Landlords are always in high demand to keep PM businesses profitable, but some are more trouble than they are worth.
Pure Leasing director Cameron Ewers said principals need to empower property managers to be able to choose what business they take on.
“I am 100 per cent supportive of removing cancerous owners from your portfolio for the health, wealth and wellbeing of the business,” he told Residential Property Manager.
“It is not about sacking owners you don’t like; it is about getting rid of owners that are plainly unprofitable.”
Elevate Property Group director Daniel Bligh said a tenant recently contacted the business saying their smoke alarm was playing up.
“I advised the owners as they like to deal with strata and they said, ‘Why don’t they just take the battery out?’ – unbelievable response,” he told Residential Property Manager.
“These are the same owners that have not repaired the shower screens properly for six weeks as they wanted to use their own handyman, after me repeatedly trying to use my own licenced and efficient people.”
Raine & Horne's business support and development manager for property management, Lauren Kirk, said businesses can reduce their risk by dismissing landlords who won’t complete repairs.
“This will reduce the stress on property managers having to deal with difficult landlords and will also save them a significant amount of time placating upset tenants,” she told Residential Property Manager.
Not listening to advice or recommendations
Mr Ewers said PMs needed to follow landlord’s instructions, but landlords also have to listen to what a PM says in return.
He said one example is when landlords insist on increasing rent, even when they get told they’ve already been receiving an above-average return in an under-performing market.
Mr Ewers said problems can also arise if an owner is never prepared to drop the price.
“If you have a property sitting vacant for four or five months, and if you have done everything right with the marketing, and the owner isn’t prepared to listen to your price recommendations, then that isn’t profitable,” he said.
Ms Kirk said some landlords made life uncomfortable for tenants by making unannounced visits to their rental properties.
“Tenants have a right to privacy – just because you are the owner doesn’t mean you have the right to suddenly appear without notice,” she said.
Ms Kirk said every rent roll will have difficult landlords and that PMs need the conviction to speak up.
“When this is an issue, principals need to regularly seek the views of their PMs about the risk, cost and overall benefits of keeping certain landlords.”