There are good property managers, and there are bad property managers – and the bad ones can cost you big bucks in damage and unpaid rent. Your Investment Property offers seven top tips to make sure yours is one of the good ones.

1. Accompany your property manager to at least one of the periodic inspections during the term of the tenancy. If it’s a mess then that’s a good indication that they’re not doing their job, because if they’re doing their inspections they would pick up on how well it’s being maintained.

2. Check that the number of people living in the property matches up to the number of names on the lease. “We’ve taken over properties and had cases of six people (instead of two or three)living in the property when the owners didn’t even know about it,” says Ayda Shabanzadeh, Grow Consulting director. “There were mattresses everywhere, but obviously the rent that you’ve charged is for two people, not six.”

3. Check out the asking rents for comparable properties online every six to 12 months to make sure that your property manager’s not under-renting your property.

4. Set the ground rules for communication. Be clear about what you want to be involved in and what you don’t, says Rachel Barnes, co-author of Managing your Investment Property.

5. Check your management statements. Is the tenant up-to-date, are the rents high enough and are the expenses reasonable?

6. Get feedback from the tenant. “Ask the tenant if the property manager is responding to maintenance requests in a timely manner,” says Barnes. “Fixing small maintenance issues immediately will please the tenant and also save you big bucks on repairs in future.”

7. Show appreciation for your property manager that you are happy with their performance – but also don’t be afraid to change managers if you’re not happy, adds Geoff Doidge, co-author of Managing your Investment Property. “It’s easier than you might think.”

Visit the managing your investment property section of our property investment forum for more property management discussion.

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