What exactly does it mean to be a landlord in the 21st Century?

Many first-time landlords are surprised to learn property management is much more involved than simply collecting the rent.

There are many procedures and practices that are required by legislation. A professional property manager can help an investor make their investment ‘tenant-ready’ from the moment they take ownership. Property managers also have a working knowledge of all the necessary legislation and have systems in place that assist the landlord in meeting their legislative responsibilities.”

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (RTRAA) is the legislation that regulates rental tenancies, however, property managers also have to comply with other legislation – such as the Competition and Consumer Act, the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act, and the Anti-Discrimination Act – during the rental process.

Before a tenancy begins, under the RTRAA, the landlord must make sure that the property is clean, safe for a tenant to live in and – together with inclusions – in a good state of repair.

If fittings such as a dishwasher or an air conditioner are supplied at the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord has a legal obligation to maintain them throughout the tenancy.

There are many functions of property management that are required that a private landlord may not be aware of. The skill and expertise of a qualified property manager will reduce the risk of non-compliance with the law and save the investor from facing the possibility of financial penalties through non-compliance.

Property managers also negotiate rents and leases on the landlord’s behalf, complete all documentation required by legislation; attend to maintenance issues, organise quotes and complete routine inspections; disburse funds to the landlord and provide written financial statements of rental funds; and complete final inspections when tenants vacate. This is but a few of their professional duties.

By Antonia Mercorella, General Counsel, REIQ