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Property Management 101: Should You DIY or Hire a Professional?

    Managing a rental property involves a number of ongoing tasks and responsibilities that can be overwhelming for some landlords. Deciding whether to manage your property yourself or to hire a professional property manager is a significant decision. Here’s a breakdown of some of the things you need to know about property management.

    Legal Responsibilities of Landlords

    Every landlord must adhere to a set of legal obligations, which include ensuring the property is habitable, adhering to safety regulations, and respecting tenant privacy. Understanding and complying with these laws is crucial to avoid legal disputes and penalties. Professional property managers are well-versed in these laws, which can reduce your liability and ensure that you remain compliant.

    Screening Tenants

    Finding the right tenant is one of the most critical aspects of property management. It involves advertising the property, conducting viewings, screening applications, and performing background checks. This process requires time, access to screening tools, and an understanding of fair housing laws. A professional manager can streamline this process, often with access to resources and networks that individual landlords lack.

    Paperwork, Systems, and Processes

    Effective property management requires efficient systems for handling applications, leases, renewals, rent collection, and maintenance requests. Professional property managers typically have established systems and software that allow them to manage these tasks efficiently, reducing the likelihood of errors and delays that can affect your revenue.

    Inspections and Property Access

    Regular inspections are necessary to ensure the property is well-maintained and to assess any damages that may need repair. Managing these inspections and coordinating times with tenants can be challenging. Professional managers understand the legalities around notice periods and property access, which helps maintain a good relationship with tenants while ensuring the property is looked after.

    Coordinating Tradespeople

    Maintenance is an inevitable part of owning a rental property. Whether it’s urgent repairs or routine maintenance, finding reliable tradespeople and coordinating repair times can be time-consuming. Property managers usually have established relationships with a network of trusted contractors, which can often result in quicker and potentially cost-effective service.

    Owners Corporations

    If your property is part of a strata scheme, dealing with the owners corporation adds another layer of complexity. This includes attending meetings and staying informed about any decisions that affect your property. A property manager can represent you in these meetings and ensure that your interests are protected. They will also have familiarity with regulations, model rules and the differences that exist in each state and territory of Australia.

    The decision to manage your property or hire a professional depends largely on your availability, expertise, and willingness to deal with the day-to-day tasks of property management. If you prefer to be hands-on and have the time to dedicate to managing your property, DIY management might be suitable. However, if you lack the time, knowledge, or inclination to handle these tasks, a professional property manager is a valuable investment.

    Both options have their advantages and challenges, but the right choice depends on your specific circumstances and how much you’re willing to take on in your role as a landlord.

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