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  1. #1
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    Default Problems with property manager - help!

    This is long, my apologies in advance!

    Ok so DH and I recently moved interstate for work, and instead of selling our home we decided to lease it out as an investment property.

    We chose what we thought was a highly reputable, family run agency to manage the property, and having actually leased through them before in the past we felt fairly confident with our decision.

    Fast forward 2 months, and we are becoming increasingly unhappy with the way the property is being managed and the agent's communication with us. This is the first time we've had an investment property, so I'm actually not sure if this is just the reality of it, or if we really do have cause to be upset.

    These are the concerns we have so far:

    1. When finding a tenant, we were told that 'hundreds of applicants' went through the property during three open homes they held over three consecutive weeks, but we weren't given any applications to consider because apparently they were all 'unsuitable'. Eventually after 5 weeks 'suitable' tenants were chosen, but we were not given any say in whether or not they were suitable to us, and instead were just informed of their move in date, and that they'd agreed to a 12 month lease.

    2. After one week of living in the house, the tenants complained that the oven/stove top wasn't working correctly. The RE phoned us to let us know someone would be going to look at it. Two days later, they phoned us again and told us that the entire oven and stove top was beyond repair and would need replacing. It's unfortunate, but we said to let us organise the new unit because we have access to much better pricing than regular consumers on electrical goods (because of our jobs). The agent said that she doubted we would be able to get a better price than she could get, so we said ok, how about you get a quote and if yours is cheaper than ours, we will go with yours.

    We didn't hear anything back for a week, so we phoned the office to check what the progress was because we were worried about our tenants having no stove. We ended up phoning nearly every day for 2 weeks and were constantly told she would phone us back, but she never did. Eventually the date that our first rent payment was due to hit the account rolled around, and we noticed the payment was significantly less than we would have expected. We didn't receive a statement, so we phoned to see what had happened. Turned out the agent had taken it upon herself to purchase a new stovetop and oven and have it installed, and then just deducted the amount from our rent payment. The amount they paid for the unit was $580 more than the price we are able to get direct from the manufacturer for the exact same unit.

    Obviously we were pretty annoyed about it, but when we voiced our concerns she said "Well we couldn't be waiting around for you to organise it - the tenants had no stove!". It WAS our priority, that's why we had been phoning every day to try to get it sorted!!!

    We were cranky, but we got over it because at the end of the day, it's one mistake and maybe she got mixed up with what she was organising and for whom. Knowing that we are stuck with them for 12 months, we thought it better to keep the peace. So we told her firmly that from now on, we would like a written quote whenever repairs above $250 are needed.

    3. Today at 5.29pm (they close at 5.30pm) I received an email with a receipt for $770 for a new water pump switch, and a message saying this amount plus the cost of installation will be coming off our next statement. We had no idea a new switch was even required, let alone had given consent for them to spend ANOTHER $770 + however much the install will be! The current switch is under manufacturers warranty (our house is only two years old, and the whole pump has a 3 year warranty), so that is literally a waste of $770!

    I'm furious. They can't just keep spending our money without telling us, can they?

    We are so unhappy with this real estate. Are we able to change to a different one mid way through a tenant's lease? There isn't anyone I can even complain to because it's a family run business, so there's no head office or anything like that.

    It's getting to the point that if we can't change real estates we will just have to sell the property, because with a baby on the way, we need some level of predictability and communication about our incoming and outgoing finances.

    Thanks for any help - I'm seriously at a loss as to what we can do.

  2. #2
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    I would cut my losses and change real estate might cost a bit to break the terms but sounds like it will be worth it.

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    Shoopuf  (16-12-2016)

  4. #3
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    Oh I have two investment properties and I always given permission before accepting a tenant as well as any works to be done but we are I'm wa and not sure if it is different else where also you should be able to contact the real estate ombudsman or someone equivalent for your state

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    Shoopuf  (16-12-2016)

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    Default Problems with property manager - help!

    Yes you can change, which I would! It won't cost you anything - You just need to check your agreement you signed to see what the notice period is - it's usually 30 days, once you choose your new agent you just need to write a letter saying " we hereby terminate our written agency agreement with your company , 30 days from today's date being the whatever of January and give permission for our new agent XXXX to collect all files, keys and bond transfer forms"

    Also just check your agreement as there is a clause giving them permission to carry out repairs without your permission up to a certain $ amount, if it's under the amount they have claimed then don't pay it, but if it's over then yes you have to pay it

    You can send a complaint into fair trading , they may audit them if they get enough complaints!

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    BH-KatiesMum  (17-12-2016),Shoopuf  (16-12-2016)

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    Default Problems with property manager - help!

    I would def check your contract to see what amount they are allowed to spend on repairs without your permission. That's pretty poor performance and I'd be pretty mad.

    Edit: one house I was renting had a limit of $500, another $250 - just to give you the ballpark amount they are usually allowed to spend.
    Last edited by babyno1onboard; 16-12-2016 at 18:51.

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    Shoopuf  (16-12-2016)

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    Ok just checked my contract and the only thing I can see regarding a limit for repairs/maintenance is this. $120 seems to be not very much though?

    IMG_1481878928.742127.jpg

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    I'm new to the investment property game but I'd be changing agents too.
    The contract we signed we can get out of with 2 weeks written notice.
    Urgent repairs they can deal with without my approval up to the value of $1000 - and we got a list of what urgent repairs are. Anything not on the list we're contacted about first.
    We also have the option of doing or organising repairs ourselves - providing what we do or organise is up to scratch and where needed, we must use qualified trades.

    As for selecting tenants, they did one show through and received half a dozen applications. They recommended someone they had leased properties to before and gave them a great reference, and gave their pet a reference.
    But I was still free to choose someone else if I wanted to.

    We got the rent they said we would and so far I'm very pleased with their management of the property.

    We were invited to the 6 month inspection, but declined because I'd prefer to leave it in their hands. I trust them, based on my knowledge of the way they manage properties.
    Your investment property is a big investment and you need to be able to trust whoever is managing it.
    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoopuf View Post
    Ok just checked my contract and the only thing I can see regarding a limit for repairs/maintenance is this. $120 seems to be not very much though?

    Attachment 87148
    We usually put $1000 so yes $120 is very strange! But technically no they can't authorise repairs above that amount without approval so I would email back and say no the payment was not authorised, these property managers are just lazy or even worse could be rorting the system so yes question everything and definitely change as if they are this bad early on it will probably only get worse!

  13. #9
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    This is definitely not normal behaviour for a good property manager.. change ASAP!! There should be written consent over a certain amount.. think mine was around $200 or $250.. but even when they just needed a plumber etc which was under this amount I would get a courtesy call or email prior to it being a surprise on the statement.


 

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