In many facets of modern life, there’s now a do-it-yourself option and it’s no different when it comes to managing a rental property.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows about 33 per cent of property owners across the country now choose to manage their own property, bypassing the traditional agency route.
This is the private rental market, where properties are managed without a real estate agent or property manager. The property’s owner deals directly with tenants; vetting applications, getting paperwork sorted and managing issues day-to-day.
As with any property-related decision, there are pros and cons to DIY management.
Benefits of a private rental
Bessie Hassan, a money expert at www.finder.com.au, says listing your rental property privately has a number of benefits, such as cost savings, being closer to the process and keeping an eye on your rental property.
Listing a rental privately can save owners thousands of dollars in fees every year, Hassan says. That’s because letting agents can take anywhere between 5-12 per cent of the weekly rent.
“So leasing privately means the percentage of weekly income that would otherwise go towards management fees ends up in your own pocket instead,” she says.
Be across issues
Hassan says private landlords can also closely monitor how their property is being maintained and keep across any issues or problems as they arise, rather than waiting to learn about them from the agent.
In the private rental market, owners have the ability to screen potential renters themselves, rather than rely on someone else’s judgement. “This allows you to handpick the most suitable candidates based on your personal preferences,” Hassan says.
Downsides of a private rental
Managing a property requires a lot of work and carries serious legal responsibilities, so there’s some potential negatives to consider as well.
Having to negotiate issues like lease agreements, rental increases or evictions can be uncomfortable for private landlords, especially if you’ve developed a relationship with your tenants, Hassan says. This is very much an issue in tough economic times like right now.
Property managers can remain professionally detached and execute decisions without having an emotional involvement.
Tenancy legislation, which differs from state to state, is full of complexities and private landlords can run afoul of the law without realising it, Hassan says.
A property managers will generally have a better understanding of rental laws and any recent changes to legislation which might affect their landlords or tenants.
How to list a private rental
Historically, private landlords have been restricted in where they can advertise their properties, relying mainly on social media, word-of-mouth and online selling platforms such as Gumtree.
But realestate.com.au now allows private landlords to advertise their properties on its site, which has more than 19.7 million visits a month to the Rent section.
Owners can pay $220 (including GST) for a standard ad, which runs until a tenant is found.
Owners can create, edit and save listings, so it’s easy to re-list later and also receive tenant enquiries by email, phone or SMS.