Being a property manager and landlord for your investment property is demanding both in time and energy. You may face some emotional circumstances, such as evicting a tenant or dealing with property damage. Many people who take on a mortgage for a rental home choose to hire a professional property manager, who will be the liaison between you and the tenant and deal with most legal aspects of property management. A property manager is usually paid as a percentage of the rental income, and should be knowledgeable in all of the local laws related to tenancy.
If you prefer to manage your investment yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do.
Organising a Tenant
This includes advertising the property, setting a market rate for rent, conducting inspections and interviews, checking references, and drawing up a lease. For most people this is an unnecessary risk and should be avoided.
You’ll need to collect both bond and rent. We recommend collecting rent through direct deposit, and requiring full payments. You may need to deal with tenants paying rent late, in which case it is up to you what fee structure you both agree to. Getting late payments from your tenants may put a strain on your mortgage payments, so setting up proper systems at the outset will help.
Meeting the Tenant’s Needs
It is your responsibility to deal with emergency repairs or renovations for your tenants should they come up, Make yourself available in a timely manner if tenants have particular ad hoc needs or questions. All of this is covered in the RTA (Residential Tenancy Act) and you need to read and understand as you can be sure your Tenant will!
Inspecting the Investment Property
You should provide detailed inspection reports at the start of each tenancy, as well as inspect the property about twice a year to see if anything has changed since the last report. These will help you determine what renovations are needed, as well as whether or not your tenant will get their full bond back.
When choosing between being your own investment property manager and hiring a professional one, consider how much time you have to dedicate to the task. It may save you quite a bit of money to be your own manager, but does require high levels of organisation and commitment.