Investors considering privately managing their properties have been served a reminder of the cost that can come with not doing it properly.
A Western Australia woman was recently handed a $7,200 fine and ordered to pay another $396 in court costs after she plead guilty to 24 breaches of the state’s Residential Tenancies Act. Ouch!
Her breaches included
- failing to lodge bond with the Bond Administrator
- failure to provide a receipt for the bond
- failure to use the correct form and information when entering into a written tenancy agreement and
- failure to provide a property condition report at the start and end of a tenancy.
According to Consumer Protection, she kept bond monies in her personal bank account or safe and created her own lease agreement, which included conditions that were not acceptable, such as no children being allowed to visit the property (wow, what a childhaterist).
Just like here in Queensland, standard lease agreements were made mandatory in Western Australia, while providing condition reports is also compulsory.
Bond money is also required to be lodged within 14 days.
Jonathon Downing, Director of Property Managers at Watt Realty, said the three areas where she was found to have breached regulations were the most common areas where private landlords find themselves in trouble. He believes it’s getting harder and harder for private landlords to keep up with current legislation.
“There are a lot of smaller changes that happen from time to time and don’t get that publicity and unless you’re really across everything you’re going to miss those and that’s where I think a lot of private landlords get caught,” he said.
“The reality is that you’re probably costing yourself money if you do it yourself. A good property manager is going to probably have a better understanding of the market than you do and will be able to be much more efficient in renting the property out and getting you the best return.”
For those that do choose to go the self-managed route, Downing urges them to make sure they understand the potential penalties they could face if they slip up.
Pondering your own property management strategy?
Check out our property management offering here >
Or make the switch to Watt and get your First 3 Months FREE.