Investment out of sight
Enlisting the services of a property manager to look after investments can bring peace of mind to landlords, reports Ben Hyde
MORE investors are turning to property managers to oversee their investments. Turner Partners managing director Robin Turner, whose company has one of the biggest property management arms in the state, says busier lifestyles are prompting more investors to engage a manager.
‘‘We are certainly seeing the demand for our services increase and I think that comes from an increasing level of people with busy lives,’’ he says. Mr Turner estimates that about 50 per cent of investors are using property managers.
‘‘That percentage definitely moves up as the value of the investment property rises,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s a service that takes a lot of the weight and tedium away from (owning) an investment property.’’
Mr Turner says a property manager costs on average about 8 to 10 per cent of the rental income but the benefits outweigh the cost.
‘‘When rent reviews come along, a lot of landlords feel very uncomfortable approaching tenants and asking them to pay an increased rate. They tend not to get the benefit of rising rates,’’ he says.
Terri Scheer Insurance manager Carolyn Majda says the time and effort saved by using a property manager is substantial.
‘‘They will help to find tenants, ensure the correct paperwork is in place, collect the rent, conduct property inspections and liaise with the tenant on behalf of the landlord,’’ she says.
‘‘Property managers have experience in screening prospective tenants and have access to databases that list tenants with a history of defaulting on rental payments, damaging property and eviction.’’
Ms Majda says the cost of a property manager may be tax deductible but investors needed to check this with their accountant.
Property investment services company Ironfish managing director Damon Nagel says the benefits for landlords extend beyond the obvious.
‘‘Private landlords are often not aware of all the legalities that come with being a property manager – from the basics, such as fire regulations, right up to the important paperwork that is necessary if you have to visit a tribunal,’’ he says.
‘‘Time is precious and when you have a full-time job, your best intentions to look after issues to do with your property on time can fall by the wayside.’’
Investor Rob Butler has used property managers for 30 years and says it gives him peace of mind.
‘‘It changes it from being a personal thing to a business thing, which is good when it comes to dealing with tenants or rent adjustments,’’ he says.
‘‘I don’t know all the laws and complications and I imagine they’re changing from time to time.’’
RELAXED: Investor Rob Butler, at his Happy Valley home, has been using property managers for 30 years.