Some property investors choose to manage their own rental properties. This has both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that you can save on real estate agent costs but there are challenges you need to be mindful of.
Some mistakes self-managing landlords make are:
- Access – Landlords must obtain permission from their tenant to access their property – some fail to give adequate notice. Whether it is for inspections or to undertake maintenance duties, landlords must not ignore the rules about access
- Bonds – Some landlords ask for more than four weeks rent (which is against the rules) and/fail to lodge a rental bond with the appropriate authority, where applicable, in their state
- Proper documentation – Some landlords fail to put written tenancy agreements in place, complete comprehensive property condition reports, or keep proper records of rental payments. This can lead to significant difficulty if or when a dispute arises.
- Charging for utilities – There are clear rules for when you can and can’t charge for water usage and other utilities but these vary from state to state.
- Failing to make communication easy – Some landlords fail to provide tenants with their full name and address or phone contact details. This can make it difficult for tenants to communicate about problems or respond appropriately in emergencies
- Not seeking help – Landlords often forget they can seek guidance from appropriate tenancy authorities in their state. Many services and information sheets exist and state based real estate institutes can help direct landlords to the help they need.