Rental Agents: Bridges or barriers?

In the past this column has been accused of being too hard on landlords and, to be fair, when things go wrong in rental units it’s often the man or woman in the middle who’s at fault.

“I own two rental apartments and have been badly let down by both property managers,” says Nibbles 55 in the Flat Chat Forum. “Their main flaws were non-existent or inadequate inspections, poorly executed repairs, and failure to pass on legitimate tenant concerns.”

It’s really hard to know how prospective managers will perform in practice, adds Nibbles who says a ‘bad management’ register would be a huge benefit to landlords.  “Otherwise it’s very much a lucky dip.”

To be fair, some rental agents do a fine job, operating as a conduit between tenants and landlords, maintaining the right level of separation and communication for both parties.  But do we need rental agents at all?

“I fired all my managers and went to self managing ,” Austman writes. “It’s much easier to do than I ever imagined.”

Email, SMS, mobile phones, internet banking and on-line access to forms make it very easy, he says, “apart from when the tenancy changes.”

He adds that the tenants like it and you can develop a relationship with them, although you have to deal with their issues promptly and properly.

Is self-management better for landlords and tenants? Read the original post in full and several readers’ responses here in the Forum.

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