If you don't live near the property, are busy or don't know the law very well, you should use an agent to find a tenant and manage the property on your behalf.
Use a licensed agent
All agents must either hold a licence or have a certificate of registration and work under the supervision of a licensed agent. In a large block of units, the agent may be an on-site residential property manager.
To make sure you are using a licensed agent, complete a licence check on the website or call 13 32 20.
Selecting an agent
When selecting a licensed agent, consider asking the following questions:
- How long have they been a property manager?
- How many properties do they currently manage?
- How long has the property manager been with that particular agency?
- How do they handle requests for repairs from tenants?
- Do they check repairs once they have been carried out?
- What systems are in place for locating and screening prospective tenants?
- What steps do they take if the tenant is late with the rent?
- How many times have they been to the Tribunal and what is their success rate?
- How much are the management fees and what is included and excluded?
If you engage an agent, you will sign a written management agency agreement. The fees and conditions of the agreement are negotiable.
Make sure all of the agent’s responsibilities are clearly specified in the agreement. Things to consider:
- How often do you want inspections to take place?
- Do you want a copy of inspection reports and other documents to be forwarded to you?
- Do you want to be contacted about all repairs or should the agreement say only repairs costing more than a nominated amount (eg. $200) require your prior approval?
The management agency agreements usually contains a notice period clause if either party want to end the arrangement.
What to expect of an agent
A managing agent's responsibilities include:
- finding suitable tenants
- ensuring the tenancy agreement is correctly completed and signed
- lodging the rental bond
- managing the tenancy for you on a day-to-day basis, including:
- arranging repairs
- collecting the rent and maintaining rent records
- conducting regular property inspections
- handling disputes that may arise
- paying bills on your behalf (eg. water and council rates).
- paying the rent to you, less any costs and agency fees, either into your nominated bank account or by cheque. This is usually done monthly.
Most agents charge a letting fee and a management fee based on a percentage of the gross weekly rental. This is usually between 5 – 12 percent plus other fees set out in the agreement. This fee could include advertising costs, preparing the tenancy agreement and representing you at the Tribunal in the event of a dispute.
Bonds records need to be updated if management changes.