Do I sack the Property Manager?

Hi guys back again with more dramas in my life!

So i have recently purchased a investment property(settlement is the end of April) in which the current tenants have been there for 8 years in which the rent has not increased once!? They have a track record of looking after the property and consistently paying on time but they are playing $320 per week in which the average rent for similar properties sit around the 370-400 mark?

Since my finance came threw I have contacted the current property manager and advised her that the rent is going to go up and im happy to be reasonable and give the tenants a 12-month lease at $350 (in which rent will increase annually/or be up for negotiation) or a 3-year lease where rent will stay the same until the lease ends.

I talked to the manager 3 weeks ago she never got back to me then I e-mailed her in which she just forwarded me a E-mail the tenant has sent saying they were willing to sign a 12-month lease depending on rent increase (they also made some demands regarding some minor repairs and additional things to the property ie air con etc) - I have the feeling she didnt tell them anything we talked about on the phone 3-weeks prior. - but i did say i was open to installing a new door etc

I re-mailed her on the weekend basically saying what i told her over the phone and i have got no reply not even a acknowledgement of the terms i mentioned?

I am being generous in the lease rate because they have been there for a long time and looked after the property and honestly i'd rather just rent out the property from day dot then go looking for tenants.

I have another rental in which i have managed myself (but to people i know) in which that property my current tenants have informed me they are moving out in 3 months.

I am technically not the landlord yet so i know they dont have to do much but considering settlement in later this month you think they would be trying to keep my business?

Im pretty sure i will go to a different agent or go solo if these tenants move out because i feel like the manager doesnt give a f***

Am i being unreasonable? does anyone else have stories of hopeless property managers?

What would you people do?

UPDATE 6/4/17

2 days ago I sent her another e-mail just asking how theres where going how did the tenants feel about that i proposed she emailed me back saying he was ill and would be back in the office tomorrow. (now personally i thought this was bullshit)

Since then i have not heard anything from her so if these tenants move out im certainly going my own way

Comments

  • +8 votes

    Any property manager that takes that long to action something or respond needs the boot. My property was rented out when I first purchased it - they responded really quickly to everything and I will be using them again when I need to rent out the property.

    As a tenant I had a real estate agent that was useless. Never responded - I expect a response within 24 hours during business days - even if its just a short message. It would take them about a week..

    But yeah i would be getting a better real estate agent.

  • +3 votes

    I personally manage my 2 rentals and when I get good tenants I hold onto them. I haven't had tenants for 8 years mind you but the one thing I do to keep them is to not increase the rent. Considering it is below the average rent and it hasn't changed in that time I would raise it slightly to say $330 but that is after speaking to the tenants.

    From what you have said I would wait until you own the property then get rid of the Property Manager and that way you can deal with the tenants directly. You can see how it goes then and if the current tenants stay there it would be very easy to manage. If they do end up moving out and you don't want the hassle then you can look for a new Property Manager.

  •  

    Alright - the agent has been off 'sick' not sure if that is a lie but ill take it she said she will get back to me tomorrow so ill give her one business day and hopefully she gets back to me with good news?

  • +2 votes

    Reading your intial notes I was thinking give the current agent the flick but after reading the below, I could imagine the agent thinking who is this person, they do not even own the property.
    Is it possible you can meet with the current agent face to face?
    At this stage you would not have a managment agreement with the agent given its not your property.
    As such my thoughts are you are expecting to much.

    Given you do not own the property as yet and they technicaly are not your tenants, another approach me be to go introduce your self to thet tenants and hold your discussion directly with them.

    Its alos worth remebering agents make very little out of each propoerty.
    Its a numbers game.
    They need to have as many properties on the books as possible and minimise their overheads to make a profit. Realisisticly if you were not to be their client they probaly would not batter an eyelid over it.

    I am technically not the landlord yet so i know they dont have to do much but considering settlement in later this month you think they would be trying to keep my business?

    •  

      Yea i have thought about that i know i still have around 20 days till i take over the property.

      On the other hand - i dont feel like im being unfair with what I'm asking i am offering the current tenants a 3 year lease that is 3 years of my business for the property manager, below average rent for the tenants and (almost) all my P&I repayments to the bank covered (at the current interest rate)

  • +4 votes

    Until settlement I presume the property manager is actually working for the current landlord and not you (paid by them). As such I believe it's actually a little unfair to be throwing your weight around at this point in time, especially in regard to demanding rental increases etc. I understand you acknowledge this but really there is nothing worse than a new owner making demands, wanting a rent review, complaining about service standards etc days after their finance comes through and before settlement. It's a newbie/upstart move to do these things and a battle weary property manager will roll their eyes. I'm not suggesting they are right to be so complacent but it's a sure sign the trouble you will give them over the long haul isn't worth the 5-8% (tax deductible) you're paying their agency of which they probably get a slim percentage or minimum wage payment.

    While a rent review may well be warranted the time to discuss this is probably on the day of settlement when you attend their office, meet them in person and sign the Rental management agreement. (Hint suggest you do this) At this appointment you can discuss your reansonable requirement for 24 return of messages, rent review, how you would like tenant requests handled etc. Also as an experienced investor I am sure you know you can't simply jack up the rent as a new owner, you need to wait for the current lease (which you bought in its current form) to end. If there is no lease in place or a fixed term agreement has expired the lease may deem to contine on as a periodic tenancy which may still require certain notice periods etc in relation to rental increases.

    Good luck, a cool head and firm words on your settlement day in person will hopefully yield you the outcome you are seeking.

    •  

      Thank you for your advice you are 100% spot on i'm inexperienced i am 27 years old and this is only my 2nd property.

      I might of made it sound like im being very demanding but i have been very polite and when i purchased the property i was asked if i would be interested (by the agent) i in continuing with the property management they have on offer in which i reply of course i'm happy to continue depending on the fees. - So from my point of view they were hounding me for my business well before i even had finance approved so i have some right to ask them a few questions?

      The lease has expired and i know you cant just 'jack up' rent but at the same time if they move out due to an increase in rest. I know i can do significantly better then the current month to month lease agreement and probably better then what im asking for. I am trying to give the tenants notice because i'm pretty sure any rent increase needs 4-weeks or 30-days notice in most cases, so from the day of settlement i want he property manager on it so they either sign or are out by the end of the 30-day period (in the end of the day it is business).

      I do appreciate what you are saying and perhaps if i gave them warning on the day before it might of been a more effective way to manage and i shall take this into consideration for future properties.

      •  

        I live in NSW. Notice for rent increase is 60 days.

        If tenant isn't on fixed lease, you can increase your rate unlimited amount per year as long as you give 60 days notice.

        What I'm saying is, don't worry about losing the 60 days of the difference in rent increase. You'll have plenty of time to do this after settlement.

  •  

    if they sign a new lease doesn't the real estate take a weeks rent as a fee.

    •  

      Fees charged are outlined in the Agency agreement signed by the new owners. The agent can not charge anything without an authority.

  • +2 votes

    You can't sack someone who doesn't work for you. Wait until settlement and in the meantime shop around for a property manager. The commission can vary greatly (it's been a long time since I looked for a property manager but when I did the commission varied between 3% and 7% from memory). Which isn't a lot but adds up over a long period of time.

  •  

    Go to another agent and spell out your story and ask how they would handle you if they got your business. Get them to commit to Service Level Agreements, if they already have these documented in a brochure - even better.

    If I send an email to someone - I expect a response within one business day.
    Even better - you have their mobile number and you can expect a response within a couple of hours tops.

  •  

    Pick up the phone and talk to her!

  • -1 vote

    soo… the first thing you want to do is jack the rent up? are you even considering repairing the air-con for which the tenets already pay for but is not working? but… replacing the door? real estate agents are worse than fleas on a dog… and not much better than a car salesperson. it takes a special type of person to screw someone intentionally…

    • -1 vote

      There is no air con the door is fine they just want a addition security door which im open to getting installed if they sign on.

      They have been getting a really good deal for a long time they should count themselves lucky another investor purchased the property not a owner occupier? Am im still willing to rent it to them to well below the average I can getting more money if i kick them out so from where i stand if they want to nick off they are more then welcome too

      Im just not sure if i should keep the same agent look else where or go solo?

  •  

    You cannot "sacK' someone you have not appointed.

  • +1 vote

    jeeez… the tenants want to know if your going to commit to maintaining the property before they're going to sign another lease. they (the tenants) have already gone through the sale of the propety that they pay to reside in. they would want to know that the rent increase reflects the appointments in the property. (installation of air-con… a security screen… or heaven forbid… solar panels) you obviously know how the housing market is going… everybody knows good tenants are hard to find and even harder to keep.

    •  

      Thats fair enough hence why i've said i am happy to put in a security door and give them below average rent costs?

      I dont really see your point?

      If i was asking them to pay more then the average and not willing to do anything i'd understand but im giving them a better deal then anyone else will for the area they'er renting in and will meeting to meet some demands?

      If there was issues they never took it up with the current landlord? so in all honesty i dont have to do anything the property is in god condition trying to be fair and i would like to keep them.

      Otherwise they can move out BUT they wont get the same deal anywhere else im 100% sure of that it is 3 bed rooms, double garage and 2.5 bathrooms they would get maybe 3beds 1 bath room and 1 garage in the same suburb for what im asking?

      • +1 vote

        Pastry, I think I may know what is going on here?
        My thoughts are a portion of the feedback you are receiving is as a result of your perceived attitude rather than your actions/plans.
        To me personally some of the feedback seems unwarranted?
        Generally I think you may have received the actual advice you were after above.
        Should you choose to head one way or another I am sure you will then have more questions.

        •  

          Yea of course.

          I'm not getting very far once i settle though i will be very polite and just say im unimpressed with there attitude to keeping my business because in all honesty they have asked me to stay on but not given me a reason too

        •  

          @Pastry:

          I'm not getting very far once i settle though

          I understand what you are getting at. The issue you have is you are purchasing a property with the view to increase the rent. You are not in a position to do so until a) you own the property and b) you have a management agreement in place unless you intend to self manage.
          The reality is, in the managing agents eyes until that property settles there is no guarantees you will own the property.
          Imagine from their position they have negotiated a rent increase and promised the addition of a security door/air con etc on behalf of your self pre purchase and you fail to settle for what ever reason.

          i will be very polite and just say im unimpressed with there attitude to keeping my business because in all honesty they have asked me to stay on but not given me a reason too

          Based on the information supplied I would suggest you are out of line to do so.
          If this was the outcome once you are the owner with a management agreement place with them, you would be more than within your rights to do so.

          As annoying as it is, I would forget about what has occurred and make your judgement based upon what happens in the future.
          I hope the above comes across as offering a perspective and not as personally criticising you.

        •  

          @Cheap Charlie:

          Nar that is fair enough and completely understand ill wait it out but considering they asked me if i'd stay on i think i have some right regarding the property

          I'd also like to say the real estate agent lied to me about the amount of rent it was getting they initially told me it was 330 but it was 320 he also told me they only charge 4.5% but when i talked to the manager on the phone she quoted me 5.5%

          i probably should of added that into the initial point but i thought i should just report on the situation since talking to the property manager (keep in mind the agent that sold me the property is the Director of the branch)

          I know to not trust an agent but the guy flat out lied and i mean it is only a little but here and there but it is not in my favor and i find that annoying so when i ask these pricks to do something that benefits me i expect a response.

          They will be fired and i dont recommend them i will name and shame once settlement has gone threw

        •  

          @Pastry:

          he also told me they only charge 4.5%

          Interesting, call him up and let him know you will be taking up his offer.

        •  

          @Cheap Charlie:

          At the final inspection ill mention it see what he say someone told me if the tenants are off there lease i dont have to keep the same property manager in that case i can offer lower rent to keep them and boot the manager and keep the tenants because imo they should of e-mailed me back by now

  •  

    As mentioned above, they are not your Agent. They will not become your agent unless you sign an agreement with them and this will spell out all their fees. They can not charge you differently than in the authority, so negotiate and have this in the agreement. Forget verbal.
    They will cease to manage the property at settlement unless you sign up for their services.

    •  

      If i dont go with them am i able to keep the current tenants?

      • +1 vote

        Yes, the decision on if the tenants stay or vacate is between you and the Tenants.
        If you do decide to pull the property from the current Agent, keep the tenants in mind.
        If you can, be the one to communicate your intentions with the tenants which also gives them the chance to ask you questions.

        •  

          Thanks Charlie this sounds like the path ill take sack the agent tell the tenants ill keep the rent where it is

        •  

          Cheap Charlie - I have managed to get the tenants to agree to 12months at 350 providing i put in a front and back security door.

          The propery manager is charging me 5% (which i think is pretty good) but they want 1.5weeks rent for the lease. Do i have to pay this every time the tenant signs are new lease i thought it was only for new tenants?

  • +2 votes

    Just because other properties are renting for $370-400 does not give you the right to instantly jack up the rent from the current $320. Rent is determined on the individual property itself. So I think it is reasonable for the tenants to demand maintenance if the rent was to increase.

    •  

      Your comments in one form or another have been comunicated several times above.

    •  

      Tazdevil76

      Actually I own the property i can charge what ever i like - if it up to the tenants if they want to pay that that is up to them, That is how the world works if they dont they can find a place that suits there financial needs

      I have costs and commitments to the bank that i must keep if i only wanted to pay hal my loan back the bank would take the ouse off me and they would have no where to live.

      •  

        This isn't quite true. The tenants can ask for a review of the rent, and if over the market, Consumer Affairs can set the rent.

  •  

    Your tenant seems to be ideal tenant to many landlord, pay rent on time plus look after property well, long term tenant 8 year. It's hard to find.

    If I were you, I will be willing to accept lower rent than market rate to keep them.

    Finding a new good tenant take time and money plus cost involve, losing rent while it's vacant, letting fee, marketing fee plus risking if
    you end up with bad tenant who damage property, doesn't pay rent on time

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