by Roger Hawthorn

house in hands
Roger Hawthorn
Senior Consultant - Property Management

Television programs such as “Homes Under the Hammer” makes being a landlord look so simple. Buy a property, add a new bathroom suite, and then immediately rent it out for a long-term, high-percentage yield. Now you just sit back and watch the money roll in. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, the reality can often be quite different. Choosing the right tenants is one thing, but making sure they are happy to be long-term renters is another.

Managing your own property (or properties) can very quickly become stressful - broken boilers and terrible tenants can turn what you expected to be a simple extra stream of revenue into a rather costly endeavour. For many landlords, finding the time to inspect their properties and organise repair work isn’t compatible with their already busy schedules, and it soon becomes apparent that outside help is needed. Luckily, a good property management company can improve the return on investment and offer advantages you wouldn’t necessarily have access to if you tried to go it alone.

Property Managers often work within a letting agency, meaning they already have existing relationships with prospective tenants and can provide you with the best fit for your property. While you can always remove a bad occupant, the hassle of changing locks, cleaning the entire property and then finding a replacement tenant can easily become time consuming and therefore costly.

Avoiding a revolving door of occupants is every landlord’s dream, so finding the most suitable tenant first-time and then maintaining a good relationship is of utmost importance. The best Property Managers possess superb relationship-building skills, the importance of which shouldn’t be underestimated.

Putting your trust in a quality property management company would also give you access to their maintenance team and/or contact list of trusted contractors. As a landlord, you need to be available at all hours to deal with emergency repairs, the costs of which can start to burn a hole in your pocket.

Regardless of how organised you may be, when something goes wrong it can be comforting to know there’s someone else ensuring your property remains in its finest condition. So while you might not be available 24 hours-a-day, property management companies can be – after all, keeping good tenants happy is the key to retaining them and the extra revenue stream they bring.

It’s also prudent to remember that Property Managers generally have a real insight into the latest laws – they can help create watertight contracts that leaves both parties satisfied and will guarantee that all necessary paperwork is organised and documented. Extensive knowledge of landlord and tenant laws ensure any contract disputes that may arise can be dealt with by the property management company, instead of taking up your time in unfamiliar territory.

With the right assistance, becoming a landlord (or property mogul!) can be an enjoyable and financially rewarding experience. Of course, there are additional costs involved when using a property management company, but for the expertise, services and peace of mind you receive in return, the investment is well worth it.