to send it immediately; however, if you still don’t receive anything then it’s time to find a new Property Manager.
5. Little or lack of maintenance – Your Property Manager is there to look after your investment property for you and organise any repairs required efficiently from reputable tradespeople. If they are not responding or organising this work to be completed, especially any urgent repairs, then problems could get worse and result in a higher cost to you. You might therefore want to start looking for another Property Manager who is more on the ball.
6. Excessive repair costs – As well as your Property Manager providing little or no maintenance to your property when it’s required, you might find that the maintenance repairs that are carried out are highly excessive in price. The Property Manager could be taking a larger cut for themselves or even billing you for repairs that were not even completed. A good Property Manager should have a number of reputable tradespeople that they use on a regular basis and help you find the best tradesperson for the best price.
7. Rent doesn’t change – If your investment property has not seen a rental increase for a while, then either the rental market is not performing at its best due to falling employment rates or increasing vacancy rates or your Property Manager is not negotiating the best rent for your property. If it’s been longer than 18 months since the rent has increased on your property then you are likely to be receiving less than the current market value and this could see you missing out on a substantial sum of money as time goes by. The best way to check your property is renting for the best price possible is to view similar properties in the area and find out what they are renting for.
So, if you find yourself experiencing one or more of the above issues, then it’s time for you to take action and find yourself a new Property Manager. At the end of the day, a bad Property Manager is not doing what they are being paid to do and will be costing both you and your property.
You first need to check your current contract with your Property Manager to find out how you can cancel the contract. You also need to ensure you get a hold of all the records of all your tenants that were managed and check through the records yourself to ensure everything is in order.
It’s therefore wise to carry out an on-site inspection yourself to see how your property is looking and make sure the property does not require any urgent repairs.
You can or course mange your investment property yourself, but keep in mind the amount of time this will take. If you do decide to use another Property Manager then keep a few things in mind to ensure your next person is more reliable and you have a far better experience:
Do your research and ask plenty of questions;
Shop around and compare fees;
Meet the Property Manager in person and get to know them first;
Read tenant/owner reviews and testimonials
You can also read our latest article: 7 Great ways to select the perfect Property Manager to learn more about finding and selecting the best Property Manager possible.