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When it comes to property management, investors need to take a hard look at all the facts before making a decision about whether they want to do it themselves or hire a professional.
Understanding the legal implications of being landlord is difficult
If a landlord doesn’t keep current with the complex, often changing legislative framework surrounding residential tenancy, or if they don’t understand their rights as well as those of their tenants, they could be in violation of the law.
These laws include tenancy databases and rent increases, security, repairs, time frames for urgent maintenance and routine inspections, notices to be served (e.g. Negotiating the legislation can be frustrating and time-consuming.
Tenants not being properly screened
The wrong tenant could cause costly problems later.
Private landlords are not equipped with the necessary tools, expertise or experience to screen all applicants. Instead, they rely on their intuition and limited information (such pay slips and CVs).
They don’t usually have access to critical selection criteria like rental history, which a property manager can access through industry databases. And they often don’t always have the time or the resources to conduct the necessary background checks.
Private landlords are often in danger by not having enough documentation to support the tenant’s tenancy. Some even go so far as to rely on a handshake for confirmation.
It is remarkable that, despite the fact an investment property is such an important financial undertaking, many landlords do not have a legally binding contract to protect their investment. Or they use an incorrect lease document that isn’t applicable for their territory.
Private landlords often don’t create a complete condition report or an inventory of the property. They also neglect to set up important documents like sign-out sheets for keys or requests for repairs.
Do not insist on a bond
A bond is a security deposit that the landlord holds in the event the tenant defaults or causes damage to the property.
Private landlords often fail to do so and are not able to offer any recourse at the termination of a tenancy if things go wrong.
Regular inspections not being conducted
Each state and territory has its own property inspection procedure. Failure to follow these procedures can result in costly legal action.
DIY property managers often don’t follow a schedule for regular inspections. This is because they don’t have the time or want to avoid confrontation with tenants or avoid paying any maintenance costs.
While there are many reasons to not conduct regular inspections, the risks are great.
Inexperienced or inept property managers often fail to handle rogue tenants. They also neglect to respond quickly to rent arrears.