Being an ‘accidental landlord’ can be quite a burden.
If you find yourself in charge of a rental property on the Northern Beaches for whatever reason, you suddenly have a whole host of responsibilities, both legal and ethical.
So what do you do if you become a landlord unexpectedly?
What is an accidental landlord?
An accidental landlord is someone who finds themselves with a rental property that they had not planned on owning or not expected to lease to tenants. This can come completely out of the blue with the likes of an inheritance but might also happen if you have had to move quickly, and decide to rent out your former property, meaning you become a landlord with little or no experience.
There are plenty of benefits to being a landlord, so it can work out well in the short term, but accidental landlords often decide to manage the property themselves. However, they soon realise there is a lot of responsibility and time involved with having tenants in a home.
If you become an accidental landlord, you have two options:
- Keep managing the property yourself
- Hand the management of the property over to a professional property manager
Should you hire a property manager?
Here’s why you may be hesitant to enlist support:
The expense: Yes, you will have to pay your property manager. However, when you factor in the time you will spend dealing with your tenant and trying to understand rental property law, you’ll be ahead. Plus, the cost of having a property manager can be tax deductible.
Less personal involvement: When you hand the reins to a property manager, you may worry you will have less control over what happens at your property as the agent will be handling the bulk of the work. The reality is you will be kept in the loop, but your property manager will take care of things like finding tradespeople when necessary and arranging fire safety inspections etc. A good property manager will offer the right balance of keeping you informed and handling tricky situations themselves.
The following are some of the many reasons why accidental landlords should hire a property manager:
Maintenance: With a property manager, all maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and in a cost-effective manner, without you having to lift a finger. Your property manager will liaise with your tenants and organise the work that needs to be done, and all you have to do is to approve the costs.
Tenant management: Your property manager will screen potential tenants, with a keen eye for the right kind of people for your property. They will also chase up late rental payments and deal with all tenant issues without you having to lose time following up on problems.
Record keeping: There are a lot of records required in managing a rental property. Your property manager will manage and store all these records and will easily be able to access them if and when they are needed.
Legalities: Tenants have rights and as a landlord, even if you’re new to the ‘job’, you have to adhere to them. Your property manager is specifically trained to know these rights and make sure your property is compliant. This can keep you out of hot water; don’t assume tenants won’t send a complaint to the Tribunal if they’re not happy.
Expense management: Your property manager will keep track of your expenses so you can send a list to your accountant and claim all the applicable tax deductions. You’ll also get reports to see how much it is costing you to own the property.
It saves you time and stress: The pressure is off for you. No late night phone calls or emergency plumbing issues. If you’re an accidental landlord you are probably busy so having help means you won’t need to lose time in your day.
If you have become an accidental landlord recently in North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Ingleside, Warriewood or anywhere else on the Northern Beaches, get in touch with a reliable property management team today.