Unresponsive, useless property manager - What are my rights/options?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Ben K, 11th Feb, 2017.

Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community
  1. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I have been having issues with a property manager for over 12 months with issues ranging from them deciding to give away free weeks rent without our consent to over charging for advertising, double charging fees for the same service and not ever providing a property report or update in the 12 month period.

    There have been many other small things that but the last straw was when we got an email informing us that the tenant had vacated 3 weeks earlier. She knew they where leaving but never let us know. She said she sent an email last week (she didn't) and that we didn't respond so she thought we where okay with it because she had a potential replacement tenant.

    We had had enough so I got another agent to take a look as we plan on moving to a new one and they told us that the place had not been cleaned and there is a broken window. So again we called to see what was going on and to get a condition report but she wasn't willing to give us anything and said she would get it done yesterday. Not surprising she did nothing and now won't answer our calls when we try an get an update.

    We are now almost at 4 weeks vacant and haven't can't start the advertising process until we close out the current contract. Other than driving 4 hours up to Albury and confronting her face to face what are our options? Is there anything to protect land lords from rubbish agents?

    Any suggestions appreciated!
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  2. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    223
    Location:
    VIC
    Hi Ben
    Sometimes you have to clear your calendar and drive the four hours and sort it out. Make an appointment to meet the property manager and if possible the agency director, ideally at the property. Then you can go back to the RE office and ask for inspection reports etc while you patiently wait for them to be found.
    While in Albury you could meet a cleaner and glazier and get the issues rectified so the property is ready to rent again.
    Another option is get a new agency / PM and put this down to experience and move on. Easier said than done but you want to be moving forward. Concentrate on getting the cash in your pocket again.
     
  3. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi Owlet. After writing the post my wife and I have decided to go up this weekend to sort things out. Will be putting it down to experience as you mentioned and moving on!

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
    Rebecca and Perthguy like this.
  4. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    223
    Location:
    VIC
    Best of luck :)
     
  5. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,124
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Which pm? If you Don t mind
    Can pm Mer if you want
     
  6. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    @TMNT

    Albury Property Rentals are the current managers we are having issues with. At the beginning they went out of there way to assist and we where very happy. Once tenant was in (who to be fair was very good) the communication stopped and every time we questioned her on something that she messed up she would just shut down and stop answering calls.
     
  7. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,124
    Location:
    Melbourne
    The only reason I ask is I looked at them a while ago. And might have considered them as they seem like rental specialists but didn't go ahead with them when I called during business hours and it went to a voice-mail a few times and didn't get a call back
     
  8. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,393
    Location:
    Sid en e - olympic city
    I do not know these people, but my very short experience with Albury/Wodonga agents is that many seem totally hopeless to deal with, but the good news for them, is that many inland regionals and towns have the same kind of issues.

    Albury may be worse due to lack of market strength ?

    Can be great for buying, but really have to be selective with the PMs though.

    You should start a thread on good PMs for Albury (or check if there is/was one) and also add your negatives/positives there, there are a few members here that have interest in Albury.
     
  9. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    @TMNT I ended up going with a recommendation from @Tony Fleming so will see how how this one goes!

    Might go and start that thread now!

    @dabbler Maybe poor regional property managers is an opportunity? I think a market place service that focused on regional "free lance" property management where city investors can find decent people via reviews might be the go. Offer the service with tools for the "freelance" manager to manage and a portal for the landlords to see what exactly is going on with there investments. The freelancer and landlord can agree on the rate and then I clip the ticket on the way through. I might do this.....
     
    Tony Fleming likes this.
  10. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    So just checking is there anyway to get a condition report from the property manager as she is refusing to give it to us. As I mentioned I am in the process of changing agents and am heading up there this weekend so would like to know if there is anything I should be claiming.
     
  11. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,626
    Location:
    Perth
    Call your office of fair trading? I am not sure if they can assist with the property condition report but that kind of behaviour warrants a formal complaint to the authorities! :mad:
     
  12. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    5,393
    Location:
    Sid en e - olympic city
    Don't bother asking the property manager, go straight to the principal, or ask the new PM to ask for all this info, as it seems it may be personal ?
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  13. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yep did that. They gave me the standard "try and sort it out yourself" and go away spiel. I have been over the fair trade site as well but doesn't seem to be anything specific about this sort of thing. Basically it states that a condition report must go to the landlord OR agent. Not both.

    The plan at the moment is to see if the new agent is able to get it from her. Now that I have had time to clam down and as unreasonable as she is being I really would like to avoid fair trade in any case and just get on with it.
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  14. Ben K

    Ben K Member

    Joined:
    22nd Nov, 2015
    Posts:
    15
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Unfortunately she is the principle so no going around her.

    She has made it personal for what ever reason. We just kept calling her out, in I believe a fair and reasonable manner on a bunch of mistakes she continued to make and over time she has just got super defensive. For example we pointed out she charged us around $100 more for advertising than what she quoted and enquired what the reason for this was. She had a tantrum and started to cry and said she would hand back the keys now because she didn't want to deal with us. Really odd behaviour.
     
  15. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,626
    Location:
    Perth
    Not good @Ben K. That's disappointing about fair trading. They are good in WA in my experience. Hopefully the new PM will be able to sort it out
     
  16. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro Property Management Sydney & Brisbane Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    631
    Location:
    Australia
    Most property managers have a really, really big problem with accountability. They believe the way they have always done it is right, they always get things right and that they know everything there is to know about PM all the time. This leads to zero desire to improve skill sets and knowledge which simply creates a cycle and perpetuates the problems in the sector.

    It was one of the absolute most infuriating experiences and still is with some of my PMs (outside of Brisbane obviously). This isn't odd to me at all, it's almost operations normal! Until PMs start acting like professionals there will nothing to raise this sector of the property industry off its knees. When you find a good PM, hang onto them like gold as they're hard to find! Look for a service and value proposition, not a price proposition or all you'll end up with is a PM described as above.
     
    Lil Skater and Perthguy like this.
  17. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    13th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    7,415
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    I think a big issue with most 'real estate agencies' is that the PM department don't need to do that well and become quite complacent, because of both :
    a) They're going to get clients in anyway via the sales department channel , and
    b) They're profitability / survival doesn't depend on PM since they have sales revenue coming through as well

    Whereas in PM only agencies, those things are vital or people like you or I wouldnt be able to put dinner on the table. There's an added incentive there to do things perfectly.
     
    Last edited: 14th Feb, 2017
    MyPropertyPro likes this.
  18. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro Property Management Sydney & Brisbane Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    631
    Location:
    Australia
    Absolutely! ...and I should point out to anyone reading, @D.T. is one of the ones I was referring to that you should hang on to like gold! He's an excellent PM who manages my properties in Adelaide.
     
    Ted Varrick likes this.