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The Risks of Not using a Property Manager

By Tamara Lloyd

It is my belief that many landlords under estimate & under value the work, knowledge and the need for their property manager.

Having started my career in the real estate industry in property management around 20 years ago, (that makes me feel old) I have first hand knowledge of what it takes to manage a portfolio of hundreds of different personalities (as its as much about people management as property management). You can often feel a bit like the meat in the sandwich, particularly when agreement is difficult between landlords and tenants on issues that arise. In the end, I always advise my team to follow the law and advise both parties of their legal obligations and keep the emotion out of it.

A recent example that prompted me to write about this topic is actually some friends/clients of mine that we manage 4 properties for. Three of the properties we have very little issue with – things run smoothly and any issues that arise are dealt with by the landlord in a timely and fair manner and the tenants are great. The 4th property has been an issue ever since we took over management. The tenant had been in their 9 years (we did not put her in) and she was constantly late with rent and had every excuse under the sun. The house was full of “stuff” and was messy. The landlord was fully aware of the condition, but felt sorry for the lady and her situation and gave her more leeway than we recommended. In the end it came to a point where we said “no more”. However, due to how long she had been in the property, VCAT were sympathetic to her situation and were hesitant to evict her – she also knew how to play the game.

In this situation it was critical that we followed the process and put steps in placed that would anticipate her moves so we protected our client and their property so we could vacate her. It took about 6 months of VCAT hearings but eventually we executed the warrant of possession and evicted her. Now, please understand that this is not something any property manager, or the police like doing – it is an emotional and difficult process for all involved – especially when children are also involved – so I am not celebrating that we’ve had to do this. However, taking the emotion out of our role – we are there to protect our clients and ensure their property and their future is protected.

Later when consumer affairs met our Head of Department at the property along with the owner to go through the abandon goods, the landlord turned to them both and commented on how “you don’t really appreciate what a property manager does until something bad happens & you appreciate the work that goes in at the start to minimise this happening”.

My point is – There is a lot of work and knowledge that good Property Managers have that helps to minimise the risk of these situations. Often things run smoothly and you may wonder why you need a property manager. However, if/when something unexpected happens you want us there to guide you and protect your asset and your future wealth creation.

If you would like to discuss your investment property/s or need advice regarding selling your property/s, please contact me on 0408 585 319, Elaine Richards on 0438 329 261 or the office on 9725 7444.

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