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

The Advertiser - Real Estate - - House Hunter -

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.’’

Pic­ture: DAVID CRONIN

RE­LAXED: In­vestor Rob But­ler, at his Happy Val­ley home, has been us­ing prop­erty man­agers for 30 years.

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