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Smart landlords know the value of professional property managers but even the most experienced investors can wind up with a bad operator.
From irregular inspection reports to rental arrears and payment discrepancies, there are a number of signs that you’ve been lumped with a bad property manager.
Hot Property Management co-owner and office manager Maddyson Solano said one of the most obvious signs was that the agency only had staff with minimal experience.
“Having an agency where the senior staff are involved in the day-to-day business is a big win,” she said.
“Whether it is a routine inspection, ingoing/outgoing condition report or open for inspection, the senior management should also be inspecting the property.
More signs included an agency that only worked from 9am to 5pm or one that shied away from telling their landlord clients the truth, Solano said.
“One of the main roles of a property management company is to give you the cold hard truth on the current market, maintenance, and the tenancy,” she said.
“Sometimes you don’t want to hear it but that’s what a good company will do – keep you informed and in the loop.”
Bees Nees City Realty general manager Clint Dowdell-Smith said irregular inspection reports were a sign that a property manager didn’t see value in completing this important task.
“Property inspections is one the ‘too busy’ property manager may not make time to do. They might wait to be asked by their landlords, then rush off to get it done,” he said.
“Good property managers have a diary with routine inspections booked in geographic runs well ahead of time. They know what’s needed and just get it done.”
Other issues could be using on site building managers who may not have the necessary property management skills and experience, he said.
Another concerning sign of a bad property manager was common errors or discrepancies with rental payments to landlords.
“Trust accounting, like all record-keeping, is a precise science and nothing can be left to chance,” Dowdell-Smith said.
“The best property management offices have a specialist team member who carries out these tasks, with an eagle-eye for detail. You need to be able to relax and know you’re receiving every dollar you’re entitled to.”
Another sign, according to Solano, was agencies that charged extra for services that should be included with a landlord’s management fees.
This included charging additional fees for routine inspections and installing “for lease” signs at the property, she said.
Five signs you have a bad property manager
- Inexperienced staff
- Not truthful about market, tenancy and maintenance
- Irregular property inspections
- Rental payment discrepancies
- Charging additional fees